Councillor code of conduct

The Local Government Act 2009 states that the Minister must make a code of conduct for councillors in Queensland. The code of conduct sets out the standards of behaviour for councillors and mayors in performing their functions.

The Code of conduct makes all councillors aware of their obligations around the three Rs – responsibilities, respect and reputation.

The three Rs ensure that:

  • councillors carry out responsibilities conscientiously and in the best interests of the Council and the community
  • councillors treat people in a reasonable, just, respectful and non-discriminatory way
  • councillors’ 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. This includes corrupt conduct, misconduct, inappropriate conduct and unsuitable meeting conduct.

All councillors must declare that they will abide by the code of conduct when they are elected and the code applies to all councils.

Complaints about councillor conduct

Inappropriate conduct and misconduct

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

Misconduct is defined in section 150L of the Local Government Act 2009.The Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) will assess and investigate complaints about inappropriate conduct or misconduct by councillors.

The OIA can choose to either:

  • investigate the complaint and make a decision
  • if the conduct is appropriate, refer the complaint back to the CEO of Council for investigation
  • if misconduct, refer the complaint to the Councillor Conduct Tribunal for investigation and a decision.

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

Corrupt conduct

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

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

For more information about making a complaint to the CCC please:

Where a complaint does not constitute a councillor conduct complaint

The OIA may assess that the complaint is not a councillor conduct complaint. If this occurs, the complaint will be referred back to Council. We will process the complaint under the relevant complaints process, such as the administrative action complaints process.

Register of complaints against councillors

We are required to keep a register of complaints made against councillors and the outcome of these complaints. The legislation sets out what information must be put in the register.

You can download the Councillor Conduct Register (PDF 161 KB). It is also available to view at our administration centre

If you would like more information about councillor conduct or the register of complaints, please contact our integrity and information program on 07 3412 3412.

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