Melbourne City Council electoral roll investigation24 Oct 2012
The Local Government Investigation and Compliance Inspectorate (Inspectorate) investigation into the electoral roll anomalies detected by Melbourne City Council is rapidly progressing.
At the request of the Inspectorate, Victoria Police executed search warrants on two Melbourne properties yesterday and seized evidence including documentation and communications equipment (computers, mobile telephones).
Following the seizure of property, the Melbourne Magistrates Court agreed to the request from Victoria Police to turn the items over to the Inspectorate for examination and analysis.
Chief Municipal Inspector David Wolf said the Inspectorate was working closely with Melbourne City Council and Victoria Police.
“We’re working together to ensure that the 2012 Melbourne City Council elections are conducted legally and fairly,” Mr Wolf said.
“We are confident that all reasonable steps have been taken so that any potential illegal activity does not influence the outcome of this weekend’s election”
Mr Wolf said that the next stage of the investigation would involve analysis of the items seized to determine whether or not sections 27 and 59 of the Local Government Act 1989 have been breached.
“Anyone convicted of these offences would face penalties of up to five years imprisonment and heavy fines. Convictions for offences of this nature are disqualifying offences, which would result in anyone involved being banned from holding the office of councillor for seven years,” he said.
“It’s important to remember that this investigation is ongoing, and everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence.”