Returns of Interests

Part 4 of the Model Code  of conduct for Local Councils in NSW (2018) (Model Code) requires a Councillor or a designated person to complete and lodge with the General Manager a return disclosing his or her pecuniary interests. That return may contain personal information about each councillor and designated person, including his or her name, address and signature, as well as information about property and shareholdings, gifts received, debts owed, other sources of income, and positions held in a trade union or business or professional organisation. The form of the return is set out in Schedule 2 of the Model Code.

However, the returns may contain sensitive and personal information about the person concerned, and, potentially, about third parties such as family members, business associates and creditors. This is information which individuals may have concerns about disclosing publicly on a website and may object to publication following consultation under the GIPA Act.

Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Model Code sets out the matters that must be disclosed in the returns of interests in the following categories:

  • interests in real property: clauses 5 – 8
  • gifts: clauses  9-11
  • contributions to travel: clauses  12-14
  • interests and positions in corporations: clauses  15-18
  • interests as a property developer or a close associate of a property developer: clauses 19-20
  • positions in trade union and professional or business associations: clauses  21-22
  • dispositions of real property: clauses  23-25
  • sources of income: clauses  26-30
  • debts: clauses  31 – 33
  • discretionary disclosures: clause  34 (A person may voluntarily disclose in a return any interest, benefit, advantage or liability, whether pecuniary or not, that is not required to be disclosed under another provision of the Schedule).

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