There has been some welcome news this week regarding the parliamentary inquiry into the Crime and Corruption Commission’s handling of the now failed fraud charges against the group of former Logan City councillors.
Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee chair Jon Krause MP has announced the appointment of two independent legal counsel to assist the committee’s inquiry into the matter.
This is a much-welcomed move by your Association. We have been calling for any inquiry into this matter to be independent to ensure the public can have confidence in its findings.
The appointment of two independent senior legal counsel goes some way to satisfying that request.
The PCCC has also released its timeframe for the inquiry with submissions closing on July 26.
Public hearings will then be held the week beginning August 16, before the committee hands down its final report by the end of November.
This inquiry was sparked following the LGAQ’s complaint to the PCCC. You can read that complaint here.
A duly elected council was wrongly dismissed, and the livelihoods and reputations of the former councillors charged were ruined as a result of the CCC’s actions in this case.
We look forward to this inquiry beginning in earnest so all parties can have their say and the public can receive the answers they deserve.
Council Champions – is your council in the running?
Local Government Community Champions celebrates the commitment of the local government workforce, and the myriad ways Queensland’s councils support their communities.
Entry is simple. We are looking for a nominee – who goes ‘above and beyond’ for your community – from every council.
Two Champions will be announced at the 125th LGAQ Annual Conference in Mackay and each receive $4,500 in professional development funding through Peak Services.
Nominations are made by Mayors and CEOs, who film a 60-90 second video talking to the nominee about their work.
The Association is in the process of writing to your council advising that aggregate member subscriptions will increase by 2.5 per cent in the 2021-2022 financial year, following last financial year’s subscription freeze due to COVID-19.
The $5 million in member subscriptions the LGAQ will raise for the coming financial year represents only about 20 per cent of the LGAQ’s $23 million annual investment in providing services to our members.
For those councils who are participating Local Government Mutual and Local Government Workcare members – the vast majority of our members – these subscription fees will effectively be offset by the return of $4.9 million in scheme surpluses by way of a rebate on your council’s 2021-2022 scheme contributions.
In fact, many can expect to receive a direct rebate return equal or greater than their 2021-2022 annual memberships subscription payable to the LGAQ.
The LGAQ collects its subscriptions via a subscription formula that incorporates consideration of both the population size and expenditure budget of each council, to ensure a council’s individual subscription is calibrated to reflect their capacity to pay.
This ensures that all 77 councils will continue to have an opportunity to be a member of the LGAQ.
Bush Councils Convention
The Bush Councils Convention is due to kick off in Barcaldine in just under four weeks’ time, on August 3.
This biennial event has been a treasured part of the LGAQ calendar for the last … years.
In honour of this year’s host, I wanted to share with you a list of the seven things you may not know about the iconic Queensland town, as compiled by the Barcaldine Regional Council.
Enjoy and I will see you there. In the meantime, here are seven things you may not know about Barcy.
- Barcaldine is known as the Garden City in the Outback – In fact, every one of its streets are named after trees.
- It is home to the start of the world’s largest sculpture trail – That’s right, a sculpturist by the name of Milynda Rogers, has taken forgotten farming equipment like tractor heads, ball joints and barbed wire and welded them into works of art which are stretched from Aramac to Lake Dunn and back. In Oak Street, you’ll find a Shearer sporting the Eureka Stockade flag.
- The town has a fruit cake on display in the Barcaldine Historical Museum. We’re not sure what’s left of it, but we can tell you it was baked in 1976 by a celebrated local chef and now takes pride of place in the museum.
- Australia’s first artesian bore was found 35 kilometers west of Barcaldine – You can find newspaper clippings and a letter to the General Manager of the National Bank Brisbane in the Barcaldine Historical Museum which sent proof of life back to Brisbane. Just like that. Barcy became the first town with artesian water in 1887.
- Barcaldine is home to Outback Queensland’s first and only Aboriginal Coffee Manufacturer. Looking to wake up with a taste of the Outback? Make tracks to Ridgee Didge for a cup of Coolamon coffee – which combines the essence of the outback and the originality of Cheryl’s Cafe.
- There are 60,000 sheep in Barcaldine Shire which makes the sheep to human population 37:1 (compared to New Zealand which is only 20:1!).
- There is a man buried under the Tree of Knowledge. Yep! At night, you can get a good look at the box his ashes are kept in within the root system. It’s not all death though, three baby kookaburras were born in the hollow of the tree at the end of 2016 and are expected to return to nest soon!
Last but certainly not least, a big shout-out for NAIDOC Week. This year's theme is 'Heal Country!', which calls for us to continue to seek greater protections for lands, waters, sacred sites and cultural heritage from destruction. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to come together to celebrate the rich history, diverse cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who are very important to our local government system, to our state and to our country. Our First Nations people are an integral part of our history, our culture and our way of life, and we celebrate NAIDOC Week along with them this week, and take those learnings into the other 51 weeks of the year.