Code of conduct censures

Blue Mountains Greens councillor Kerry Brown will contest a code of conduct breach of the Local Government Act.

Cr Brown claims she was found in breach of the Act under the councillors code of conduct by "secret legal advice" that she and another councillor "have never seen and never been able to challenge".

Cr Brown outside the shut Katoomba Tip in 2017.

Cr Brown outside the shut Katoomba Tip in 2017.

Cr Kerry Brown: Cited for breaches relating to failing to return sensitive documents about asbestos.

Cr Kerry Brown: Cited for breaches relating to failing to return sensitive documents about asbestos.

The Ward 1 councillor failed to return sensitive documents relating to council's alleged asbestos mismanagement and is now seeking a review by the Office of Local Government of this and other code of conduct findings against her.

“I and at least one of the councillors who voted on the censure motion were refused access to the legal advice that's the basis of the finding," Cr Brown claimed. “Even the reviewer was not allowed to see the full advice”.

Greens NSW Local Government spokesman David Shoebridge has called the whole process "a farce".

"This is a case of … a lack of basic procedural fairness. No councillor should ever be found guilty of a breach of the code … on the basis of legal advice they have never seen and never been able to challenge.

"It makes the whole process a farce when the reviewer finds a councillor guilty of a breach, and does so on advice they have never even read."

Cr Brown said her own legal advice, provided to the reviewer, explained she was entitled to keep copies of the reports to fulfil her obligations.

She said the documents were a critical part of understanding the ongoing investigations into council by SafeWork NSW, the Environmental Protection Agency, the public inquiry and Minister’s Performance Improvement Order.

“I have refused to return these ... because I am not capable of memorising such a mass of material."

When asked about the secrecy allegations, a council spokeswoman said it was now under the jurisdiction of the Office of Local Government.

"Confidentiality requirements are set by the code of conduct ... with which council must comply. For these reasons, the council is not in a position to comment."