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The champ is here
BOXING legend Johnny Famechon saw a sculpture unveiled at Ballam Park in honour of his world championship winning career. With him is his long-term doctor and friend, Dr Ragnar Purje. See story Page 9. Picture: Gary Sissons
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Councillor gift form questioned Neil Walker email@example.com A GIFT declared by a Frankston councillor has caused a stink at council after council management questioned the appropriateness of the gift. Cr Steve Toms declared he received a bottle of Issey Miyake aftershave, valued at $100, in July last year from a Young St business by completing a Gift Declaration form. Councillors and staff must disclose the receipt of gifts related to their role as council representatives under council’s Staff Gifts and Hospitality Policy. Council’s chief executive officer or a council director sign off on all declared gifts accepted, declined or donated to charity. Councillors must declare all gifts valued at more than $500 according to the Local Government Act. Any gifts valued at less than $500 are voluntarily declared by councillors across Victoria. Cr Toms has not breached the Local Government Act in voluntarily declaring the gift of aftershave but a note hand written by a council manager on the gift declaration form lodged by Cr Toms on 21 July for the $100 bottle of aftershave last year stated: “Advice of a general nature provided to Cr Toms in respect of
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conflict of interest provisions, applicable gift and his responsibility to ensure compliance with the Act. CEO/director not willing to sign the disclosure.” The Times asked to see the gifts register after it emerged that neighbouring Mornington Peninsula Shire council does not make its gift register available for public inspection amid revelations that neighbouring shire CEO Carl Cowie in July 2016 was a guest aboard a cruise ship hired by prominent businessman and Portsea property owner, Lindsay Fox (“Mayor call to open shire gifts list”, The Times 8/1/17). Frankston Council does make its gift register available to the public. Cr Toms, deputy mayor last year, wrote on the gift declaration form that the aftershave was “received by myself from the owner of business for my work on Young St advocacy”. The South ward councillor, first elected to council in October 2016, was kicked out of the Australian Labor Party late last year after becoming embroiled in a public stoush with Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke over Young St traders complaints that street redevelopment works negatively impacted on businesses (“Councillor forced out of Labor Party”, The Times 11/12/17). Continued Page 8
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Frankston Times 22 January 2018