Developers and real estate agents would be banned from holding office under a three-point plan for local government reform put forward by NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley.

NSW Labor banned property developers from becoming candidates at a local, state and federal level in 2013.

It’s time for the NSW Government to follow suit and legislate to ban property developers and real estate agents from holding office at a local government level before next year’s council elections.

Mr Foley has also proposed:

  • A cap on political donations and campaign spending during council elections, with state level caps to serve as a starting point for the re-examination of caps on ward level expenditure; and
  • Popularly elected mayors for four years to end horse-trading between parties for the position and give local communities a say.

The NSW Government must also reverse its changes to section 451 of the Local Government Act, which allows councillors with a pecuniary interest to vote on planning controls where they could potentially benefit, as long as they declare their interest.

 Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

 “Any plan for local government reform needs to address these fundamental matters of integrity and transparency.”

 “Developers shouldn’t be sitting in judgement of their own developments at a local government level – the conflict of interest is just too great.”

 “It’s time we gave the community a voice and some certainty on their mayoral leadership, just as we should remove any undue influence from council elections with well overdue campaign finance reform.”