Alleged Council misconduct referred to Minister’s office
A discussion set to take place behind closed doors at today’s (January 20) general South Burnett Regional Council meeting was referred to the Minister for local government Steven Miles after six of the seven councillors declared conflicts of interest in voting on the motion.
Councillors Danita Potter, Gavin Jones, Scott Henschen and Roz Frohloff all declared conflicts of interest due to being a party to a complaint and petition regarding the alleged inappropriate councillor conduct complaint investigation.
Councillor Kathy Duff and Mayor Brett Otto both declared conflicts of interest to the matter due to previous complaints lodged against them.
As a result Councillor Kirstie Schumacher was the only Councillor able to vote on the matter, which under the local governments act left two options, according to South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt.
“Given the nature of this matter, it’s proposed to utilize section 150EU2 of the Local Government Act where the local government must do one of the following,” CEO Pitt said.
“Part B is decided by resolution to further the matter to a later meeting. Part 4 of that, a Councillor does not convene the act, I’ll paraphrase down, by seeking the resolution to be referred to the Minister, so all councillors with a conflict are eligible to pass the matter on.
“The other option is to delegate the matter, in this circumstance it’s probably the recommended option from myself to refer to the Minister and get his ruling.”
The motion was moved unanimously.
The council did not discuss any details relating to the complaint, nor did it outline the accusations or who the complaint was made against.