The following motion has been proposed for action by the Federation of Willoughby Progress Associations.
The background to this motion is the concerns expressed when two former senior staff of Council lodged a Planning Proposal for the over development of 688 – 692 Pacific Highway Chatswood.
At the nextt meeting of the Federation of Willoughby Progress Associations it is proposed that the Federation write to Council regarding perceived conflicts of interest with the process of handling applications/proposals from current and former members of Council staff and Councillors.
From time to time applications are submitted to Council where there may be a perceived conflict of interest. Such applications may be from current or past Council staff or Councilors. From a governance perspective, it is important that such matters are dealt with ‘at arms length’ and with a high level of transparency.
Council recently engaged with a Planning Proposal submitted by a company whose representatives were Council’s immediate past GM and Planning Director.
The current policy appears to be in such circumstances to engage external consultants to review the proposal. However, at the end of the day it is a Council Officer who makes the recommendation to Council and Councillors who have been extensively involved with the former staff who make the determination.
From a public perspective it seems like the application may be favourably (or otherwise) considered. Perhaps a scenario where the entire process is handled external to Council (e.g by another Council or ‘tribunal’ might be appropriate.
Requested action by Council: That Council undertake a public review of any policy dealing with matters as outlined above.