Independent review into Councillor misconduct framework Coffs Coast by News Of The Area - Modern Media - June 18, 2021 Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock has commissioned an independent review into the councillor Code of Conduct to stamp out bad behaviour. Photo: supplied. THE NSW Government has commissioned an independent review of the statutory framework for cracking down on badly behaved councillors. The review will examine if penalties for councillors breaching the code of conduct remain sufficient and ways to reduce the time and cost of dealing with complaints. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – firstname.lastname@example.org The Model Code of Conduct sets strict standards of behaviour for the 1,300 councillors at the State’s 128 councils to help ensure the ethical, accountable and transparent operation of local government. “Residents rightly expect high standards of behaviour from their elected representatives and the NSW Government has zero tolerance for councillors who put petty politics and egos ahead of serving the local community,” Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock stated last Friday. “While the majority of councillors do the right thing, the NSW Government is determined to ensure those elected representatives who breach community standards face the consequences.” Local government specialist Gary Kellar PSM has been appointed to carry out the review. Mr Kellar was a member of the expert panel that conducted a review of the local government misconduct framework in Queensland in 2017 and was general manager of Logan City Council for 26 years. “The review will make recommendations for any legislative, policy and operational changes required to ensure NSW has the strongest system in the country to target bad behaviour and enforce high standards of conduct in our local councils,” Ms Hancock said. “The NSW Government is committed to ensuring that councils and the Office of Local Government are well placed to take quick and effective action against councillors who engage in misconduct so the public can have confidence in the people they elect to represent them.” The independent review will examine the effectiveness of penalties available to councils, the Office of Local Government and the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal as a deterrent to councillor bad behaviour. It will also examine the processes for making code of conduct complaints, the timeliness of disciplinary action, and misconduct frameworks in other jurisdictions. The terms of reference for the independent review can be found on the Office of Local Government website at https://www.olg.nsw.gov.au/. Badly behaved councillors are set to face stricter penalties under a review of the State’s councillor Code of Conduct. Photo: Emma Darbin.