Saturday, December 08, 2012

Melbourne councillors caught in a bind

From The Age:
"MELBOURNE City Council could be denied a say on key building projects, with a majority of councillors unable to vote because of developer donations that bankrolled their election campaigns.
Major city developers, including high-rise apartment pioneer Central Equity, donated to the campaigns of more than half the candidates now on the council.
As a result, so many of the councillors have conflicts of interest - and are therefore obliged to abstain from voting - that there will be insufficient numbers to make up a council quorum to deal with the donors' planning applications
.A Town Hall spokesman said that in such cases where council decision-making is impeded by multiple conflicts of interest, the council may have to apply to the state government to seek a formal exemption from the conflict-of-interest provisions of the Local Government Act.
Another option would be for the council to consciously fail to make a decision, allowing the project applicant to make an appeal to the Victorian Administrative Appeals Tribunal."
Perhaps some understanding will be reached with the state government which is friendly to developers/

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