Queensland Government

The Independent Assessor will assess all complaints received. The Assessor may also initiate their own investigation if they have reason to suspect misconduct or inappropriate conduct.

If sufficient information is provided to the Independent Assessor and the complaint constitutes misconduct or inappropriate conduct, it will either be investigated by the OIA or referred back to local government for investigation.

If insufficient information is provided to the Independent Assessor a notice may be issued requesting more information.

If the complaint is vexatious or frivolous, it will be dismissed and the complainant advised. Please note penalties apply for making frivolous or vexatious complaints.

If the Independent Assessor reasonably suspects a complaint or information involves, or may involve, corrupt conduct the Independent Assessor must notify the Crime and Corruption Commission.

At the end of the investigation, the Independent Assessor may:

  • take no further action on the complaint
  • if the Independent Assessor reasonably suspects the conduct is inappropriate conduct refer the conduct to the local government to deal with; or
  • if the Independent Assessor reasonably suspects the conduct is misconduct, make an application for the matter to be heard by the Councillor Conduct Tribunal.
It is difficult to predict how long it will take to deal with a complaint. Several factors, such as the complexity of the complaint, the availability of witnesses and the ability to obtain evidence will all impact on the duration of a matter.

The Independent Assessor will notify complainants of the receipt and outcome of a complaint. Complainants will also be notified if the complaint is dismissed or no further action is taken by the Independent Assessor.

Complainants will receive an update every two months, if the matter is not finalised before. Please note, once closed, decisions can be reviewed. Request for review must be made within three months of the case being closed.

The identity of a complainant will be protected unless disclosure is required for investigations or prosecution. Complainants will be advised if their identity will be disclosed.

Those who make a complaint or intend to make a complaint against a councillor are protected from acts of reprisal.

A councillor who is found to have threatened or taken actual action, or has incited, permitted or conspired with another person to threaten or take actual action against a complainant, can be fined or imprisoned for two years.

The Independent Assessor will dismiss a complaint that is assessed as being frivolous, vexatious or lacking in substance.

If a complaint is dismissed as being frivolous, the Independent Assessor will issue the person making the complaint a notice advising them that if they make the same, or substantially the same complaint again, the person commits an offence. The complainant may be liable to pay a fine of up to 85 penalty units. It is an offence after receiving the notice for a person to make the complaint again without a reasonable excuse.

It is an offence for a person to make or ask someone else to make a vexatious or mischievous, reckless or malicious complaint and could be liable to a fine of up to 85 penalty units.

1300 620 722
Level 13
53 Albert Street
BRISBANE QLD 4000

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