OSCAR agrees with much of what the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is proposing in its 10-point plan for local government reform and we would welcome the LGAQ working with peak community groups like OSCAR to bring about the legislative changes needed to achieve these outcomes:
“Queensland councils are determined to be leaders in transparency and accountability to guarantee public confidence and trust.
The LGAQ Policy Executive has endorsed the following proposals to guide the local government sector’s strong commitment to demanding the highest standards of integrity in all aspects of local government operations.
LGAQ’s 10 Point Plan
• Clarification that donations/gifts are to remain on registers of interests for two terms of council (current and previous term).
• Mandatory pre-election briefings for new candidates (excluding sitting councillors).
• Mandatory, high-quality and practical post-election training for all elected members.
• LGAQ-run community awareness campaign on local government planning role.
• Introduction of a statutory provision to automatically stand down councillors charged with an indictable offence, at full remuneration until proven guilty.
• Compulsory register of interests for candidates seeking election.
• Campaign expenditure limits set at $2 per enrolled voter for mayoral elections and $1 per enrolled voter for councillor elections, with upper expenditure limits (“ceilings”) of $200,000 for mayoral elections and $50,000 for councillor elections and lower expenditure limits (“floors”) of $20,000 for mayoral elections, $15,000 for councillor elections in undivided councils and $5,000 for councillor elections in divided councils.
• Donations or gifts above $500 on a register of interests to be treated the same as a Material Personal Interest.
• Open data and governance innovation initiatives provided by the LGAQ, most particularly Ready, Set, Go benchmarking service being made public from October 2018.
• Better Councils, Better Communities – public education campaign run by the LGAQ.”