CLC Code of Conduct

The Central Land Council Code of Conduct for Council and Executive members.

Introduction

Council and Executive members have special responsibilities to the Central Land Council (CLC). This code of conduct is a guide to how CLC Council and Executive members are expected to behave.  

The CLC works for Traditional Owners and other Aboriginal people who live in the CLC region. This means that as a Council or Executive member you will have to stop and think about what is best for everyone, and make decisions that are in the best interests of all Aboriginal people in the CLC region.

Council and Executive members have a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interests of the Central Land Council.

Council and Executive members need to recognise that as members of the Land Council they can’t rubbish the CLC behind its back. Instead they should either tell Land Council staff about their concerns or raise their concerns at a Land Council meeting or with Executive members.

1.  Avoiding a conflict of interest (s 27F and 26(3) CACC Act)

A conflict of interest is where a Council or Executive member uses their position on Land Council to benefit themselves or their relations.

A conflict of interest can also happen if Land Council is making a decision that directly benefits you, your friends, your family or your community.

Many Council and Executive members wear a number of different hats because they sit on different boards or councils. So there could be a conflict of interest because of the different jobs you have - if you’re wearing lots of different hats you have to make sure that at a CLC meeting you speak and make decisions in your role as a CLC Council or Executive member.

What you need to do to avoid a conflict of interest is to talk up about what your interest in something is - whether it is a family interest or a conflict because of another job you have. Then you have to make sure you are not involved in making the decision which means you have to take yourself away from the meeting and not vote.

2.  Using CLC resources

The resources of CLC, including motor cars, can only be used for CLC business.  Executive and Council members are not authorised to drive CLC vehicles unless it is under exceptional circumstances.

3.  Keeping information confidential (s 25 CACC Act)

Council and Executive members may during meetings, or at other times during Land Council business, be told information that is confidential. Confidential information is secret information that cannot be told to everyone and can only be discussed either in Council meetings or in Executive meetings.

Council and Executive members must not use confidential information for their own gain.

4.  Acceptable standards of behaviour

Council and Executive members are expected to attend all meetings.

If, as a Council member, you cannot come to a meeting you can send a proxy who can vote on your behalf by properly filling in a proxy form.

Alcohol must not be carried or consumed in CLC vehicles or during meetings, and no alcohol is to be brought to the meeting place by any member.

Land Council and Executive members must not come to meetings if they are drunk. If members are drunk at meetings they will be asked to leave. They will also be told that they cannot speak.

Visitors must not attend Council meetings if they are drunk. Visitors who are drunk will be asked to leave.

Council and Executive members are expected to be courteous and respectful in their dealings with CLC staff, each other and any family members or other people who are attending a meeting. 

Council and Executive Members do not have the right or authority to make personal demands on CLC staff or to request the private phone numbers or addresses of any CLC employee.  CLC employees would be in breach of Privacy laws if they provided this sort of information to anyone.

5.  Accepting gifts and benefits (s 27F CACC Act)

Council and Executive members must not accept gifts or benefits where this will result in a conflict of interest.

6.  Acting with integrity (s 22 and 23 CACC Act)

All Council and Executive members are expected to act with integrity. This means being honest, making fair and level decisions and being open and accountable to members.

Acting with integrity also means that Council and Executive members agree to use their powers in a responsible and proper way.

7.  Leadership

All Council and Executive members should show leadership. Being a good leader means being someone who listens and who is a good communicator, caring for the community and people, speaking up for your community and letting people know what Land Council is doing.

8.  Failure to comply with requirements

This Code of Conduct is important. Breaking the Code of Conduct is called a breach. 

Breaches of the Code of Conduct would involve:

·        Unacceptable behaviour at meetings

·        Abusive behaviour or harassment of CLC staff or other delegates

·        Bringing alcohol to a meeting

·        Being intoxicated at a meeting

·        Unsatisfactory performance of duties

·        Failure to disclose a conflict of interest

If as a Council or Executive member you have breached the Code of Conduct then disciplinary action can be taken against you. This may include:

·        Non-payment of sitting fees

·        Suspension or termination from being a Council or Executive member

·        Being disqualified from re-election for a period of time

·        Being permanently disqualified from re-election

With less serious offences delegates may be given a warning before action is taken.

Breaches that occur during a meeting should be dealt with at the meeting by the relevant Executive member from the region in consultation with the Chair and Deputy Chair.

More serious or repeated breaches will be dealt with by Executive.