Both sides claim a ‘win’ after council investigation
BOTH Tweed Shire Council and the region's biggest developer are claiming they have been vindicated by the findings of an independent investigation conducted on their tumultuous relationship.
Council is keen to point out that no corrupt conduct was found by independent consultants SINC Solutions by staff or councillors assessing Leda Development's multi-million-dollar Kings Forest and Cobaki housing developments.
But Leda Developments claimed as a win a key recommendation that future "significant" complaints made against the council be investigated by an external party.
The SINC investigation was initiated by the council in June in response to complaints by Leda.
SINC was also asked to investigate what caused the breakdown in the relationship between the council and the company.
SINC's 151 findings have not been released to the public, but 19 recommendations have.
The council's acting general manager, Troy Green, said the council was committed to implementing the recommendations.
Leda regional manager Reg van Rij said an independent assessment of complaints "is all we have been seeking for years".
"If the council had adopted this sensible course of action when we first raised issues about the way our developments in the area were being treated, years of work and millions of dollars might have been saved," Mr van Rij said.
"While I haven't seen the actual report, I believe the recommendations validate our complaints that we have not been treated with fairness or justice.
But Mr van Rij said SINC's terms of reference did not extend to allegations of misconduct by officials which Leda has raised in its latest code of conduct complaint lodged with the council on September 4, as revealed by the Daily News last Saturday.
Councillors received a confidential briefing from the SINC report's author on Thursday.