Australia: Council refers media leak of missing millions to ICAC

A Sydney council has asked the corruption watchdog to investigate the leaking of information to the media about millions of dollars in missing developer contributions.

But Georges River Council has stopped short of saying it asked ICAC to look into the actual missing millions.

In December, the Herald revealed that $4 million that was meant to have been paid by developers for the community’s benefit has been discovered missing from the coffers of Georges River Council after a secretive internal investigation.

According to a confidential report obtained by the Herald, the auditors uncovered widespread undercharging of developer contributions, that must be paid when a project is approved to fund essential community infrastructure, by the former Kogarah council.

The missing money was investigated by council auditors after Georges River absorbed Kogarah and Hurstville councils during the 2016 amalgamations.

Council papers show that in the wake of the Herald story, councillor Con Hindi put questions to the general manager, asking: “Has this matter been reported to ICAC as a result of the Herald article?”

The original full article can be found at smh.com.au

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