Following a spirited debate on whether developers should be banned from running in local government elections, Wagga's councillors have requested clarification on the exact definition of a developer by 2024.
On Monday, a report was put forward by councillor Tim Koschel in which he called for council to write a letter to the Minister and Shadow Minister of Local Government in support of banning developers and their close associates from running for council.
Cr Koschel said this was off the back of concerns from members of the community and his own worries that developers have too many conflicts of interest.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The report proved divisive, with Cr Rod Kendall arguing those experienced in developments bring invaluable experience and knowledge to councils - and that the current protocols for conflicts of interest are adequate.
Cr Kendall also suggested people who are not developers could find themselves categorised as such due to the current vague definition.
Eventually Cr Dallas Tout suggested the original motion be scrapped and for council to instead send a letter to relevant ministers and the Member for Wagga, urging "in the strongest possible terms" for clarification on the legislative position of the state government in regards to developers and their close associates.
Councillors Kendall, Koschel, Pascoe, Tout and Conkey supported the amendment replacing the original motion and then all present councillors voted in support of the motion.
Cr Koschel said he was "quite pleased" with the amendment and the debate that was had on the topic.
"As you can see from the quite heated and personal debate, the definition of what a property developer is is probably the root cause of the problem which we need to deal with before we can talk about banning anyone," Cr Koschel said.
Cr Kendall also welcomed the amendment and said it would hopefully provide clarity for future councillors.
"The current definition is open to significant interpretation and it results in a person like myself being a developer by definition for a six-month period and then suddenly no longer being under that definition," Cr Kendall said.
"I think that is really difficult for the general public to understand and it's really difficult for the elected officials to understand as well and that was shown by the debate [on Monday night]."
Cr Dan Hayes had spoken out in support of the call to ban developers and said he wasn't sure if the debate achieved much.
Council will send an email to the relevant ministers outlining its concerns and requesting a detailed response by the 2024 local government elections.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.