Neoh urges councillors to sign code of conduct

Mayor Michael Neoh has called for the remaining three councillors to add their names to the municipality's code of conduct.

Mayor Michael Neoh has called for the remaining three councillors to add their names to the municipality's code of conduct.

ALL seven of Warrnambool’s councillors have been urged to sign the municipality’s code of conduct by city mayor Michael Neoh.

Four signatures have been applied so far to the voluntary code with Cr Neoh calling for the remaining three councillors to add their names to the list.

The mayor appealed for all councillors to sign up at this week’s general council meeting, following division in council ranks since the 2012 municipal election.

“A code of conduct is part of the Local Government Act and some councils make their own adaptions,” Cr Neoh said.

“Overall, the intention is the same no matter which council you look at. It sends a message to the community that our council is committed to good governance, clearly addressing conflicts of interest and addressing inappropriate behaviour.”

Cr Peter Hulin said the code of conduct was merely symbolism and the mayor was making an issue out of his non-participation.

“Neoh should realise that signing a code of conduct means nothing,” Cr Hulin said.

“It’s just a symbolic act when in fact, as a councillor, you are bound to certain requirements of conduct anyway. Once again, it is an example of the disunity in the council and (the mayor) is using the code for his own ends.”

Cr Peter Sycopoulis said he too would not sign up because the push to sign the code had a hidden agenda.

“We as councillors are under no obligation to sign up and anyway, it is implied as councillors that we uphold the code anyway,” Cr Sycopoulis said.

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