Wingecarribee Shire Council ranked eighth in the state when it came to Code of Conduct complaints in the 2019/2020 period.
The Office of Local Government received 12 code of conduct reports for Wingecarribee Shire Council between September 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020.
Of the 12 complaints, only one was considered in breach of the code of conduct.
In December 2020, the Southern Highland News reported that more than $80,000 was spent on code of conduct.
At the time, the now-suspended mayor Duncan Gair said it was a shame that the amount had become so high.
"It is a shame that the money had to be spent," he said.
Wingecarribee Shire Council was suspended in March 2021 and interim administrator Mr Viv May was put in charge.
At the top of the list for most code of conduct complaints was Lismore Council, with 52 complaints that cost $82,000 to deal with.
Ranked seventh on the list was Queanbeyan-Palerang Council, also with 12 code of conduct complaints. The council spent more than $72,000 on the complaints.
Shoalhaven Council recorded 11 code of conduct complaints and spent more than $13,000 on the complaints.
Wingecarribee Shire Council is no stranger to code of conduct complaints.
In the 2018/19 period, Wingecarribee Shire Council received six code of conduct complaints and spent $31,912 on them. Out of those six complaints received, only one was found to be a breach.
Only 14 other councils had spent more money on Code of Conduct complaints and had a higher number of code of conduct complaints received.
In the 2013/14 period, Wingecarribee Shire Council spent more than $170,000 on code of conduct complaints and recorded 33 complaints in that year. It was the second-highest number of complaints in the 2013/14 period.
Meanwhile, NSW Labor has urged the NSW Government to conduct an urgent review of the model code of conduct for councils following a large spike in the number of complaints and the cost to deal with them in the past two years.
Figures released by the Office of Local Government show the number of code of conduct complaints rose by 63 per cent from 2017/18 (241) to 2019/20 (395).
The cost in dealing with the complaints rose by 66 per cent in the same period - from $958,463 to $1,593,416.
Shadow Minister for Local Government, Greg Warren, said a major overhaul of the Model Code of Conduct was needed to ensure the system was efficient, effective and not used for political pointscoring purposes at the expense of councils and their communities.
"When one council is spending in excess of $200,000 in one year to simply deal with code of conduct complaints, serious questions must be asked," he said.
"There is no doubt that some people use code of conduct as a way to score cheap political points at a significant cost to the council and their community.
"A lot of time, effort and expense goes into investigating these complaints but the reality is the investigation often results in very little action taken.
"It's councils and their communities who are counting the cost of an ineffective and inefficient Model Code of Conduct."
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