In the past five years Elected Member Peter Charles has breached Council Member Code of Conduct on 12 occasions

A BREAK: City of Victor Harbor councillor Peter Charles has been suspended from the chamber.
A BREAK: City of Victor Harbor councillor Peter Charles has been suspended from the chamber.

When is enough, enough? According to the City of Victor Harbor council it is when a councillor breaches the Council Member Code of Conduct on 12 occasions over the past five years.

This is what Councillor Peter Charles has done and now been suspended from Office for a period of two months.

Upon recommendation from the SA Ombudsman the City of Victor Harbor lodged a complaint with the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) in relation to Cr Charles breaching of the Council Member Code of Conduct. The breach specifically related to the disclosure of confidential information.

The tribunal hearing was completed and Cr Charles is suspended from Monday, September 14, in a ban that will conclude at midnight on November 13.

City of Victor Harbor Mayor Moira Jenkins said it was disappointing that the matter escalated to this level.

"However, it has highlighted the effectiveness of introducing an independent umpire into Code of Conduct complaints. This enabled the council to focus on its core business of delivering essential services and projects for its community," Dr Jenkins said.

"We see the current Local Government reform as an opportunity to enhance the current Code of Conduct system by strengthening behavioural standards, reducing the need for legal representation and enabling councils to quickly deal with isolated issues of bad behaviour.

"With the matter now finalised, the council is looking ahead and continues its focus on supporting its community and building on Victor Harbor's bright future."

Mr Charles said he never intended to send confidential information and has been victimised.

"When you ask the difficult questions to council administration you put a target on on your back. The breaches have been petty and anyone with reasonable sense can see that. There is something seriously wrong with council and I will continue to be a voice for our community," Mr Charles said

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