Local Government reform and accountability will be on the agenda at today’s LGAQ Future Cities Summit in Cairns.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, who will address the summit, said the Palaszczuk Government was pressing ahead with a raft of Local Government reforms off the back of the CCC’s Operation Belcarra.
“We’ve already political banned donations from property developers and ensured that where a Councillor or Mayor has been charged with a serious integrity offence, they are automatically suspended,” he said.
“This is part of our rolling Local Government reform agenda and we’ll work closely with stakeholders, including the LGAQ, to push this agenda forward.
“An important part of our reform agenda is changing the way councillor complaints are handled.
“It’s why the State Budget includes a commitment of $14.1 million over four years to establish an independent body to consider councillor complaints, and improve governance practices and sustainability.
“This Office of the Independent Assessor will be established and operating before the end of the year.
“These and other Local Government integrity reforms all aim to ensure residents and ratepayers can have confidence in the decisions their Councils are making.”
Mr Hinchliffe said the Palaszczuk Government was also planning for Future Cities through much-needed planning reform.
“Our Planning Act commencing last year and a new South-East Queensland Regional Plan are designed designed to cater for the expected population growth,” he said.
“We’re also working towards the first ever North Queensland Regional Plan.
“And as we move move towards a Knowledge Economy, we’re exploring more and more Health and Knowledge Precincts in partnership with local Councils.
“With enhanced accountability and an eye on emerging opportunities, Queensland Councils have a great opportunity to shape their future for the better.”
Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe