Australia – Northern Territory: Barkly Mayor Jeffrey McLaughlin charged with cannabis offences

The ABC Austtralia reports

The Mayor of the Barkly region has been arrested over drug charges.

Northern Territory Police say they stopped a car in Tennant Creek just after 10am yesterday and a 42-year-old driver allegedly returned a positive roadside test result for cannabis.

Police then searched a nearby home and allegedly seized “a number of cannabis plants and material”.

Jeffrey McLaughlin has been charged with drug driving, cultivating, possession and supply offences.

He has been bailed to face Tennant Creek Local Court on October 11.

Barkly Regional Council chief executive Emma Bradbury confirmed she was aware of the matter.

“These are matters that are private to the Mayor,” she said.

She added that the matters were being dealt with by NT Police and were separate to his role at council.

The Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet said while council members could be ejected from office under the Local Government Act’s disqualification criteria, arrest did not disqualify a person from being a council member.

“It is expected that standard judicial processes will be followed in this matter and decisions will be made at the appropriate times,” a spokesperson said.

“The department does not comment on pending legal matters.”

Mr McLaughlin was elected Mayor in September 2020.

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