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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Tough new laws proposed to restore trust in Local Government

    Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Thursday, May 10, 2018

    Tough new laws proposed to restore trust in Local Government

    The Palaszczuk Government will seek new powers to suspend or dismiss Mayors and Councillors who are facing serious integrity charges when State Parliament resumes next week.

    Local Government Stirling Hinchliffe said the Government would also ask Parliament to vote for a new power to suspend or dismiss a Council, Mayor or Councillor when it’s in the public interest.

    “The reputation of Local Government has taken a hit in Queensland, with current and former Mayors and Councillors in some of our biggest Councils facing dozens of criminal charges,” he said.

    “Suspicion and distrust have impacted the entire sector, leading to a loss of public confidence - and therefore trust - in Local Government.

    “The changes to the Local Government Act in we’re seeking include:

    - an automatic suspension for any Mayor or Councillor charged with one of a series of serious integrity offences; and

    - an expansion of the powers of the Local Government Minister to dismiss or suspend a Council, a Councillor or Mayor in the public interest.

    “The later change is necessary to put beyond doubt the capacity of the Government to intervene when necessary.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said the two new provisions would be introduced as amendments to the Belcarra Bill currently before State Parliament.

    The Government’s Councillor Complaints Bill – which has been re-introduced after lapsing when the 2017 State Election was called – is also expected to be debated.

    “The Palaszczuk Government was elected in 2015 - and re-elected in 2017 - on a platform of transparency and accountability,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “Transparency and accountability are the foundation stones on which we build Governments – be they State or Local – that people can trust.

    “With trust comes confidence, and I am determined to see that trust returned.”
     
    Media contact: Martin Philip 0427 919 548