THE Orange Ratepayers’ Association’s attempt to have Orange councillor Kevin Duffy dismissed from the council has progressed to a hearing at Orange Court House.
The group began legal proceedings against Cr Duffy in January when they claimed the former Cabonne councillor still lived in Borenore instead of Orange, making him ineligible for a place on the council.
During a phone hook-up on Thursday, Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT) president, judge Kevin O’Connor ruled that the case should be set down for a half-day hearing on May 7.
Judge O’Connor refused an application to change the name of the applicant from the group’s treasurer John Da Rin to the ratepayers’ association.
Solicitor Grant Butterfield from Marsdens Law Group represented Cr Duffy and the ratepayers’ association’s public officer Lindsay Johnston represented Da Rin.
Mr Johnston said the group was pleased the case was proceeding to a hearing, but said he could not discuss the specifics of the case while it was before the tribunal.
“This is a matter of significant public interest that fits squarely with the charter of the ORA (Orange Ratepayers Association),” he said.
“The ORA has a moral and ethical duty to support its treasurer and have a matter of alleged irregular election of a civic officer brought before the relevant jurisdiction and have it determined by lawful and proper process.”
Cr Duffy said he did not know what to expect from the hearing.
“I didn’t start the proceedings so it’s totally in the hands of my solicitor,” he said.
The association’s president Colin Young said the group demanded the highest of standards from councillors and fully supported Mr Da Rin to prosecute proceedings before the tribunal in an attempt to have Cr Duffy dismissed from civic office under section 329 of the Local Government Act.