On 1 May 2019 the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was introduced to the Queensland Legislative Assembly.
The Bill has been referred to the Economics and Governance Committee who conducted an inquiry into the Bill. The submissions made, recordings and transcripts for the public hearings can be located on the Committee’s website.
On 21 June 2019, the Committee released its report which is now being considered by the State Government before the Bill is debated by Parliament. Should the Bill be passed, these reforms will apply to local governments and candidates for the 2020 local government elections. More information will be made available in due course by the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs here.
Over 200 users logged into a series of live webcasts in March 2019 to provide feedback and ask questions about the proposed local government rolling reforms.
Three topics were covered during the series:
Local Government electoral reform
A webinar information session was held on 13 March 2019 on the proposed changes to the local government electoral system. Some of the topics that were covered include: dual candidacy, applications for postal ballots, group-like campaigning techniques, full preferential voting, proportional voting for undivided councils and filling of councillor vacancies.
Local government electoral finance reform
A webinar information session was held on 14 March 2019 on the proposed changes to the local government electoral finances system. Some of the topics that were covered include: expenditure caps, real time disclosures of donations and expenditure, dedicated campaign accounts, the relevant details of disclosures and public funding for candidates.
Conflicts of interests and registers of interests
The webinar information session on 19 March discussed the proposed changes to conflicts of interest and registers of interest. Some of the topics covered include: dealing with conflicts of interest outside of meetings, new prescribed conflicts of interest, exemptions from conflicts of interest, new processes for dealing with council managed conflicts of interest, timeframes for submitting initial registers of interest, annual updates to registers of interest and aligning register of interest requirements with those for Members of Parliament.