Openly gay Liberal and City of Sydney councillor Shayne Mallard is facing a call to resign over claims of a conflict of interest on development applications.
The call comes from Andrew Woodhouse, president of the Potts Point and Kings Cross Heritage Conservation Society, in response to information identified by the Greens’ Democracy4Sale project.
“[That] Cr Shayne Mallard … has allegedly breached both council’s own code of conduct and the NSW Department of Local Government code by accepting personal donations and then voting on DAs is of serious concern,” Woodhouse said.
“We believe Mallard should resign or immediately step down pending an inquiry into his activities.”
In 2008 and 2009 donations totalling $11,000 were made to Mallard’s election campaign by hotelier George Thomas through three separate companies, making Thomas Mallard’s largest donor for that period.
However, when development applications for two hotels owned by Thomas, the Gaelic Club and Aurora Hotel, came before council, Mallard voted on both.
The NSW Department of Local Government code and City of Sydney Council code of conduct both require councillors with a non-pecuniary interest to absent themselves from a vote.
Mallard originally contested the conflict, telling Central magazine the donations were made to the Liberal Party, so the matter was open to interpretation.
However, Mallard recorded the donations as personal with the Electoral Funding Authority, and now concedes he is in breach of the code.
“The issue is not that I didn’t declare an interest, it is that I declared the wrong type of interest in the hierarchy of interests outlined in the code of conduct,” Mallard told Sydney Star Observer.
“I did not actively participate in the debate on these applications and subsequently the matter was unanimously approved by the council.
Woodhouse has complained to council via email, however, a spokesperson for the City of Sydney told SSO that complaints needed to be received by the council’s CEO in a written letter before steps could be taken.
“Once a formal complaint has been lodged, Cr Mallard should stand aside until the investigation is completed,” Democracy4Sale’s Dr Norman Thompson told Sydney Star Observer.

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