A Campaspe Shire councillor breached the Local Government Act in failing to declare conflicts of interest, an investigation has determined.
The Local Government Inspectorate found there was evidence Cr Annie Vickers breached the Local Government Act in failing to disclose conflicts of interest on two occasions in 2018.
At a briefing session in May 2018, Cr Vickers did not disclose a conflict of interest nor leave when a matter regarding council-owned properties in the Port of Echuca precinct was considered.
This related to the business trading as Wistaria Tea Rooms, in which she was in partnership with her domestic partner.
A similar situation occurred in June 2018 at a planning consultation meeting regarding 1 Hopwood Place, Echuca, in the Port area.
The Inspectorate also found there was evidence Cr Vickers did not disclose in her ordinary returns dated January 2017, July 2017, and January 2018, her substantial interest in Wistaria Cafe.
The agency said this "might appear to raise a material conflict between her private interests and her public duty as a Councillor".
In written disclosures, Cr Vickers said she was a partner in Wistaria Cafe and had a business in the Port of Echuca area.
Wistaria was a council-owned property, leased to Cr Vickers' partner.
The Inspectorate has issued Cr Vickers with written warnings for two of the breaches, and advised her these warnings would be taken into account when deciding to prosecute her should she commit further breaches.
Allegations that Cr Vickers released confidential information to her partner, misused her position as councillor in using public funds or resources inappropriately, and failing to disclose her substantial interest in Wistaria Cafe in more recent ordinary returns, were not validated.
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In a separate investigation, the Inspectorate found there was insufficient evidence Cr Vickers had committed perjury by making false statements in a declaration dated February 2019.
The agency noted Cr Vickers' amended declaration, dated June 2019.
But the agency reported Cr Vickers' declarations were "largely countered by documentary evidence (including bank records and application made by her to Council) and evidence of witnesses".
The Bendigo Advertiser has contacted Cr Vickers for comment.
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