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Arthur Moses SC’s independent review of the investigation into allegations concerning the Mayor of Canterbury-Bankstown, Council staff and its processes has been released.
A copy of the reports will be provided to ICAC and the Minister for Local Government.
The Investigation, which was led by Ms Kath Roach of SINC Solutions looked into allegations made under parliamentary privilege by Ms Tania Mihailuk MP and Ms Wendy Lindsay MP and related to planning matters between 2009-2022.
The three-month Investigation involved questioning of the Mayor Khal Asfour and Council staff and reviewing thousands of pages of documentation.
Ms Lindsay MP and Ms Mihailuk MP were each invited to provide information about their allegations to the Investigation but did not do so. The Investigation could not compel them to provide any information and had to rely on them as public officials agreeing to provide information about the allegations.
The review makes no findings about their use of parliamentary privilege to make allegations but focuses on the allegations which were made.
Mr Moses was asked to review the SINC Solutions investigation to ascertain whether there was any evidence of any unlawful, or corrupt conduct by any elected official, or Council employees. He also examined whether there were any breaches under Council’s Code of Conduct or the Local Government Act.
Key findings include:
In concluding, Mr Moses found the evidence presented showed that Mayor Asfour had diligently fulfilled his obligations under the Code of Conduct. He said the allegations had regrettably cast a shadow over the entire Council.
Mr Moses said it was a matter for individual members of Parliament to determine what is raised under Parliamentary privilege but noted and agreed with comments made in a different context in a recent report by the Chief Commissioner of ICAC the Hon. John Hatzistergos AM.
Mr Hatzistergos AM reminded candidates for the upcoming State election they should act properly in making referrals to the Commission and that investigations into allegations of corrupt conduct are rarely assisted by premature publicity.
Arthur Moses SC’s review and the SINC Solutions report and supporting documentation are available online at cb.city/MosesReview from 4pm.
11/01/2023 9:48 AM