The Councillor Conduct Tribunal (CCT), an independent body charged with handling complaints of misconduct by councillors, has welcomed seven new casual members, who bring a wealth of legal, investigative, local government and prosecution experience.
The addition of Bronwyn Springer, Carolyn Ashcroft, Gabriel Bednarek, Russell Faulkner, Troy Newman, Clare O’Connor and Oliver Simon means there are now 13 casual members supporting CCT President June Anstee.
In announcing the appointments, Minister for Local Government Stirling Hinchliffe said the new members bring diverse and significant professional experience.
“The Councillor Conduct Tribunal plays a vital role in ensuring local government representatives are held to the high standards expected of them by Queensland communities,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“These new members include a retired Magistrate, practising barristers, a Police Prosecutor and former Local Government Chief Executive Officers.
“There is no doubt the Tribunal will be strengthened even further by each of these appointments.
“A stronger CCT will go a long way to increase the integrity and accountability of the Local Government sector, and above all, improve the community’s confidence in their elected officials.”
The new members join existing casual Tribunal members Avelina Tarrago, Jane Bishop, Jane Stuckey, Brendan Walker-Munro, Peter Black and Sally Robb.
The Tribunal was established as part of the Queensland Government’s rolling reform into Local Government, which also included the establishment of the Office of the Independent Assessor and councillor Code of Conduct.
Bronwyn Springer – casual member. Ms Springer is a retired Magistrate and sits from time to time as an Acting Magistrate after her recent reappointment from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2022. A former member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal and the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal, Ms Springer worked at the Criminal Justice Commission and was the Deputy Public Interest Monitor. Ms Springer will bring to the Tribunal the experience of her extensive legal career as a decision-maker in various roles.
Russell Faulkner – casual member. Mr Faulkner is a former Chief Executive Officer of Local Government with 34 years’ experience in the Local Government sector. Mr Faulkner recently obtained legal qualifications and has a detailed knowledge of Local Government.
Carolyn Ashcroft – casual member. Ms Ashcroft is a current Public Panel of Assessors member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) and has investigation experience. Ms Ashcroft also has experience in a variety of business environments and is currently a part-time Financial Administrator with the Gold Coast Community Legal Centre and a registered BAS Agent with the Tax Practitioners Board.
Troy Newman – casual member. Mr Newman is a current serving police officer having also worked at the Crime and Corruption Commission from May 2017 to February 2019. Mr Newman has extensive investigation experience and was principally involved in the Local Government corruption investigations into the Fraser Coast Regional Council. Mr Newman contributed to the legislative reform of the Local Government sector and is legally qualified.
Clare O’Connor – casual member. Ms O’Connor is a Barrister and part-time member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal. Ms O’Connor has extensive legal experience, having been both a Crown Prosecutor and an Acting Senior Crown Prosecutor.
Gabe Bednarek – casual member. Mr Bednarek is a Barrister who practices in both criminal and civil jurisdictions. Mr Bednarek has served on Queensland Touch Football’s Disciplinary Tribunals.
Oliver Simon – casual member. Mr Simon was the previous Chief Executive Officer of Paroo Shire Council and the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Logan City Council. Mr Simon has extensive knowledge of the Local Government sector.
For more information on the Councillor Conduct Tribunal: www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/cct
Minister for Local Government, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe