Register of Pecuniary Interest

The Local Government Act 1993 provides for the management of pecuniary interests. It places specific obligations on councillors, council delegates, key council staff and other people involved in making decisions or giving advice on Council matters to act honestly and responsibly in carrying out their functions.

The Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest Returns is in compliance with Clause 4.21 of the Code of Conduct:

A councillor or designated person must make and lodge with the Chief Executive Officer a return, disclosing the councillor’s or designated person’s interests as specified in Schedule 1 of the Code of Conduct within three months after:
a) becoming a councillor or designated person, and
b) 30 June of each year, and
c) the councillor or designated person becoming aware of an interest they are required to disclose under Schedule 1 that has not been previously disclosed in a return lodged under sub-clauses 4.21 (a) or (b).

Information contained in returns made and lodged under clause 4.21 of the Code of Conduct is to be made publicly available in accordance with the requirements of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, the Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2009 and any guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner.

The Information and Privacy Commission Guideline 1 Returns of Interests advises that councillors and designated persons returns of interest must be made publicly available free of charge on council’s website.

Section 14 of the GIPA Act 2009 lists as a consideration against disclosure the fact that information may reveal someone’s personal information, or would contravene an information privacy principle under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW).

An individual has a right to protect the privacy of their personal information.  Given the amount of personal information that may be contained in the returns, special care will be taken to protect this right. Individual returns will be made available upon request at no charge.

The type of matter which might be redacted from a return in these circumstances will vary depending on the public interest considerations applied.  However, examples might include the signature or residential address of the individual making the return.

Releasing the information contained in the returns of councillors and designated persons in this manner facilitates the legitimate public interest in having access to the information, while respecting other considerations against disclosure including privacy.