Councillors to have more contact with developers

Vincent Mayor John Carey expects to be hit the hardest by Vincent⿿s new public register of councillors⿿ contact with developers.

Mr Carey said he meets many developers and the register would satisfy the community’s demand for more information about councillor conduct.

“We are trying to set a new culture and a new standard,” he said.

“Our community is expecting more, is demanding more.

“Of course that behaviour is always going to happen but this will get people thinking about their behaviour.”

Councillors voted not to send the proposal out for public consultation and will review the register after six months from its start date of July 1.

The policy will require councillors to record, in writing, every time they have contact with a developer, with the information then made available on the City’s website.

Councillor Roslyn Harley said there was no statutory reason the proposal had to go out for public comment.

“The burden is on us, not members of the public,” Cr Harley said.

“It’s a good policy to be bringing in. Perception is everything; it’s not about trying to catch people out.

“It is not wrong or unethical for councillors to have contact with developers, it’s about how you manage that contact.”

Cr Joshua Topelberg said he supported the intent of the register but was sceptical it would bring about any change.

“I don’t think it will feed any real change,” Cr Topelberg said.

“In order for it to be meaningful it has to have something behind it.

“But I think we are doing a good thing at large.”

Mr Carey said the register would make the Freedom of Information process quicker and easier.

“It will make that information readily available and easily accessible,” he said.