News in brief
Browse our news stories about the activities and achievements of Queensland local councils and learn more about the challenges and issues affecting local government and their communities.
Many of these stories are published in our weekly enewsletter Council Courier. If you would like to know more about these stories please contact the LGAQ media and communications team on 1300 542 700.
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New complaints system in place
The State Government has introduced a bill that will potentially see an independent assessor introduced to deal with council complaints.
Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Mark Furner said the bill would implement the Government’s response to the Councillor Complaints Review, with tough new penalties.
“The Office of the Independent Assessor will have the power to assess and prosecute complaints and, importantly, it will also be able to dismiss and prosecute frivolous, vexatious or out-of-time complaints,” Mr Furner said.
“It will also be an offence for an accused councillor to attempt or take a reprisal against an employee or another councillor who makes a complaint of misconduct.”
The Bill does not apply to Brisbane City Council but will be reviewed within six months of commencement and may be extended to apply to BCC councillors.
My Furner said the measures were part of a suite of measures aimed to improve transparency and accountability.
“Already, we have lowered the council disclosure threshold to $500 and legislated to make sure council candidate bank accounts are accountable.” Mr Furner said.
“We also introduced real time donation reporting, which was put to use for the first time during the Ipswich City Council by-election.”
“These are measures I hope will receive the full support of both sides of the Chamber.”