Ross St: no conflict for GM

LOCAL Government Minister Don Page says he has dismissed complaints about Ballina Shire Council general manager Paul Hickey over a potential conflict of interest in regard to the sale of council-owned land at Ross St in Lennox Head.

The council has resolved to sell the land to the North Coast Accommodation Trust for $1.3 million, which would allow the Lake Ainsworth Holiday Park to expand in the future.

But several complaints were made that Mr Hickey had a conflict of interest because he once owned property with NCAT administrator Jim Bolger.

At the last council meeting Mr Hickey admitted there could be a perceived conflict of interest and declared a non-significant, non-pecuniary conflict of interest in the matter.

But Mr Page said he had sought advice and believed there was no issue.

"There is no nexus between the land in Ross St and the property that was jointly owned by Mr Hickey and Mr Bolger," he said.

Mr Page said he had also heard complaints the Ross St land should be kept for the community.

But he said the NCAT had no drastic plans for the land.

"They won't build skyscrapers or anything like that," he said.

A community sit-in protest over the sale of the Ross St land will be held at the Lennox Head markets this Sunday at 11am.

Cr Jeff Johnson said the land should be classified as community land and should not be sold off to the State Government.



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