CANDIDATES who choose to give preferences to each other for the upcoming Orange City Council election risk having conflicts of interest if elected to council, according to deputy mayor Jeff Whitton.
Cr Whitton warned of the dangers of the preferencing system which he said could have repercussions down the track when councillors voted on developments.
“The successful candidates who are elected on September 8 need to keep a really good record for the next four years of who ran on their ticket and who they gave preferences to and who they got preferences from,” he said.
Cr Whitton said under local government legislation it was a conflict of interest if councillors voted on a DA for someone who they were associated with in the election.
“The legislation is they have to declare if they have an interest on a development application (DA),” he said.
He said there had been times when the rules had caused problems on the current council.
“The reason [our group] don’t give out preferences is because we believe electors like to know who they are voting for,” he said.
“What people don’t like is the perception that there are deals done to get preferences.
“You have the potential for a block of people who will be block voting to be on council.”
He said councillors could seek advice from the general manager if they had concerns about potential conflicts of interest.