NSW Labor Move to Ban Developers and Real Estate Agents From Local Councils

Developers and real estate agents are one step closer to being banned from

holding a position on local council thanks to NSW Labor.

Despite the NSW Liberals and Nationals best attempts to block it, the Local

Government Amendment (Disqualification from Civic Office) Bill 2020 passed

through the Legislative Council today.

The bill aims to remove the conflicts of interest faced by developers and estate

agents serving on council and to ensure a community’s best interest are the

forefront of a council’s decision making.

Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock has repeatedly refused to confirm

whether she would support or oppose the legislation, however she will now

have no choice with the bill due to be debated in the Legislative Assembly.

Shadow Minister for Local Government, Greg Warren MP, urged the NSW

Liberals and Nationals to support the bill and prioritise the needs of

communities over developers.

“Council representatives have access to planning information that the general

public doesn’t,” Mr Warren said.

“Should a developer or real estate agent get their hands on that information, it

presents all sorts of issues in terms of conflicts of interest.

“The NSW Liberals and Nationals need to stop being concerned about lining

the pockets of their developer mates, prioritise the needs of communities

throughout NSW, and support this bill in the Legislative Assembly.”

Opposition Whip in the Legislative Council, Mark Buttigieg MLC, a staunch

advocate of the ban, said the NSW Government’s decision to oppose the bill in

Legislative Council was predictably disappointing.

“This Government has shown time and time again that they are more interested

in lining the pockets of developers that protecting the best interests of the

general public,” he said.

“Councillors are elected to serve their communities not their own self-interest.

“It has been Labor Party policy for some time that property developers and real

estate agents should not serve as councillors.

“Our party's rules ensure that they cannot be selected or endorsed as a

candidate for council.

“The Liberal and National Government should support the bill – it is essential

for protecting the integrity of the decisions made by elected councils.”

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