Tasmanian councils have expressed their collective dismay at the local government code of conduct system, with a majority voting in favour of a no confidence motion that calls on Local Government Minister Mark Shelton to make urgent changes.
Under the current system councils are paying thousands of rate-payer dollars to investigate complaints and adhere to the process, but ultimately most of the complaints are dismissed.
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A vote was held at the Local Government of Tasmania's general meeting on Thursday which declared that LGAT has "no confidence in the Local Government Code of Conduct Process and calls on the Minister for Local Government to urgently take a more active role in resolving the issues".
The no confidence motion, brought forward by Kingborough Council mayor Dean Winter received 51 votes in favour, two voted against, and another three votes abstained.
Burnie City Council mayor Steve Kons said the debate at the general meeting highlighted that "this thing needs to be killed off".
"When you are getting voting results like this it shows that no-one is happy with the process and reveals just how flawed it is," Mr Kons said.
"The entire local government sector is telling them that the process is complete rubbish.
The entire local government sector is telling them that the process is complete rubbish.Burnie mayor Steve Kons
"It shows what a terrible piece of legislation it is when government has to keep coming back time and time again to try and fix it, moving away from the subjective elements it used to have."
Figures from the Local Government Division revealed that the code of conduct panel received 57 complaints from March 2017 to March 2020. Of these complaints 25 were dismissed and 32 were either upheld or partially upheld.
Dorset mayor Greg Howard has been subject to five code of conduct complaints since his time as a mayor with just one complaint upheld.
A further seven complaints were investigated against Dorset with a bill totalling almost $40,000.