Sunday, 7 March 2010

Code of Conduct complaint should be summarily dismissed

Newcastle Greens
7 March 2010

Newcastle Greens Councillor Michael Osborne today has submitted a 6-page submission on why a Code of Conduct complaint against him should be summarily dismissed.

“The complaint against me alleges that I breached Newcastle Council’s Code of Conduct by participating in a climate change demonstration in December last year,” Councillor Michael Osborne said.

“This complaint is an abuse of the Code of Conduct. It attempts to stifle basic rights of citizenship, imposes an unnecessary cost on Newcastle ratepayers, costs councillors and the council valuable time, and risks bringing the Code of Conduct itself, and those who misuse it in this way, into disrepute,” Councillor Osborne said.

“The Code of Conduct makes it clear that the section of the Code referred to in the complaint was intended to apply to council officials who are “carrying out [their] functions”, rather than to conduct that is not associated with the carrying out of council functions.

“My involvement in the demonstration that is the subject of the complaint was in my capacity as an individual citizen in a public interest demonstration against government inaction on Climate Change. I was one of a large number of other such citizens (including a Buddhist priest and an 86 year old man) who participated in a demonstration that did not involve Newcastle Council, and was unrelated to any council function.

Councillor Osborne said he still did not know who lodged the complaint, and was still waiting for a copy of the original complaint.

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