All intending candidates for next year’s local government elections, including sitting councillors and mayors who plan to run again, are now required to complete an online training course before they nominate.
The compulsory training, as a requirement for nomination, is now live and was part of the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 passed by Parliament on 16 October.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the training was integral to promoting community confidence in the sector.
“Queenslanders deserve representation of the highest calibre and mandatory training will mean they have elected officials who have a better understanding of their responsibilities and obligations when serving their communities,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“This was an important recommendation in the Crime and Corruption Commission’s Operation Belcarra Report and will make sure all candidates go in with their eyes wide open about what is required during the campaign and as a councillor once elected.”
Already, there have been more than 200 enrolments, 124 completions, 27 nominations for face-to-face training, 28 completions of the evaluation survey and 33 calls to the hotline.
Mainstream media and social media campaigns have also started.
The training includes information such as obligations in relation to reporting donations and expenditure during the campaign as well as the requirement to have a dedicated bank account. It also details responsibilities once elected, such as understanding conflicts of interest, the Code of Conduct and requirements involved with a councillor’s register of interests.
Mr Hinchliffe said the free training was now available on the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs website for all intending candidates.
“An alternative to the online training will be face-to-face training at various locations around the State as department officials conduct So You Want To Be A Councillor information sessions,” he said.
“These free sessions allow those people who may not have access to the online training to still fulfil that nomination requirement in person.
For information about the online training as well as the So You Want To Be A Councillor information sessions visit http://www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/candidates
Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe