Property developer ban announced at Top Ryde

The campaign to keep property developers out of local government politics was launched at Top Ryde City last Friday by NSW Shadow Minister for Local Government Peter Primrose MLC.

Mr Primrose told The Weekly Times that a Foley Labor Government will pass laws to ban property developers and real estate agents from standing as candidates for councillor jobs because “the conflicts of interests” are too great.

“This is part of Labor’s plan to stamp out corruption or the perception of corruption in local government decision making,” he said.

Mr Primrose also said a ban would prevent scandals such as the one linked to former Auburn Mayor and property developer Salim Mehajer who has been accused of profiting from knowledge of the local property market gained during his role on council.

“This will be seen as nothing less than making a big profit out of being a councillor,” Mr Primrose said.

Labor has unsuccesfully attempted to push the proposed ban through NSW Parliament and Mr Primrose admits it will take a change of government.

He also concedes the issue has undermined Labor crewdibility in the past.

“The Liberals have shown that they have not learned the same hard lessons that Labor has learned,” he said.

“The Liberals have refused to support any legislation to draw a line under the corruption and perceptions of corruption that have bedevilled local government for decades.”

Labor Candidate for Ryde, Jerome Laxale was at Friday’s launch and said property developers and real estate agents should not determine planning matters on Ryde City Council.

“The conflict of interest is too great,” he said.

Ryde Labor Candidate Jerome Laxale and NSW Shadow Minister for Local Government Peter Primrose MLC launched a campaign to ban property developers as councillors at Top Ryde last Friday.