Liberal councillor’s non-disclosure to be examined

A Sydney Liberal councillor’s vote on a $26 million apartment development in which his son had recently purchased a unit is being examined by the Office of Local Government to determine if he breached disclosure laws.

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On Tuesday, Fairfax Media revealed Burwood councillor Tony Doueihi voted and did not declare an interest when the development came before a state government planning panel on which he sits.

Cr Doueihi also voted when the matter came before Burwood Council, despite rules stating councillors must leave the chamber if they or a relative has a pecuniary interest.

Property records show Phillip Doueihi purchased a two-bedroom apartment at 36-38 Victoria Street, Burwood, for $700,000 on May 28, 2015.

Cr Doueihi did not declare an interest and voted in favour when an application to add additional floor space in the development came before the Sydney East Joint Regional Planning Panel and then Burwood Council the following July.

The Local Government Act states councillors with a pecuniary interest, which extends to their relatives, must declare it and not participate in the vote.

Cr Doueihi, who is on the Liberal ticket for Strathfield Council at the September 9 local government elections, has refused to respond to questions on the matter.

A spokeswoman for the Office of Local Government said it “will consider any alleged breaches by councillors of their obligations to disclose pecuniary interests together with any supporting evidence”.

“However, it would not be appropriate for the office to publicly comment on its consideration of such matters.”

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