Council investigation begins

TWEED Heads Courthouse is expected to be packed today for the opening day of the public inquiry into Tweed Shire Council.

The inquiry, with the powers of a Royal Commission, is to be headed by University of Sydney Professor Maurie Daly and could take up to six months.

But today's hearing, which starts at 10am, is aimed at outlining the scope of the inquiry and is later expected to be adjourned until February when detailed evidence will be heard over three days a week.

NSW Minister for Local Government Tony Kelly put the spotlight squarely on Tweed council last month when he announced that it was under investigation.

Mr Kelly recently released details of how the investigation would be conducted, indicating that people giving evidence will be protected from defamation to encourage witnesses to speak out without fear of recrimination.

However, the information they provide must be relevant and not malicious.

Commissioner Daly has been appointed to investigate various issues including whether councillors have adequately, appropriately and reasonably carried out their responsibilities in the best interests of all ratepayers and residents free from conflicts of interest.

He will also investigate the appropriateness of the relationship between elected representatives and proponents of development in the council area and what influence, if any, developers have on council decisions.

For further information on the inquiry call 02 9289 4020 or email TweedInquiry@dlg.nsw.gov.au.



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