A public inquiry is investigating allegations that some councillors, including flamboyant former deputy mayor Salim Mehajer, were making planning and development decisions to benefit themselves or their families before the council was sacked in February.

The public inquiry into the allegedly corrupt decisions of Auburn councillors has been summarised in one question: “How was this allowed to happen?” The question was posed by new administrator Viv May as he took to the witness chair and described his takeover and review of planning decisions of the…