Councillor’s conflict of interest at a meeting

A councillor at a meeting has a conflict of interest in the matter (the real conflict of interest) or could reasonably be taken to have a conflict of interest in the matter (the perceived conflict of interest).

A conflict of interest is a conflict between a councillor’s personal interests, and the public interest, that might lead to a decision that is contrary to the public interest.

A councillor does not have a conflict of interest in a matter merely because of an engagement with a community group, sporting club or similar organisation undertaken by the councillor in his or her capacity as a councillor, or membership of a political party, or membership of a community group, sporting club or similar organisation if the councillor is not an office holder for the group, club or organisation, or the councillor’s religious beliefs, or the councillor having been a student of a particular school or the councillor’s involvement with a school as parent of a student at the school, or if the councillor has no greater personal interest in the matter than that of other persons in the local government area.

The councillor must deal with the real conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest in a transparent and accountable way. The councillor must inform the meeting of the councillor’s personal interests in the matter and if the councillor participates in the meeting in relation to the matter, how the councillor intends to deal with the real or perceived conflict of interest.

The following must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting, and on the local government’s website:
(a) the name of the councillor who has the real or perceived conflict of interest;
(b) the nature of the personal interest, as described by the councillor;
(c) how the councillor dealt with the real or perceived conflict of interest;
(d) if the councillor voted on the matter—how the councillor voted on the matter.

(See Section 173 of the Local Government Act 2009)

Councillor’s material personal interest at a council meeting

A councillor has a material personal interest in the matter if any of the following persons stands to gain a benefit, or suffer a loss, (either directly or indirectly) depending on the outcome of the consideration of the matter at the meeting:
(a) the councillor;
(b) a spouse of the councillor;
(c) a parent, child or sibling of the councillor;
(d) a partner of the councillor;
(e) an employer (other than a government entity) of the councillor;
(f) an entity (other than a government entity) of which the councillor is a member;
(g) another person prescribed under a regulation.

The councillor must:
(a) inform the meeting of the councillor’s material personal interest in the matter; and
(b) leave the meeting room (including any area set aside for the public), and stay out of the meeting room while the matter is being discussed and voted on.

The following information must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting, and on the local government’s website:
(a) the name of the councillor who has the material personal interest, or possible material personal interest, in a matter;
(b) the nature of the material personal interest, or possible material personal interest, as described by the councillor.

(See Section 172 of the Local Government Act 2009)