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Local government reform

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

New reforms since 2018 strengthen the transparency, accountability and integrity measures that apply to the system of local government in Queensland and follow the release of the Belcarra report and other input from local government stakeholders.

Latest updates

4 December 2020

COVID-19 Emergency Response and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020 including the following amendments to the vacancies process in the Local Government Act 2009 to vacancies in the first 12 months after a quadrennial election:

  • mayoral vacancies – a by-election is to be held; and
  • councillor vacancies – local governments are to determine by resolution whether the vacancy is to be filled by a by-election or the appointment of a runner-up.
12 October 2020

Electoral and Other Legislation (Accountability, Integrity and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2020 and supporting regulation changes in effect.

Read the information paper (PDF, 266KB).

New documents finalised to support changes to legislation:

1 October 2020

Local Government Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2020 in effect.

Read the information paper (PDF, 266KB).

Register for updates

To stay up to date about the local government reforms you can register for email updates.

Reform background

Read about the principles, reform drivers and reports informing the local government reforms.

Reform timeline

19 May 2017 Introduction of real-time election donations and lower donation thresholds.
21 May 2018 Belcarra stage 1 reforms including:
  • prohibition of donations from property developers
  • a new regime for dealing with conflicts of interest.
3 December 2018 Councillor complaints framework implemented including:
  • introducing a uniform Code of Conduct for Councillors in Queensland
  • model meeting procedures for meeting behaviour
  • amendment of the publicly available Councillor conduct register
  • creation of the Office of the Independent Assessor
  • new annual report requirements.
30 October 2019 Belcarra stage 2 reforms including:
  • mandatory So you want to be a councillor? candidate training
  • transparent candidate bank accounts
  • changes to how a budget is presented to councillors
  • expanded Councillor rights to access information
  • limits on the size of Councillor ‘discretionary’ funds and new requirement to publicise spending (regulatory amendment in effect from 30 March 2020).
26 March 2020 Temporary Regulation changes for meetings and elections during COVID-19 restrictions.
28 March 2020 Local government elections
1 October 2020 Local Government Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2020 (PDF, 266KB) in effect including::
  • requirements regarding the sale of land for rates arrears
  • strengthening the requirements on the use of Council-controlled entities.
12 october 2020 Electoral and Other Legislation (Accountability, Integrity and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2020 and supporting Regulation changes including:
  • changes to register of interest requirements
  • new and clarified conflict of interest requirements
  • new requirements for Councillor advisors.
  • new requirement for guidelines for administrative support staff
  • more transparent council meetings.

Resources and fact sheets

View information for councillors and information for councils and council officers incorporating changes made as part of stage 2 reforms.

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Dedicated hotline

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).
Phone: 07 3452 6747.

Email

For more information or to provide feedback on the reforms, email lgreforms@dlgrma.qld.gov.au.

Last updated: Friday, Dec 4, 2020