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On 1 May 2019 the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was introduced to the Queensland Legislative Assembly.

The Bill has been referred to the Economics and Governance Committee who conducted an inquiry into the Bill. The submissions made, recordings and transcripts for the public hearings can be located on the Committee’s website.

On 21 June 2019, the Committee released its report which is now being considered by the State Government before the Bill is debated by Parliament. Should the Bill be passed, these reforms will apply to local governments and candidates for the 2020 local government elections. More information will be made available in due course by the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs here.

Ethical and legal behaviour

A councillor must always act with integrity and abide by the law in carrying out their local government responsibilities. Councillors are accountable for their behaviour and should conduct themselves in an appropriate, professional and ethical way that meets the obligations set out in the Local Government Act 2009 (LGA) and City of Brisbane Act 2010.

Queensland councillors under the LGA must comply with the mandatory code of conduct. The code of conduct contains behavioural standards which include examples of behaviours to guide councillors in complying with the code.

A councillor is elected to serve and represent the interests of the whole community in their local government area. It is important that residents are confident that their council makes its decisions in the overall public interest and not to benefit councillors, their relatives or a particular group in the community.

For this reason, the local government legislation sets out specific requirements for councillors and local governments about:

Councillors' responsibility

It is the responsibility of each councillor to ensure they have properly considered the relevant facts and issues when making a decision about the proper course of action to take in a particular situation.

Advice can be sought from a variety of sources including: