Kyogle councillors? interests under investigation


KYOGLE mayor Ernie Bennett and councillor Jim O'Neill have put their hands up as two of three Kyogle Shire Council members being investigated by the Department of Local Government.

Their admissions follow a complaint received by the department concerning the pecuniary interest obligations of three current Kyogle councillors.

Both councillors said they had nothing to hide.

"The issue is related to meetings in regard to concessional allotments across the shire," said Cr Bennett.

"They are policy issues and if we can't set policies, what's the point of being in government?"

Minister for Local Government Tony Kelly said the department had analysed the complaint and was currently making preliminary inquiries of the three councillors.

"I emphasise the complaint is unsubstantiated at this time, therefore, I do not propose to comment further on the matter," he said.

Cr O'Neill said he was shocked at receiving a registered letter explaining he was under investigation.

"I didn't think I had done anything to warrant this," he said.

Cr O'Neill said he had voted on concessional allotments at council meetings but had verbally declared his interest in the past.

All councillors, excluding Cr Bryan Hannigan who was not contactable yesterday, confirmed they were not under investigation.

Neither Crs Bennett or O'Neill would speculate on who made the complaint but both were annoyed they weren't approached in per- son.

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