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No conflict here

SCOUT’S HONOUR: Ipswich councillor David Pahlke was required to declare he used to be a scout to rule out possible conflicts of interest.
SCOUT’S HONOUR: Ipswich councillor David Pahlke was required to declare he used to be a scout to rule out possible conflicts of interest. David Nielsen

IPSWICH councillors are complaining of being hamstrung by measures requiring them to list potential conflicts of interest.

Under the Local Government Act, a councillor has a conflict of interest if their decisions are, or may be seen to be, influenced by their personal interests.

Ipswich councillors argue the Act goes too far, requiring them to divulge personal relationships, their religion, memberships of community groups and details of their spouses and children.

The Act was amended last year by the LNP Government but Ipswich councillors say, while they generally support the process, it is still unwieldy.

Cr David Pahlke said he had to declare that 50 years ago he was a boy scout.

"How far do you go?," Cr Pahlke said.

"I got a couple of free drinks and a ticket to a Jets football game seven years ago. Is that a conflict?

"What we need is clear guidelines and examples of what you can declare."

Acting Local Government Minister Jarrod Bleijie said there were substantial changes to the Act in 2012 as a result of the Minister's listening tour.

"The provisions around a conflict of interest (COI) and a material personal interest (MPI) have been much simpler for following the amendments," Mr Bleijie said.

Topics:  conflict of interest, ipswich city council


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