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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.

If the tribunal decides that a councillor engaged in misconduct, it may make any order or recommendation that it considers appropriate in view of the circumstances relating to the misconduct (section 180(4), Local Government Act 2009).

For example, the tribunal may order that the councillor:

  • receive counselling
  • make an apology
  • participate in mediation with another person
  • forfeit an allowance, payment, benefit or privilege
  • reimburse or make a payment to the local government.

The tribunal might also or instead recommend to the:

  • Director-General of the department that s/he monitors the councillor or the local government for compliance with the relevant Local Government Act
  • Minister that the councillor be suspended or dismissed
  • Crime and Misconduct Commission or the Queensland Police Commissioner that the councillor's conduct be further investigated.