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

The Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 received assent on 30 October 2019.


The Crime and Corruption Commission’s Belcarra report found that good government requires elections to be held on a level playing field, with equal participation available to all.

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

The Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs released an information paper (PDF, 357KB) in March 2019 outlining proposed legislation amendments. Following consultation with mayors, councillors and stakeholders, the department proposed key changes to the reforms (PDF, 161KB) prior to legislation being drafted. Regulation changes (PDF, 267KB) were also proposed to reflect recommendations and suggestions received from the Queensland Audit Office, Queensland Law Society, Ombudsman and the Local Government Association of Queensland.

Important notes for candidates

The mandatory ‘So you want to be a councillor?’ candidate training has now closed for the 2020 local government elections.

Election candidates for 2020 now need to keep records of all election expenditure from 1 May 2019, in addition to keeping records of gifts and donations during the disclosure period.

If you have previously been a candidate for a local government election within the past five years, your disclosure period starts 30 days after your last election or by-election. If you are a first-time candidate, your disclosure period starts on the day you first publicly announce you are intending to be a candidate. The disclosure period for all candidates ends 30 days after the election.

Details of the changes

Stage 2 reforms under the amended legislation include:

  • mandatory training for election candidates
  • transparent candidate bank accounts and financial returns
  • new restrictions on decisions during election caretaker period
  • new requirements for candidates in groups
  • Right to Information laws to cover Brisbane City Council civic cabinet meetings
  • expanded councillor rights to access council information
  • clarified responsibilities for councillors in preparing budgets
  • changes to mayoral powers to direct CEOs and senior executive officers
  • changes to the appointment of senior executive officers
  • improved real-time donation disclosures
  • improved disclosures of real donation and gift sources
  • real-time expenditure disclosures
  • Office of Independent Assessor to investigate councillor conduct complaints for Brisbane City Council (in effect 30 March 2020).

Required amendments to subordinate legislation proposed to commence on 30 March 2020:

  • limits on the size of councillor ‘discretionary’ funds and new requirement to publicise spending
  • ban on new decisions to use discretionary funds from 1 January in election years.


Listen to the podcast on the stage 2 legislation changes.

Information paper

Read the information paper (PDF, 192KB) with a detailed summary of the stage 2 changes.

You can also download the Local government reform – stage 2 fact sheet (PDF, 411KB)

Amended legislation

The Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 and Explanatory Notes will soon be available on the Queensland legislation website.

Resources and fact sheets

View resources and fact sheets incorporating changes made as part of stage 2 reforms.


View previous webcasts featuring information, feedback and questions used for consultation on the phase 2 reforms.

Frequently asked questions

View FAQs used for consultation on the stage 2 reforms.

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).


For more information or to provide feedback on the reforms, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..