Queensland Government

Friday 3 May 2019

The Independent Assessor has reassured councillors that they will not be prosecuted for the offence of ‘influence’ for making individual submissions on divisional boundary changes to the Local Government Change Commission ahead of the 2020 local government elections.

The offence of ‘influence’ may occur when a councillor has a conflict of interest or material personal interest and seeks to influence another councillor, council employee or council contractor to make a decision.

However making individual submissions to the Change Commission on boundary changes does not fall into that category.

Historically, many councils make a group submission to the Change Commission, however integrity bodies are receiving requests for advice on providing individual submissions.

The OIA acknowledges that councillors are important stakeholders in the process due to their local knowledge and experience.

The OIA recommends however that if councillors have a personal interest in the changes, they should include in their submission any potential benefit, or detriment, that they might receive from their recommended course of action.

The Change Commission could then take that into account.

The Minister for Local Government has referred a number of divisional boundary reviews for 16 councils to the Change Commission.

This advice has been developed in consultation with the Electoral Commissioner, Integrity Commissioner and the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs.

ENDS

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