Weekly Speak CEO Column
Meeting with Premier to end confusion and uncertainty
CEO Weekly Wrap
Just a day after the 122nd LGAQ annual conference wrapped up this week, we were working to implement many of the important policy resolutions passed by delegates.
A lunchtime meeting yesterday between Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and LGAQ President Mark Jamieson and myself was a prime opportunity to end the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the Government’s Belcarra reforms, a hot topic of debate at the conference.
The boss and I were able to spell out in great detail to the Premier the fear and concern amongst elected members in relation to often widely differing interpretations and formal advice within different arms of her Government on conflicts of interest and gift provisions arising out of the first tranche of he Belcarra legislation.
We gave many concrete examples where this ambiguity was creating absurd outcomes that simply would not pass the pub test. Moreover, we said the confusion and fear was resulting in a slowing of the process of approving major projects in local communities and that this would be reflected in sluggish economic activity in 2019 if not corrected.
Our great concern is the human toll this situation is having on our elected members and senior council staff and the real prospects that current and some prospective candidates for the 2020 elections simply won’t run.
We are all for integrity reforms but opposed to divergent and sometimes undemocratic views on what the new laws mean.
It was a cordial and constructive meeting. The Premier engaged directly with us and gave a commitment to look at our genuine concerns and expedite the final tranches of Belcarra legislation so that certainty could return to our sphere of government.
But back to Conference 2018. My thanks to hosts Brisbane City Council, all the conference participants and my staff for making it such a wonderful event.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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