Con­flict of in­ter­est pool claim

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROBERT MUIR

The va­lid­ity of cur­rent Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil deputy mayor Shaun Whitechurch vot­ing in re­spect of a new Corowa Swim­ming Pool at coun­cil’s lat­est monthly meet­ing, on May 15, has been ques­tioned by for­mer Corowa Shire Mayor Gary Poidevin OAM.

“I just want to en­sure fair play,” Mr Poidevin told The Free Press.

“Coun­cil­lors are re­spon­si­ble to the com­mu­nity and they need to make sure, be­fore they par­tic­i­pate in any­thing, there is not a con­flict of in­ter­est between them and em­ployer, or fam­ily be­fore tak­ing part in the de­ci­sion,” he said.

Mr Poidevin claims Cr Whitechurch has a con­flict of in­ter­est or pe­cu­niary in­ter­est, say­ing the coun­cil­lor is a mem­ber of an in­vest­ment group want­ing to lease land near the swim­ming pool site to con­struct a fun park with water slides.

As re­ported in The Free Press at the time, the pro­posal was given ap­proval-in-prin­ci­ple by Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil Ad­min­is­tra­tor Mike Eden in April 2017 prior to the first elected Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil.

Mr Poidevin has writ­ten to Mem­ber for Albury Greg Aplin, NSW Lo­cal Govern­ment Min­is­ter Gabrielle Up­ton and the Of­fice of Lo­cal Govern­ment seek­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tion as to whether Cr Whitechurch has a con­flict of in­ter­est, “whether the new pool could have a fi­nan­cial im­pact on what the in­vest­ment group has done, has pur­chased or has pro­posed for the fu­ture”.

“In my opin­ion, there is def­i­nitely a con­flict of in­ter­est,” Mr Poidevin said.

“He should not have voted on the new (50m out­door) pool. He should not have been in the cham­ber dur­ing dis­cus­sion of the topic and there­fore should not have been able to move the mo­tion (for the 50m out­door pool).”

Vot­ing on the mo­tion to build a new 50m out­door pool with fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion for a 25m heated in­door pool was 5:4 in favour af­ter more spir­ited de­bate among coun­cil­lors. The four coun­cil­lors against the mo­tion wanted no fur­ther de­lay with more in­ves­ti­ga­tions and wanted a 25m heated in­door pool, not the 50m out­door pool.

Cr Whitechurch said he has not been no­ti­fied by any­one on the mat­ter.

“I’d as­sume they’d con­tact me if there was any­thing in it,” he told The Free Press.

“Un­til I hear from them on what the com­plaint is, I can’t re­ally com­ment.”

Cr Shaun Whitechurch pic­tured speak­ing in sup­port of his mo­tion at the May 15 Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil meet­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.