The Inspectorate has published a comprehensive report into the 2016 Wyndham City Council election following a lengthy investigation.
Chief Municipal Inspector David Wolf said the report, Protecting Integrity: Investigation into 2016 Wyndham City Council Election, detailed findings from an investigation into the activities of all 95 candidates in the Wyndham council election.
Mr Wolf said: “During the 2016 general council elections my office received and responded to more than 2000 enquiries and received 409 formal complaints. Our attention was drawn to Wyndham City Council municipality by the unusually high number of candidates that nominated for the election and concerns raised by the community.”
As detailed in the report, the Inspectorate interviewed 90 of the 95 candidates and identified 10 of the total candidate pool that it considered as ‘non-genuine’. Two of the non-genuine candidates interviewed stated they were unaware they had nominated for council and this complicated matter is yet to conclude.
“In our view, the current self-certification by candidates – to acknowledge identity and the eligibility criteria is met – is open to genuine mistakes or deliberate deceit. The production of identification and a police and personal solvency check at the time of nomination would limit corruption and integrity risks and prevent potentially ineligible candidate nominations,” Mr Wolf stated in the report’s introduction.
The report has been provided to the Minister for Local Government, Wyndham City Council and the Victorian Electoral Commission.
The Chief Municipal Inspector will not be available for radio or television interviews.
Reviewed 17 February 2020