On 17 May 2018 Parliament passed the Local Government (Councillor Complaints) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018.
These amendments will provide a simpler, more streamlined system for making, investigating and determining complaints about councillor conduct in Queensland.
The changes will require Local Governments to implement new procedures for dealing with councillor conduct complaints and mandatory Code of Conduct training for councillors in the coming months.
Ethical and legal behaviour
Councillors must always act with integrity and abide by the law in carrying out their local government responsibilities.
Councillors are elected to serve and represent the interests of the whole community in their local government area. They must ensure that local government decisions serve the overall public interest and they must take action to avoid any actual or perceived conflict between their own interests and the interests of the community in general.
Councillors are in a position of trust. The local government legislation is very clear that they must not abuse that trust by misusing information obtained as councillors.
The Local Government Act 2009, the City of Brisbane Act 2010 and their supporting regulations set out specific requirements for councillors and local governments about how councillors:
- register their financial and non-financial interests
- deal with their interests and council decision-making
- use information obtained in their local government role
Registers of councillors' interests
Any member of the public can inspect councillors' registers of interest at the local government office or on the local government's website.
How to make a complaint about councillor conduct
The Local Government Act 2009 and the City of Brisbane Act 2010 set out processes to ensure that councillors maintain appropriate standards of conduct and that any councillor who engages in certain levels of unacceptable conduct is disciplined.