Ban developer donations

By LUIS FELIU

A PROPOSED statewide charter to compel candidates standing for future election to Tweed Shire and other NSW councils to refuse any donation from property developers was urgently needed, according to a Tweed councillor.

Cr Max Boyd said the charter, recently adopted by Manly council and the Local Govern- ment Association conference, would "stop conjecture in the Tweed about the propriety of the six majority councillors voting on issues involving companies which supplied them with campaign funds".

Cr Boyd moved at this week's council meeting for the Manly council's Charter of Political Reform to be considered at the Shires Division of NSW A division annual meeting in February next year at Casino.

If the shires association also adopted it at its annual conference next year, Cr Boyd said, pressure would mount for the State government to adopt it as a matter of policy for all NSW councils.

The charter comes as the State government confirmed it was concerned about a whole range of decisions made by Tweed Shire Council since the March election which saw candidates sympathetic to developer and business interests each receive tens of thousands of dollars of developer-funded donations.

Local Government Minister Tony Kelly's spokesperson said his department was looking at a range of decisions (by Tweed council) to see if any further investigation was required.

Cr Boyd said if the govern- ment adopted the regulations, it would put a stop to developer donations and the "sorry state of affairs in the Tweed".

Under the proposed charter, candidates will have to publicly commit to refuse developer donations and compelled to declare any donation over $500 during an election campaign.

A list of all donations would also be posted at every polling booth in the electorate.



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