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EOI Councillor Complaints Reference Group

Thursday, 1 March 2018

The LGAQ is seeking nominations to support its efforts in reviewing the documentation relating to the implementation of the Councillor Complaints Bill. 

The main objective of these legislative changes is to provide for a simpler, more streamlined system for making, investigating and determining complaints about councillor conduct in Queensland.

This includes establishing an Independent Assessor to deal with councillor complaints more effectively, legislate for a mandatory code of conduct for councillors and to remove the process of dealing with these complaints from a CEO’s responsibilities. (SEE the Explanatory Notes for more detail)

The Bill

The Local Government (Councillor Complaints) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill) aims to implement the government’s response to the Independent Councillor Complaints Review Panel’s Report ‘Councillor Complaints Review: A Fair, effective and efficient framework’ (the Report).

Submissions made to the previous Committee (lapsed) will be considered by the new Economics and Governance Committee (the Committee). The LGAQ submission was not made prior to the Bill lapsing but has now been submitted. Councils are welcome to make their own submissions to the Committee by the 9 March 2018 closing date.

Following referral to the Committee for detailed consideration, the Local Government Liaison Group (LGLG) was established by the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs (DLGRMA) to advise the Minister on essential supporting guidelines and model policies.

Following referral to the Committee for detailed consideration, the Local Government Liaison Group (LGLG) was established by the Department to advise the Minister on essential supporting guidelines and model policies.

The Local Government Liaison Group (LGLG)

The LGLG will meet monthly, is chaired by DLGRMA and consists of representatives from the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC), Ombudsman, Integrity Commissioner, the Local Government Managers Association (LGMA) and the LGAQ – with the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) as an observer. (SEE the Terms of Reference)

While only minor drafting changes have been made to the Bill since it was first introduced in 2017, the Department/LGLG is keen to draw on the experience and knowledge of practicing local government elected members and CEOs, especially with the (likely) prescriptive Guidelines and Model Policies that will be ancillary to the Act and Regulations:

  • Code of Conduct for Councillors
  • Model Meeting Procedures
  • Example Investigation Policy

The Reference Group - EOI

As such, on a confidential basis, the LGAQ would welcome assistance from interested elected members and CEOs to review/critique early drafts as part of a Reference Group organised in conjunction with the LGMA.

Expressions of Interest, closing Thursday 8 March 2018, should be made to LGAQ by email to ask@lgaq.asn.au.

To discuss the opportunity with LGAQ Officers Stephan Bohnen (Principal Advisor Intergovernmental Relations) or Mark Leyland (Principal Advisor Finance and Governance) please contact the LGAQ Member Services Centre on 1300 542 700 or ask@lgaq.asn.au.

Timeline & actions

The Bill

  • Monday, 5 March - public briefing
  • Friday, 9 March – submissions due
  • TBA – public hearing
  • Monday, 9 April – reporting due

The LGLG

  • Wednesday, 21 February - first meeting
  • Tuesday, 20 March – second meeting

The Reference Group

  • Thursday, 8 March - EOIs required
  • Monday, 19 March – first meeting via tele/web conference

More

Minor drafting changes made to the draft Councillor Complaints Bill since it was first introduced in 2017:

  • change the tag term ‘tribunal’ to ‘conduct tribunal’ and change the order of dictionary amendments to facilitate commencement by Proclamation at different times
  • minor drafting changes to the investigators’ powers to better reflect OQPC’s precedent provisions – new sections 150BL, 150BM and 150BS refer
  • new amendment of LGA section 170A(3)(a) to make reference to ‘conduct tribunal’ and remove reference to ‘regional conduct review panel’
  • new amendment of LGA section 171 to remove the note in subsection (3). FYI – new section 150L (What is misconduct) includes a contravention of section 171(3)
  • minor change to new section 177(d) to clarify and narrow the scope of the Local Government Remuneration Commission’s functions
  • minor drafting change to amended section 235 to make reference to ‘a member of the conduct tribunal’ and remove reference to ‘a member of the tribunal’

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006


 

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