Council cleared on corruption but needs to 'lift its game'
AN investigation into complaints against Tweed Shire Council by the area's biggest developer Leda Developments has found no corrupt conduct or code of conduct breaches surrounding the multi-million dollar Kings Forest and Cobaki housing developments.
But council staff have recommended that $30,000 be spent in the 2013/14 budget to implement the review's 19 recommendations which include improving the way council handles complaints particularly in regard to major developments.
Council's Acting General Manager, Troy Green, said "management had commissioned the review in good faith and was committed to implementing its recommendations", in a statement released on Tuesday. "The recommendations aim to facilitate a better working relationship between both Council and LEDA and we look forward to making changes to improve that relationship," Mr Green said.
But Leda regional manager Reg van Rij said this review's terms of reference did not extend to the issues raised by their latest code of conduct complaint lodged on September 4 as revealed by The Daily News on Saturday.
This fresh complaint was based on documents obtained by the company under the Government Information Public Access Act which Mr van Rij said were "very alarming".
Mr van Rij said these documents also shed further light on the dramatic sacking of former general manager David Keenan in March that the public would find disturbing.
Independent consultants SINC Solutions were engaged by council in June 2013 to investigate complaints lodged by Leda Developments about the accuracy and balance of council's assessment of Kings Forest development between Kingscliff and Cabarita Beach and Cobaki at Tweed Heads.
They were also asked to identify the circumstances that have caused the breakdown in the relationship between council and Leda.
A copy of the SINC report has been sent to the Division of Local Government but it has not yet been made public.
However, council staff have provided an overview of the findings in council's business papers and in a press release.
The author of the SINC report is expected to address council at Thursday's monthly meeting at the Murwillumbah Cultural and Civic Centre which starts at 4.45pm.