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Councillor Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct for Councillors

The Local Government Act 2009 has been amended to provide that the Minister must make a Code of Conduct for Councillors in Queensland that sets out the standards of behaviour for councillors and mayors in performing their functions.

Introducing a new uniform Code of Conduct will assist in efficiently making all councillors aware of their obligations around the three ‘R’s – responsibilities, respect and reputation.

The three ‘R’s ensure:

  • that councillors carry out responsibilities conscientiously and in the best interests of the Council and the community
  • they treat people in a reasonable, just, respectful and non-discriminatory way
  • their conduct does not reflect adversely on the reputation of the Council.

The Code of Conduct for Councillors is backed by tougher penalties for those who breach the Code, including complaints that fall into corrupt conduct, misconduct, inappropriate conduct and a new category of unsuitable meeting conduct.

All councillors must declare that they will abide by this Code of Conduct when they are elected and will apply to all councils.

The Code of Conduct (PDF, 150KB) took effect on 3 December 2018.

Complaints about councillor conduct

Preliminary assessment

Inappropriate conduct

Inappropriate conduct is defined in section 150K of the Local Government Act 2009.

From 3 December 2018 the Independent Assessor and the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) will assess and investigate complaints about inappropriate conduct by councillors.

Previously, complaints about councillor conduct were assessed by the chief executive of the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs, or the council’s CEO.

The OIA can choose to either:

  • investigate the complaint and make a decision; or
  • refer the complaint back to the mayor for investigation.

Where complaints about inappropriate conduct are investigated by the mayor, the decision about the complaint will be made by Council at an ordinary Council meeting.

If you require further information about making a complaint to the OIA you can visit their website at http://oia.qld.gov.au/office-of-the-independent-assessor/make-a-complaint.html, emailing OIAcomplaints@oia.qld.gov.au or call 1300 620 722.

Misconduct

Misconduct is defined in section 150L of the Local Government Act 2009.

From 3 December 2018 the Independent Assessor and the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) will assess and investigate complaints about misconduct by councillors.

Previously, complaints about councillor conduct were assessed by the chief executive of the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs, or the council’s CEO.

The OIA can choose to either:

  • investigate the complaint and make a decision; or
  • refer the complaint to the Councillor Conduct Tribunal for investigation and decision.

If you require further information about making a complaint to the OIA you can visit their website at http://oia.qld.gov.au/office-of-the-independent-assessor/make-a-complaint.html, email  OIAcomplaints@oia.qld.gov.au or call 1300 620 722.

Corrupt conduct

Corrupt conduct is defined in section 15 of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

If Council, the OIA or the Councillor Conduct Tribunal receives a complaint that potentially involves corrupt conduct, the complaint is referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) for investigation.

If you require further information about making a complaint to the CCC you can visit their website at http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au, email mailbox@ccc.qld.gov.au or call 1800 061 611.

Where a complaint does not constitute a councillor conduct complaint

The OIA may assess that the complaint is another type of complaint and not a councillor conduct complaint.  If this occurs the complaint will be referred back to Council and processed under the relevant complaints process, such as the Administrative Action Complaints process.

Register of complaints against councillors

Council is required to keep a register of complaints made against councillors and the outcome of these complaints. There are some exceptions to recording complaints regarding public interest disclosures in the register.

The Councillor Conduct Register is available on Council's website and is available for public inspection at Council's Administration Centre. If you wish to inspect the register, contact the Administrative Review and Ethics Program on (07) 3412 3412 to organise an appointment to view the register.

Further information

If you require further information about councillor conduct, please contact Council's Administrative Review and Ethics Program on (07) 3412 3412.