Murray Shire Council is set to have continuing issues with more accusations of conflict of interests.RUTH CLAYTON October 8, 2012 5:11am
Despite Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich saying on Tuesday Maiden Smith Drive Estate planning decisions were ‘‘done and dusted’’, conflict of interest accusations look set to continue.
At Tuesday’s council meeting, Cr Gavin Burke asked council to launch an investigation into Cr Brian Sharp due to a perceived conflict of interest.
Cr Burke, who before becoming a councillor was outspoken on Maiden Smith Drive issues, referred to a trip to Sydney made by Cr Sharp with former councillor Di Macfarlane, who owns property in the estate.
The Riv reported in February Mrs Macfarlane made the trip to lobby the NSW Government to change council’s decision on Maiden Smith Drive Estate lot sizes.
Cr Sharp revealed on Tuesday his flights were paid for by Mrs Macfarlane, but maintained he did not have a conflict of interest.
Cr Sharp said his trip to Sydney was ‘‘not paid for by council and had nothing to do with council’’.
‘‘Never once was councillor Macfarlane’s property in question,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t think this is council business, if Mr Burke wants to put in a complaint about me, he can write a complaint to the relevant authorities.’’
Cr Weyrich said he did not know if the council had any powers to undertake an investigation.
‘‘Cr Burke, I would suggest if you’re not happy with the explanation
The Riv reported on Friday former Murray Shire mayor Graeme Shiells believed Cr Burke should not have been able to sit in on council discussion regarding Maiden Smith Drive planning issues.
‘‘Cr Burke has prejudged the issue of Maiden Smith Drive and is unlikely to provide a balanced view or any consideration of an opposing view,’’ Mr Shiells said.
Mr Shiells also owns property in the Maiden Smith Drive Estate and, while a councillor, excluded himself from discussions and voting relevant to the issue of minimum lot sizes.
Before becoming a councillor, Cr Burke assisted and gave advice to a Maiden Smith Drive Estate resident.
He denied he had a conflict of interest as a councillor.
Interestingly, Cr Sharp agreed Cr Burke’s conscience should be clear.
‘‘I certainly have no problem with councillor Burke being in here today
‘‘He (Cr Burke) was rightful in doing what he was doing and I was rightful in doing what I was doing.’’
Hafizullah Mohaqiq was born in Afghanistan, spent periods living in Pakistan and Iran, before arriving in Shepparton two months ago.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The Fairley Leadership Program met in Tatura on Wednesday, exploring ‘Water and our catchment’ at Goulburn Murray Water.
Road authorities have made little progress to fixing Echuca’s most dangerous intersections.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.