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The Queensland Government is pursuing a rolling reform agenda in the local government sector.

These reforms will further strengthen the transparency, accountability and integrity measures which apply to the system of local government in Queensland. The government is committed to supporting local government and ensuring that public confidence and accountability is demonstrated.

Key changes from 2018 included:

Latest proposed changes

The Belcarra Report found that good government requires elections to be held on a level playing field, with equal participation available to all.

Belcarra also stressed the need for complete transparency about who candidates are, how their campaigns are funded, and their interests and affiliations – along with their relationship with other candidates.

The proposed local government reforms informed by the Belcarra Report and discussions with stakeholders include:

  • Compulsory preferential voting
  • Compulsory candidate training
  • Proportional representation in undivided councils
  • Tighter regulation of discretionary funds
  • Campaign spending caps
  • Clarification of Conflict of Interest and Material Personal Interest provisions.

An information paper (PDF, 357KB) outlining the legislation amendments proposed to be considered is available. The paper is structured in four sections; before, during, after an election and elected councils.

In addition to the proposed reforms in the Bill, the Government is proposing to make amendments to regulations to further improve council integrity, increase transparency, encourage diversity and ensure consistency in the local government system.

The proposed regulation changes will tighten controls around the issues councils may discuss in closed meetings and ensure resolutions and minutes have enough information for the community to understand why councils have made decisions.

Other changes proposed include, councils being required to consult with the community on their budgets. There will also be stronger requirements on the use of council controlled entities.

The publishing of Councillor registers of interest is proposed to be standardised so that the community is better informed about potential conflicts of interests.

To encourage candidate participation in the electoral process, public funding of candidates at Local Government elections is being proposed. The estimated costs table (PDF, 170KB) shows as an examples only, figures for each local government area that are sorted by remuneration categories for ease of reference. Remuneration categories are based on those established by the former Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal. This table is intended as a guide only.

Support for stakeholders

For Mayors, Chief Executive Officers, elected representatives, community organisations and industry stakeholders the department is available to answer questions.

Dedicated hotline

Ph: 07 3452 6747.
The hotline is available between the hours of 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday. The department will endeavour to respond to any questions within 48 hours (business days).

Email

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Webinars

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.

Watch the webinar On Demand by following the instructions below:

Instructions to view the On Demand webinar:

  1. Choose the webinar you want to watch:
    • Electoral reform video
    • Electoral finance reform video
    • Conflicts of interest and registers of interest video
  2. On the registration page, enter your name and email address.
  3. Click the play icon to view the video On Demand (The video can’t be downloaded. However, there is no limit on the number of times it is viewed.)
  4. You can click on the information symbol (i) in bottom right corner to download the presentation slides for your reference.
  5. If you are viewing the webinar after the event date, the LG Reform team is available to receive your feedback and answer questions on a dedicated phone hotline 07 3452 6747 and email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..