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Stage 2 Reforms Passed

22 October 2019 

On 16 October 2019, the Queensland Parliament passed the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019.

The implementation timeframes of these changes are as follows.

Changes in effect from the Governor’s assent of the legislation:

·         Mandatory So you want to be a councillor? training for election candidates

·         Transparent dedicated candidate bank accounts and financial returns

·         New restrictions on decisions during the election period (i.e. caretaker period).

In effect 18 November 2019:

·         Right to Information laws to cover Brisbane City Council civic cabinet meetings

·         Expanded councillor rights to access council information

·         Clarified responsibilities for councillors in preparing council budgets

·         Changes to mayoral powers to direct CEOs and senior executive officers and the appointment of senior executive officers.

In effect 20 January 2020:

·         Improved real-time donation disclosures

·         Improved disclosures of real donation and gift sources

·         Real-time expenditure disclosures.

In effect 30 March 2020:

·         The Office of Independent Assessor (OIA) to investigate councillor complaints for Brisbane City Council.

In addition to these reforms, Councils will be required to consult with the community on their budgets (proposed to commence for 2021-22 budget year).  The Southern Downs Regional Council has implemented this practice for the last four years of its own accord.

More information about the reforms can be found on the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs’ website.

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