Code of conduct passed

The Hepburn Shire councillor code of conduct was passed unanimously with no major changes at a special meeting last Tuesday.

Hepburn Shire governance and information coordinator Alex Dalgleish said councillors were comfortable with the state of the code of conduct given a more extensive evaluation process was undertaken in mid-2016.  

Meanwhile councillors in the Moorabool Shire will now be required to notify all council colleagues in the event of a dispute with another councillor following their special meeting on Wednesday night. 

The compulsory meeting which must be called within four months of local government elections requires all councillors to sign the councillor code of conduct.  

The amendment to the code, which requires all councillors as well as the mayor and chief executive officer to be notified in the instance of a dispute, was passed unanimously by the council. 

Moorabool deputy mayor Tonia Dudzik said she was supportive of the change as it added a further level of openness to council relationships. 

“I think it’s a good thing for transparency of the council,” Cr Dudzik said.  

First-term East Moorabool councillor Jarrod Bingham put forward two further amendments to the code of conduct, however both were voted down.  

The first sought to make unauthorised recording of a fellow councillor a breach, while the second sought to stop councillors from using a pseudonym on social media with the intent of bringing council or councillors into disrepute.  

Cr Bingham and fellow East Moorabool councillor John Keogh were the only two to support the amendments.

Cr Bingham said he questioned why fellow councillors refused to accept the amendments given they were designed to improve council transparency. 

“I'm disappointed at the result that occurred because a key point I made throughout my entire election is that I would fight for a more transparent council."