Council backs move by State Government to tackle political donations

Council has shown its support for the State Government to make changes to legislation which would ban property developers from making donations to state and local government candidates.

Southern Downs Councillors unanimously endorsed a submission to the Economics and Governance Committee on Electoral Legislation (Political Donations) Amendment Bill 2018, today in Council’s June General Meeting.

Council agreed with the policy objectives to amend the Electoral Act 1992 and the Local Government Electoral Act 2011, to prohibit the making of political donations by for-profit corporations to candidates in State or Local Government elections, groups of candidates in Local Government elections, third parties, political parties, Councillors and Members of State Parliament. 

The proposed changes were one of the recommendations out of the Operation Belcarra report which found widespread non-compliance with legislative obligations relating to local government elections and political donations.

However, Council’s submission did question why the proposed change to the legislation does not also incorporate not-for-profit organisations. 

Council’s endorsement reflects its support to take measures to remove opportunities to influence responsible decision making or impact on the reputation of local government.

SDRC also endorses any moves which diminish the level of risk and perceived conflicts of interest or corruption.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said the State Government’s proposed change to the legislation was about ensuring the reputation of local government.

“As a Council we support all measures taken to assure transparency and accountability and to enable the democratic process in local government,” Cr Dobie said.

“We fully support any moves which may reduce the risk of corruption in local government and impact on how Councils operate responsibly and best serves their ratepayers."

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