Minister Hinchliffe: Raise your hand for local government candidacy
By Stirling Hinchliffe MP, Minister for Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs
It was wonderful to catch up with so many local government representatives recently at the Bush Councils Convention in Roma and the Northern Alliance of Councils Annual Conference in Bowen.
These gatherings were outstanding and I congratulate both the Maranoa Regional Council and the Whitsunday Regional Council for not only successfully organising the events but also for their fabulous hospitality.
We are now into the final six months before the 2020 local government elections and while we continue to represent and serve our communities to the best of our abilities, we must also be ensuring that preparations are on track for the March polls.
The department will be providing online training for all those wishing to put their hand up as a candidate for mayor or councillor.
The training, which will be mandatory for anyone wanting to nominate as a candidate for the 2020 election, will cover important aspects such as eligibility for election, legislative requirements relevant to an election campaign, roles and obligations, as well as a typical day in the life of a councillor.
Perhaps above all, the training will also explain the opportunity that an elected representative has to make a difference to the lives of the people they serve and to help build a better future for our communities.
The training must be completed prior to nomination, so that everyone seeking election has a clear understanding of what is required as both a candidate and a councillor.
Candidates must go in with their eyes wide open, particularly in terms of their legal obligations.
There is no question that public office can be rewarding for those who are dedicated to their community, but it can also be challenging.
The training will offer an insight into what it is like to take on the challenge.
The department’s website has information on how to register for the training and can be found at: www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/candidates
Local government is the level of government closest to the people, with all councillors coming from within, and representing their community.
As such, the opportunity to be a candidate is open to everyone who is eligible and I strongly urge anyone who is truly passionate about their community and its future, to put their hand up. These are the people we need on our councils.
Our 77 council areas are each unique and not only need the best people possible to serve but also representatives that truly reflect the diversity of their communities.
If you want to improve and secure a future for your children, family, culture and way of life, then being elected to the local council can give you a strong voice to make a real difference as a part of the decision-making process.
Most importantly, while being an elected representative is both rewarding and challenging, we must never lose sight of the fact that it is also a privilege. Our communities deserve the best we can give them.
Finally, I would like to wish you all well for the Annual Conference in Cairns. Unfortunately, Parliamentary duties mean I will be unable to attend, but I look forward to hearing and discussing the outcomes with you.
Image: Balonne Shire Council Deputy Mayor Fiona Gaske and Mayor Richard Marsh and the 2019 Bush Councils Convention.
Local Government Association of Queensland
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