TWO Gunnedah shire councillors will have to wait for a tribunal’s decision to see whether their suspensions from the council will be upheld.
In January, councillors Hans Allgayer and Steve Smith were suspended from their duties for one month, following revelations they had failed to declare interests in a possible mining development three years ago.
They lodged appeals against the suspensions and on March 4 travelled to Sydney for a special tribunal hearing into the matter.
Gunnedah mayor Owen Hasler said the tribunal had reserved its decision until a future date and an outcome would not be known until that time.
Cr Hasler said the councillors would continue their duties as normal until the judgment was delivered.
An investigation by the Division of Local Government had revealed councillors Allgayer and Smith failed to declare significant non-pecuniary interests in a proposed coal plant put before council in an extraordinary council meeting in 2009.
While the development never went ahead, the application had been approved.
The investigation revealed that at the time of the meeting, councillors Allgayer and Smith were employed by Whitehaven Coal, which had been in a joint enterprise with the company behind the development application.
The Division of Local Government found the councillors “misbehaved in a sufficiently serious nature” as to warrant their suspensions from council.
Following news of the suspensions in January, the councillors immediately lodged their appeals.
It could take months before the tribunal makes its decision.