Former Sydney councillor admits conflict of interest over multi-million-dollar-development
Police have found four children safe and well after they were taken from The Leap, north of Mackay in Queensland yesterday
A former Sydney councillor has told a corruption inquiry he should have disclosed a conflict of interest — regarding his relationship with a Chinese developer — when he voted in favour of a multi-million-dollar development. 
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry is investigating whether former Hurstville and Georges River councillors Philip Sansom, Constantine Hindi and Vincenzo Badalati accepted gifts and benefits from developers in order to vote in their favour between 2014 and 2021. 
The inquiry on Monday heard Mr Sansom was friends with property developer and real estate agent Ching Wah (Philip) Uy, whose company was the builder of Hurstville's $29 million Treacy Street project — an 11-storey mixed-use apartment block. 
An application for the development was lodged with the council in 2014. 
The inquiry heard Mr Sansom met with Mr Uy on multiple occasions in China and that the developer would often pay thousands of dollars for the councillor's flights and accommodation. It was also told the pair would meet with escorts. 
"The relationship constituted a significant conflict of interest," Counsel Assisting the Commission Zelie Heger said. 
"Given that it was a significant conflict of interest, not only did you [Mr Sansom] have to declare it, you had to abstain from voting on the [Treacy Street] development." 
Mr Sansom conceded he should have declared "a non-pecuniary interest". 
Ms Heger said tendered receipts and flight bookings showed Mr Uy paid thousands of dollars for the councillor's flights and hotel accommodation during multiple trips to China in 2014 and 2015. 
The former councillor told the inquiry Mr Uy would often pay for the flights and he would reimburse him. 
Earlier this month, former Hurstville councillor Clifton Wong was found dead in his Burwood office, days after giving evidence against his colleagues to the inquiry. 
Police said the 62-year-old's death did not appear to be suspicious. 
Mr Wong told the inquiry he saw Mr Uy hand Mr Hindi an envelope with $10,000 in it to support a tender for a development. 
The inquiry continues. 
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