Call for submissions on local government legislation to implement Belcarra recommendations

INVESTIGATED: Candidates for Logan City Council were among those investigated by the Crime and Corruption Commission as part of Operation Belcarra.
INVESTIGATED: Candidates for Logan City Council were among those investigated by the Crime and Corruption Commission as part of Operation Belcarra.

A PUBLIC briefing and hearing will be held on local government electoral legislation that is before the Queensland Parliament.

The Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 1 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill was drafted in response to recommendations by the Crime and Corruption Commission after its Operation Belcarra investigation.

The CCC investigated complains about the conduct of candidates for the Logan, Gold Coast, Ipswich City councils and Moreton Bay Regional Council. 

The legislation implements the government’s response to five of the CCC’s 31 recommendations.

Submissions on the bill can also be made to the Economics and Governance Committee by midday on Thursday, March 23.

The committee will hold a public briefing on Monday, March 19 and a public hearing on Wednesday, March 28.

The committee is due to table its report by April 23, after which the government has three months to respond to any recommendations.

Similar legislation was introduced last year but lapsed when Parliament was dissolved ahead of the state elections.

View the bill here:

Introducing the bill, Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said it banned donations from property developers to candidates, third parties, political parties and councillors.

“The bill extends the ban to members of state Parliament,” he said.

“The prohibition addresses the concern identified in the Belcarra report that close connections between councillors and donors can lead to a perception in the community that donors expect to, and do, receive something in return for their support.”

The prohibition would apply from October 12, 2017, being the date the legislation was introduced.

Other provisions in the bill relate to councillor conflicts of interest.

Mr Hinchliffe said integrity offences were introduced by the bill.

“This means that a person who is convicted of an integrity offence cannot be a councillor for four years from the conviction,” he said.

Mr Hinchliffe said the bill was the first stage of the government’s reform agenda.

The briefing and hearing will be held at the Parliamentary Annex. The starting time had not been confirmed at the time of publication.

Submissions can be emailed to egc@parliament.qld.gov.au.

This story Call for submissions on legislation to implement Belcarra recommendations first appeared on Redland City Bulletin.

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