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Mayor Supports Council Reforms

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South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell (Photo: SBRC)

June 12, 2018

South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell supports State Government reforms designed to stamp out corruption in councils.

On Tuesday, Mayor Campbell said he recently attended a briefing about the Belcarra reforms the State Government legislated last month.

New laws which have been passed include:

  • An expansion of the powers of the Local Government Minister to dismiss or suspend a council or an individual councillor in the public interest
  • An obligation on councillors to report another councillor’s conflict of interest or material personal interest, if they believe or suspect on reasonable grounds that there is an undeclared interest
  • Improved procedures for the handling complaints against councillors to make the process more transparent and independent, via a Councillor Conduct Tribunal which will hear and determine alleged misconduct
  • The introduction of an Independent Assessor to assess complaints against councillors, taking this role out of the hands of council CEOs
  • Automatic suspensions for any councillor charged with one of a series of offences; and
  • A ban on political donations from property developers

In the South Burnett, the reforms will also limit election expenses to a maximum of $20,000 for the position of Mayor and $5000 for any divisional councillor position.

The reforms were introduced following the Crime and Corruption Commission’s (CCC) Operation Belcarra, which uncovered alleged misconduct in four of Queensland’s largest councils.

CCC investigations into conduct at those councils are ongoing.

Mayor Campbell said he found the briefing informative and fully supported the reforms the State Government had introduced.

The South Burnett Regional Council will be adopting a new Councillor Code of Conduct and new model meeting procedures in the coming six months as part of the Belcarra reforms.

Mayor Campbell said he regretted that the conduct of a very small minority of councils had tarnished the sector.

He believed it was important the community could have faith in the integrity of their elected representatives and he thought the government’s reforms would help to achieve this.

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One Response to Mayor Supports Council Reforms

  1. Peter Ward

    Will be interesting to see who the independent assessor will be

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