To be as transparent as possible to the community in Council's decision making processes, Elected Members must lodge with the Council a complete and accurate primary return of their interests at the commencement of their term in office, and then annually via an ordinary return.
An "interest" is a stake or involvement in an undertaking, especially a financial one, that each Elected Member, or a person related to them, may have.
Elected Members must update their returns within a month of any changes to their interests.
In addition to registering these interests with Council, the following extract of those interests must be published on Council's website in accordance with section 70(a1) of the Local Government Act 1999:
- Elected Members' income sources or employer,
- the name of any political party, any body or association formed for political purposes or any trade or professional organisation of which the Elected Member is a member, and
- any gifts of $750 or above received by the Elected Member, or a person related to them, during the return period (other than from a person related by blood or marriage).
There are penalties for the publishing or commenting on the above information, unless:
- the information derived from the Register consitutes a fair and accurate summary and is published in the public interest; and
- the comment is fair and published in the public interest and without malice.