Most grumbles

Story appeared in: Review | June 8th, 2018

AUBURN was officially the most complained about council in NSW in 2015/16.
Annual figures released by Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton, show 225 complaints recorded against the Auburn Council in 2015/16, including 215 for misconduct.
She said the number of complaints - fuelled by the antics of former Deputy Mayor Salim Mehajer - contributed to the decision to suspend the council in February 2016 and appoint an administrator before launching a public inquiry which began in May.
However before the inquiry even began public hearings, Auburn was subsequently dissolved during the State Government's 2016 amalgamation of NSW councils, with Cumberland created through a merger with the neighbouring Holroyd Council and the Woodville Ward of Parramatta City Council.
By comparison, the new Cumberland Council didn't even make the top 20 for 2016/17, after racking up just 10 complaints.
The local drop is in line with a state-wide 44 per cent reduction in the number of complaints recorded against councils compared to the previous financial year.
"This decrease can be attributed to the NSW Government's action to deal with dysfunctional councils, introduction of measures to improve council performance, sustainability and integrity, and the creation of new councils in 2016," Ms Upton said.
"The Government has introduced tough new integrity measures to make sure people can have confidence in the people they elect to represent them."
Integrity measures include requiring council election candidates to disclose if they are a property developer, banning people from public office if they have been convicted of certain offences, and forcing councillors to hand over any financial benefit derived from a pecuniary interest.

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Publication: Review | Section: news | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 137781 | Viewcount: 3215