Queensland government introduces code of conduct for councillors

A councillor code of conduct spelling out the minimum behaviour required of local government councillors will be put in place by the state government.

WATCH ON COUNCILLORS: A code of conduct will be introduced for all councils after a long series of problems led to a host of charges being laid.

WATCH ON COUNCILLORS: A code of conduct will be introduced for all councils after a long series of problems led to a host of charges being laid.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the code, which takes effect in December, was the latest in a series of local government reforms. 

They include a ban on political donations from property developers, the automatic suspension of mayors and councillors for a range of integrity offences and a new power for the minister to dismiss or suspend a council, councillor or mayor in the public interest. 

“This new code of conduct sets the bar high for Queensland’s elected local government representatives,” he said.

“It sets out the principles and standards of behaviour expected of councillors and mayors when carrying out their roles, responsibilities and obligations as the elected representatives of their communities.” 

The code has a strong focus on responsibilities, being respectful in how people are treated and behaving in a way that guards the reputation of councils.

CODE: Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.

CODE: Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.

“Face-to-face training is available to all councillors to ensure they are fully aware of and ready to comply with the code when it comes in on 3 December this year,” Mr Hinchliffe said. 

“I’m encouraged that more than 35 councils have already signed up for training and I urge the others to do the same in the interests of good governance and their ratepayers.”

Mr Hinchliffe said councillors who broke the code could be reprimanded, be forced to attend counselling or ordered to reimburse costs arising from inappropriate conduct.

All councillors must declare that they will abide by the code when elected. 

The code can be viewed here www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/code-of-conduct.

This story Councillor code of conduct comes in first appeared on Redland City Bulletin.