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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Ethical Decision Making

Training video scenarios

The Local Government Division, the Integrity Commission and the Local Government Association of Tasmania have produced three short training video scenarios focusing on the ethical and legal obligations of local government elected members under the Local Government Act 1993 .

The scenarios were filmed at the Hobart City Council and the Local Government Division, with volunteer actors from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, the Tasmanian Audit Office, Hobart City Council and the Integrity Commission.

The scenarios are set in the made-up-council of 'Sunnyview'. The scenarios show a range of legal and ethical 'grey areas' councillors may face. Each scenario has an overview and a discussion of the issues raised.

Scenario 1 - In whose interest?

This scenario is about a council decision on a road upgrade. It deals with:

  • potential conflicts – a conflict that has not yet happened
  • actual conflicts – a conflict which has happened
  • perceived conflicts – a conflict which appears to have happened

Scenario 1 overview - 'in whose interest?'

Scenario 2 - Where do you draw the line?

This scenario looks at how to manage conflicts of interest, including:

  • financial interests (or pecuniary interests)
  • other interests which do not involve money (non-pecuniary interests)

Conflicts of interest can occur because councillors can ‘wear many hats’, for example, a councillor may also be a member of a sporting club or a member of an association.

Scenario 2 overiew - 'Where do you draw the line?'

Scenario 3 - A balancing act

This scenario comprises five ethical areas commonly arising for councillors

  • use of social media
  • use of power and authority in relation to council staff
  • confidentiality of council information
  • gifts and benefits
  • use of council information

Scenario 3 overview - 'A balancing act'