Local Government Bulletins
Recent changes to legislation – implementation of stage 2 reforms for the Local Government sector
The purpose of this bulletin is to provide information about recent legislative amendments to implement the second stage of the Queensland Government’s rolling reforms for the Local Government sector.
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) report Operation Belcarra: A blueprint for integrity and addressing corruption risk in Local Government, finalised in October 2017, contained recommendations for legislative changes to reduce the risk of corruption and to improve equity, transparency, integrity and accountability in local government elections and decision-making.
Matters requiring urgent legislative change were implemented by the government as part of a first stage of reforms in 2018, including strengthened processes for the management of conflicts of interest processes and prohibition of donations from property developers for candidates, councillors, third parties and political parties. The first stage of reforms also established the Office of the Independent Assessor and a new framework for complaints about councillor conduct.
The Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was assented to on 30 October 2019.
Changes that are in effect immediately:
- Mandatory So you want to be a councillor? training for election candidates
- Transparent candidate bank accounts and financial returns
- New restrictions on decisions during the election caretaker period
- New requirements for candidates in groups
Changes in effect on 18 November 2019:
- Right to Information laws to cover Brisbane City Council civic cabinet meetings
- Expanded councillor rights to access council information
- Clarified responsibilities for councillors in preparing council budgets
- Changes to mayoral powers to direct Chief Executive Officers (CEO) and senior executive officers
- Changes to the appointment of senior executive officers
Changes in effect on 20 January 2020:
- Improved real-time donation disclosures
- Improved disclosures of real donation and gift sources
- Real-time expenditure disclosures
Changes in effect on 30 March 2020:
- Office of the Independent Assessor to investigate councillor conduct complaints for Brisbane City Council
The Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 and Explanatory Notes are available on the Queensland Legislation website:
- Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019
- Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 – as introduced on 1 May 2019
- Explanatory Notes – as introduced on 1 May 2019
- Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 – as passed (third reading)
- Explanatory Notes to the amendments moved during consideration in detail
- City of Brisbane Act 2010 reprint current from 30 October 2019
- Local Government Act 2009 reprint current from 30 October 2019
- Local Government Electoral Act 2011 reprint current from 30 October 2019.
The Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs will continue to provide information and resources to ensure that all councillors, CEOs and potential election candidates are well informed about the new legislative requirements.
Visit www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/lgreform to:
- view resources and fact sheets on key topics including disclosures and election requirements
- view the information paper on previous and proposed local government reforms.
Enquiries about the local government reforms should be made using the dedicated reforms phone hotline 07 3452 6747.
Further information on the mandatory candidate training is available on the dedicated website at www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/candidates. Enquiries about the candidate training should be made using the dedicated training hotline 07 3452 7148.
The hotline numbers are available between the hours of 8.30 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.
Last updated: Monday, Nov 30, 2020