Annie Vickers not in breach of Local Government Act

By Lachlan Durling

AN INVESTIGATION has found Campaspe Shire councillor Annie Vickers was not in breach of the Local Government Act after allegedly failing to declare conflicts of interest.

The matter was discussed at the most recent council meeting after the Local Government Inspectorate found Cr Vickers did not break the law while discussing the Echuca Riverfront Development on two occasions and the Echuca Moama Alliance Working Group.

Earlier this year, Cr Vickers was found to be in breach of the Local Government Act for failing to disclose conflicts of interest on two occasions in 2018, relating to her interest in Wistaria Tea Rooms while discussing the Port of Echuca.

The tea rooms was a council-owned building leased to Vickers’ domestic partner, trading as Wistaria Tea Rooms, in which Cr Vickers had a ‘substantial interest’.

That breach was related to information sessions, where no formal decisions regarding the future of the Port were made.

However, the two allegations in the most recent case, in June 2019 at a briefing session and at the July 2019 council meeting, were found to not be breaches.

“It is important that councillors are held to a high account, and this shows that standard” Cr Kristen Munro said.

“Different people have different perceptions of when councillors have conflicting duties.”