Councillor complaint system set for major overhaul
THE handling of complaints about Queensland councillors is set for a major overhaul following the announcement of a wide sweeping review.
Former integrity commissioner David Solomon will head up the review which is expected to take six months.
Local Government Minister Jackie Trad made the announcement on Thursday in State Parliament saying the review was prompted following concerns local government bodies had raised with her.
"This review is about ensuring councillors are held to high standards of ethical and legal behaviour, which puts the public's interests ahead of any individual interests," she said.
"It is also about ensuring when legitimate complaints about councillor conduct are made, they will be dealt with promptly by the appropriate body in accordance with the rules of procedural fairness and natural justice.
"These procedures have not been comprehensively reviewed since they were introduced in 2009, so this review is timely to ensure there is a modern, fair, transparent and accountable system in place to manage complaints."
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he welcomed any initiative which resulted in more transparency within local government.
"It will take a lot of pressure of other bodies such at the Crime and Corruption Commission," he said.
"I do not think the review goes far enough though.
"There should be heavy penalties for those who make vexatious complaints and misuse the system for their own political gain or for other purposes."
Former Labor MP turned crossbencher Rob Pyne had also called for an overhaul of the system.
Mr Pyne cited Labor's refusal to address the issue as one of the major reasons why he quite the party last month.