Mayors and Local Government Councillors will be able to seek ethical and integrity advice from the Queensland Integrity Commissioner, as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s increased transparency and accountability agenda.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said there was a strong public interest in granting elected Local Government representatives access to professional and confidential ethical and integrity advice.
“In the report into Operation Belcarra, the CCC recommended that Queensland’s Mayors and Councillors be given access to the advisory and public awareness functions of the Queensland Integrity Commissioner,” he said.
“That’s why I’ve written to Queensland Integrity Commissioner Dr Nikola Stepanov requesting that Mayors and Councillors are included as designated persons under the Integrity Act 2009.
“State MPs and senior public servants can already seek advice from the Queensland Integrity Commissioner, and now’s the right time to extend this access to Mayors and Councillors.
“The Palaszczuk Government has a strong and enduring commitment to see measures are in place to ensure behavior of public officials is legal, in the interests of the communities they serve and, above all, ethical.
“This reform takes effect immediately, giving our Local Government representatives access to an impartial source of advice that will enable them to serve their communities better.”
Mr Hinchliffe said the Palaszczuk Government was pursuing a series of important Local Government reforms.
“These include legislating to establish the Office of the Independent Assessor to deal with Councillor complaints and enacting new conflict of interest provisions,” he said.
“We’re determined to see the good name of Local Government restored, protected and enhanced.”
Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe