Labor push to stop developers, real estate agents from being councillors

Macarthur is one of NSW's fastest growing regions.

Macarthur is one of NSW's fastest growing regions.

The Labor party is expected to introduce proposed laws which would ban property developers and real estate agents being elected as councillors.

The party will introduce the proposal to the NSW Legislative Council this week.

The Bill, Local Government Amendment (Disqualification from Civic Office) Bill 2020, was drafted by Campbelltown MP and opposition spokesman for local government Greg Warren.

Mr Warren said he hoped the law would be enacted in time for the forthcoming local government elections in September.

"It's been Labor's policy for years to ban property developers and real estate agents from being elected to NSW councils," he said.

"Labor partnered with the local government sector and we even tried to work with the Liberals and Nationals to get it done, but in 2017 Ms Berejiklian directed her Liberal and National mates to vote against these draft laws.

"These changes must be enforced well before the September local government elections otherwise it proves these mooted changes are nothing but a desperate publicity stunt from a government with zero conviction."

Camden MP Peter Sidgreaves said he agreed that developers should not be elected to local councils.

"I do not support property developers standing for or being elected as councillors," he said.

"I do support real estate agents standing for or being elected as councillors so long as they excuse themselves from the debate and from voting where they have a non-pecuniary or pecuniary interest on items before council.

"This includes council meetings and workshops (briefings).

"During my time on Camden Council there has been a real estate agent elected as a councillor who proved to be a real asset for the community as they had extensive experience in many other matters before council".

Opposition treasurer Walt Secord said the law would ensure communities could trust their elected representatives.

"Communities expect the highest level of accountability and integrity from their councillors and mayors," he said.

"This is the government's chance to put up or shut up when it comes to ensuring transparency and community trust in local government."

The Advertiser has reached out to Camden MP Peter Sidgreaves for comment.