Code of conduct panel down to two
A MEMBER of Ballina Shire Council’s code of conduct panel has withdrawn from investigating a complaint against Cr Peter Moore, citing a ‘potential conflict of interest’.
The panel has been asked to review the complaint by the Ballina Environment Society against Cr Moore.
It stems from Cr Moore’s decision to vote on the ‘change of use’ application for the Ramada Hotel at the council’s December meeting.
Concerns have been raised that he should have declared a non-pecuniary interest based on a perceived relationship with Lennox Head developer Chris Condon.
It is a decision which Cr Moore stands by.
However at last month’s meeting he declined to vote on another of Mr Condon’s developments, saying he would wait for the result of the code of conduct investigation.
The council’s general manager Paul Hickey yesterday confirmed that David Wolff, a local solicitor, had stood aside from his role on the code of conduct panel.
“He has decided that there could be a potential conflict of interest concerning the Cr Moore case so he has withdrawn from investigating the matter,” he said.
“But he will resume his normal position on the panel once this matter has been dealt with.”
Mr Hickey said the remaining two members of the panel, Inspector Greg Moore from NSW Police and the council’s former general manager Gary Faulks, would continue with the investigation.
“I can ask one, two or all three of the panel members to review a complaint,” Mr Hickey said.
“In this case I had asked all three members to review the complaint against Cr Moore.
“But now that David has withdrawn, it will be left to the other two to make a decision.
“This won’t slow the process up at all.
“From what I can gather, the remaining two panel members are very keen to get this matter resolved as soon as possible.”
Mr Wolff could not be contacted for comment yesterday.
Another complaint which had been made against Cr Moore in relation to the Ramada issue has been dismissed by the Department of Local Government.