• Icon Print

ICAC public inquiry into allegations concerning the former Canterbury City Council

Monday 26 March 2018

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will hold a public inquiry commencing on Monday 16 April 2018 as part of an investigation it is conducting into allegations concerning the former Canterbury City Council (Operation Dasha).

The Commission is investigating whether, between 2013 and 2016, public officials including former Canterbury City councillors Michael Hawatt and Pierre Azzi, the former general manager, Jim Montague, and the former Director City Planning, Spiro Stavis, dishonestly and/or partially exercised their official functions in relation to planning proposals and/or applications under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 concerning properties in the Canterbury City Council local area.

The ICAC is also investigating the circumstances surrounding the appointment of Mr Stavis to the role of Director City Planning, including whether, between November 2014 and January 2015, Mr Montague exercised his official functions dishonestly or partially in relation to the appointment of Mr Stavis to that role.

Further, the Commission is examining whether, between November 2014 and January 2015, councillors Hawatt and Azzi engaged in conduct that, or could have, adversely affected, either directly or indirectly, the honest or impartial exercise of Mr Montague’s official functions by expressly or impliedly threatening to cause the termination of Mr Montague’s employment unless he appointed Mr Stavis as Director City Planning.

The public inquiry will start at 10:00 am and will be held in the Commission's hearing room on Level 7, 255 Elizabeth Street, Sydney. Commissioner Patricia McDonald SC will preside at the public inquiry, and Counsel Assisting the Commission will be Mr David Buchanan SC and Ms Anna Mitchelmore.

The inquiry is set down initially for two weeks, and is then expected to resume from 12 to 29 June 2018 . A witness list for at least the first week of the proceedings will be published on the ICAC website prior to the commencement of the public inquiry.

Media contact: ICAC Manager Communications & Media, Nicole Thomas, 02 8281 5799 / 0417 467 801