Mayors and Councillors will soon be able to seek advice from the Queensland Integrity Commissioner as part of the State Government’s increased transparency and accountability agenda.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said on Monday there was a strong public interest in granting elected Local Government representatives access to professional and confidential ethical and integrity advice.
“In the report into Operation Belcarra, the Crime and Corruption Commission recommended Queensland’s Mayors and Councillors be given access to the advisory and public awareness functions of the Queensland Integrity Commissioner,” he said.
“That’s why I’ve written to Queensland Integrity Commissioner Dr Nikola Stepanov requesting that Mayors and Councillors are included as designated persons under the Integrity Act 2009.
“State MPs and senior public servants can already seek advice from the Queensland Integrity Commissioner, and now’s the right time to extend this access to Mayors and Councillors.”
Mr Hinchliffe said the government had a strong commitment to ensure the behavior of public officials is legal, in the interests of the communities they serve and ethical, and the reform will take effect immediately.
Other planned reforms include legislating to establish the Office of the Independent Assessor to deal with Councillor complaints, and enacting new conflict of interest provisions.