Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) CEO Greg Hallam said the LGAQ staunchly supported Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor Cr Sean Dillon’s right to speak publicly about the COVID 19 vaccine rollout in his community.
Mr Hallam said it was same right enjoyed by every other citizen.
“For that matter, the right to political speech is implied in the Australian Constitution,” he said.
“The vaccine rollout is discussed on a daily basis by politicians at all levels and on all sides of government.
“It would literally be mentioned hundreds of times a day in the Queensland media.”
Mr Hallam said Mayor Dillon was “thoughtful, measured and highly articulate” and was “simply seeking to represent his community, as mayors must do”.
He said the LGAQ was prepared to take the matter to the High Court if needed.
The LGAQ had always supported the role of the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) and its head Kathleen Florian.
“However, it is way wide of the mark on this issue,” Mr Hallam said. “It doesn’t pass the pub test nor accord with the Australian Constitution.
“The OIA needs to recognise their error, withdraw their action and get back to their important work which does not include pontification on political speech.”
For more information, please contact:
Sarah Vogler, External Relations Director
Local Government Association of Queensland