Mick Henderson is reassessing plans to run for council after receiving advice that his position as Wagga Boat Club commodore could prevent him from voting on matters relating to Lake Albert.
Mr Henderson had initially planned to stand for Wagga City Council in order to help restore the lake, but was told his role at the boat club could constitute a conflict of interest.
At a candidate information session run by Local Government NSW, Mr Henderson was told that if he were to be elected he would have to declare his interest and abstain from voting on any Lake Albert-related matters.
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Mr Henderson said he does not get paid as the commodore and licensee of the boat club, but his involvement would still classify as a significant non-pecuniary interest.
He said he was outraged by the revelation, and would need some time to reconsider whether or not he was still in the running.
"I was just disgusted by it. I thought, here I am trying to do one thing for the community, and I'll lose the opportunity to do something else for the community," Mr Henderson said.
"There's been a lot of questions asked. I'm certainly not going to stand down from the boat club. It's not an easy choice."
Mr Henderson said that if he did run for council, there were plenty of other issues that "need fixing" that he would devote his energies towards.
A Wagga City Council spokesman said that councillors had a responsibility to identify their conflicts of interest, as outlined in the council code of conduct.
"A non-pecuniary conflict of interest exists where a reasonable and informed person would perceive that the person could be influenced by a private interest when carrying out their official functions in relation to a matter," the spokesman said.
"The onus is on the individual themselves to identify any non-pecuniary conflict of interest they may have in matters they deal with, to disclose the interest fully and in writing, and to take appropriate action to manage the conflict in accordance with the code of conduct."
The Daily Advertiser asked declared candidate Fiona Ziff whether she thought she had a conflict of interest when it came to voting on a North Wagga levee.
Ms Ziff, a North Wagga resident, has long been lobbying council to build a higher levee in order to protect their houses from flooding.
She dismissed the idea that it would constitute a conflict of interest.
"I live in North Wagga and I'm lobbying council to get adequate flood protection, and there's no conflict of interest if I'm on council," Ms Ziff said. "Quite often people go into politics because they're peeved off with what's going on. I'm interested in North Wagga being enhanced. I live here, but I've got to live somewhere."
Ms Ziff hit back at the suggestion that she would benefit from increased house prices as a result of the flood levee.
"For the North Wagga people [house prices] are the furthest thing from their mind," she said.
The Office of Local Government did not respond for comment.
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