North Sydney Council Public Inquiry
On 21 January 2016 the then Minister for Local Government, the Hon Paul Toole MP, announced a formal Public Inquiry into North Sydney Council.
The terms of reference of the Inquiry were:
“To inquire and report to the Minister for Local Government on the following matters relating to North Sydney Council:
1. Whether the elected representatives have been, since December 2013, and will continue to be, in a position to direct and control the affairs of Council in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993, so that Council may fulfil its charter, the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 and otherwise fulfil its statutory functions, and
2. Whether, since December 2013, the Council and its elected representatives have complied with applicable laws, Council’s adopted Code of Conduct, the Procedures for the Administration of the Code of Conduct, Council’s Code of Meeting Principles and Practice and Council’s administrative rules and policies and have fulfilled its and their legislative duties, powers and functions particularly with respect to their relationships with each other and with senior and other staff of Council.
3. The Commissioner may make such recommendations as he sees fit having regard to the outcomes of the Inquiry.
The then Minister approved the appointment of Mr Thomas Howard SC as Commissioner to undertake the Inquiry. Mr Howard specialises in the areas of environmental law, urban planning and local government law.
On 9 March 2017, the Minister for Local Government, the Hon Gabrielle Upton MP, tabled Commissioner Howard’s report in the NSW Parliament. A copy of Commissioner’s report is available on the website.