Salim Mehajer's grandiose wedding in 2015 brought the propriety of having property developers on local councils into sharp focus.
Since then, measures have been introduced to restrict the influence of real estate agents and property developers on local councils, but Labor shadow minister for local government, Peter Primrose, says more is required.
As the law currently stands, council decisions on planning applications in which councilors, general managers or their family members have a financial interest must be made independently of the council.
Primrose wants to take the restrictions further. He has tabled a bill into parliament that allows real estate agents and developers to run for council, but if they are elected they are not permitted to take up their places on the council unless they relinquish their property careers for the duration of their term.
Primrose hopes the government will support the bill.
Primrose told ABC Radio, "I've been travelling up and down the breadth of NSW for the last couple of years, and most people already assume that real estate agents and property developers shouldn't be on local councils, and they're quite stunned when you tell them that they are, and they're continuing to make decisions."
"I certainly think it's a worthwhile thing to try and tackle," Professor Roberta Ryan, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at the University of Technology Sydney, told ABC Radio.
It's important for local council to have the support of the community, she said, adding that residents expect high standards from their council members, she said.
But Ryan said, "there are boundary issues in this, in respect of who might fall into this legislation," explaining that it could be hard to define who is a property developer.
Primrose said property developers are already defined in legislation aimed at banning donations.
"Communities want confidence in councils," said Ryan.
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