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.
Councillors are in a position of trust. The local government legislation is very clear that you must not abuse that trust by misusing information obtained as councillors.
You must ensure that information which is confidential to the local government remains confidential.
A person who is, or has been, a councillor must not use information acquired as a councillor to directly or indirectly gain a financial advantage for yourself or anyone else, or to harm the local government.
Misuse of information by a councillor
It is misconduct if you:
- misuse information which you gained as a councillor
- release confidential information.
It is official misconduct if you:
- use information for a financial benefit or to cause financial harm. This is an offence with a maximum penalty of 100 penalty units fine or two years imprisonment.
- buy or sell assets on the basis of inside information. This is an offence with a maximum penalty of 1,000 penalty units fine or two years imprisonment.
- give inside information which could influence a reasonable person to decide to buy or sell an asset to another person. This is an offence with a maximum penalty of 1,000 penalty units fine or two years imprisonment.
If you are convicted of an offence, you will be automatically disqualified from holding office.