Hush-hush brush-off at Vincent

ALL meetings between councillors and big developers must be declared on a register says Vincent mayor John Carey.

Meanwhile, CEO Len Kosova is moving to end the stream of gifts and hospitality freebies that have traditionally flowed to council staff.

Mr Carey says the moves demonstrate his council’s commitment to transparency and have not been sparked by any particular problem with the current system.

“With this new council and mayor, we are really trying to change the culture of our council and lift the standards,” he says. “We want to make sure that residents can see clear transparency in our decision-making.

“Often you will get contentious developments,” Mr Carey says, especially as density pressures see big flat blocks or small bars creep into residential areas, and “this ensures there’ll be no perception issues” about who’s met with who.

Mr Carey says it’s not unusual for him to meet with developers to discuss their projects and ensure they’re communicating with neighbours, but he ensures senior planning staff are always present.

The mayor would also like to see developers banned from donating to candidates, but says that’s something for the state government to sort out.

by DAVID BELL

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