Les is still waiting

COUNCILLOR Les MucKan is still taking part in chamber debates and voting even though he has walked out of council meetings twice in two weeks.

Mr MucKan says he is waiting for more clarification on his position as a councillor and “a conflict of interest and material personal interest” on both Native Title and cultural heritage issues.

He is still not certain whether his own indigenous status affects anything or everything he discusses and votes on within his council duties.

He said on Wednesday that both Crown land and council-owned land could fall into his perceived conflict of interest.

“This may have set a national precedent,” he said.

In an email on Tuesday to Mr MucKan, acting CEO Lisa Desmond said the initial advice she had received from the Local Government Association indicated the association did not believe there was a conflict of interest for the councillor.

“I must stress that this advice is not final and only relates to a ‘conflict of interest’ arising from you being a traditional land owner.

“Any other ‘conflict of interests’ under the definition of s173 (3) of the Act applies. i.e.: A conflict of interest is a conflict between a councillor’s personal interests (including personal interests arising from the councillor’s relationships or club memberships, for example). And the public interest, which might lead to a decision that is contrary to the public interest.

“As a councillor you must declare those conflict of interests as they arise.”

The council has engaged its lawyers, King and Co in Brisbane, to handle the matter.

“I’ve been receiving enormous support from across the community,” Mr MucKan said yesterday.

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