Election funding review



THE majority of Tweed Shire councillors have backed a bid to overhaul local government election-funding rules.

The move is seen to address problems such as conflict of interest arising from electoral donations in local government.

An eight-page submission put up by Cr Henry James on proposed reforms to election funding rules is to be sent to a working group of the Local Government and Shires Association looking into the issue, which will make recommendations to the NSW government.

Councillors backed the move 8-3 (Crs Bob Brinsmead, Lynne Beck and John Murray against).

The submission notes that conflict of interest arising from electoral donations is a systemic problem for local government throughout NSW.

"The influence of the development industry has gained with electoral donations now completely disproportionate in some local-government areas," the submission said.

Cr James said the present system of disclosure of donations was not working and he preferred councillors to be forced to declare any contributors to their campaign, including those through third parties.

Cr Beck said the developers were not the only ones giving big donations, as others such as the union movement also contributed to campaigns. Cr Brinsmead said the issue had to be dealt with at all levels of government.



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