About being a Mayor or Councillor
Is being a Mayor or Councillor for you?
Taking on the office of Mayor or Councillor in a local government is a matter that needs careful consideration. It needs a significant commitment of time, energy and effort that is demanding but also fulfilling.
It is a role where the focus must be on serving the community and seeking to improve the local economic, social and environmental conditions for the residents of the City.
Not everyone is suited or motivated to apply themselves to the task of being an elected representative. For more information about becoming a Councillor, please visit Department of Local Government. Racing and Multicultural Affairs (DLGRMA) - What does it take to be a Councillor?
The multicultural profile of Logan makes it desirable for elected members to have a strong empathy with the many and varied cultural backgrounds across the city.
To achieve the best results for residents elected representatives must also work as a team with the other Councillors and the management of the organisation.
The roles of Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillor, described in Section 12 of the Local Government Act, are expected to be undertaken in line with the Local Government Principles set out in Section 4 of the Act.
The local government principles are:
a) transparent and effective processes, and decision-making in the public interest
b) sustainable development and management of assets and infrastructure, and delivery of effective services
c) democratic representation, social inclusion and meaningful community engagement
d) good governance of, and by, local government, and
e) ethical and legal behaviour of councillors and local government employees.
Individual Councillors cannot make decisions on their own. All authority rests with the Council as a whole. Councillors need good communication, inter-personal and negotiating skills to gain the consensus needed to pursue a common vision for the City.
Life as Mayor or Councillor revolves around meetings, reports and briefings whilst also needing to make time to interact with individuals and community groups to understand their needs and to share our strategic direction.
Councillors will need to attend Council and Committee meetings. Council Agendas and Minutes of meeting record the range of topics dealt with. For more information about Council Meetings, Agendas and minutes, please see Committees and Meetings
Mayors and councillors are expected to be leaders in their communities. There is a high expectation about how they conduct themselves in Council meetings and interacting with the organisation and in public.
Code of conduct
Councillors are bound by a DLGRMA Code of Conduct (PDF 258.36 KB). The Code of Conduct requires them to act at all times with integrity. Legislated processes are in place to deal with complaints against councillor conduct. For more information about this process, please visit Office of the Independent Assessor.
Councillors are also expected to deal with matters coming before the Council impartially and free from bias and personal interest. By law they are required to maintain registers of interest setting out all relevant business and personal relationships which could be, or be seen to be, unduly influencing their participation in Council’s decision making. For more information about registers of interest, please visit DLGRMA
Councillors are also expected to avoid being influenced by Lobbyists or special interest groups seeking to divert the Council from objective decision making. There are strict rules about avoiding and declaring conflicts of interest, please see Meetings and Decision Making.
Councillors are paid for their service on Council. The scale of that payment is set yearly for all local governments in Queensland by the independent Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal.
The current payment levels for 2019/20 are:
- Mayor: $204,036 per annum
- Deputy Mayor: $138,745 per annum
- Councillor: $122,421
Councillors are given tools and support to undertake their role, including:
- a mobile phone
- office accommodation
- administrative assistance, and
- a car or vehicle allowance.
For more information, please see Policies.
The role of a Councillor
Once elected Councillors will be involved in a comprehensive Induction Program covering all aspects of their role. The program runs for several days with follow up briefings. Councillors will receive continuing support from the CEO and relevant Council staff to make sure they settle into their new environment and become productive members of the Council.
The amount of time a councillor needs to commit to their role depends on their approach to engaging with their constituents. Their core commitment is to preparing for and attending meetings of the Council, its Committees, any special briefings or workshops arranged to inform them of emerging issues.
Councillors are given agendas and business papers to be considered at meetings. The amount of material that needs to be read and understood before the meeting can be extensive. It is important for Councillors to set aside time for this preparation. They must also allow enough time to ask for further explanation if needed before taking part in debate at meetings.
Community organisations often expect councillors to attend their meetings or activities. Councillors need to prioritise their time so they do not become overwhelmed by demands on their attention.
There will also be incoming mail and phone calls from residents asking for information and support. Councillors are given administrative assistance by the Council organisation to handle these matters. Administrative staff will assist residents and where possible direct them to the area that can best help them. If residents need the Councillors personal attention the staff will record the details and advise the Councillor accordingly.
The management of the Council’s organisation rests with the CEO and the management team. Councillors are not empowered to give instructions to Council employees and should refrain from making requests for action to operational staff. There is a formal line of authority for getting things done and Councillors need to observe the required protocols.
To enable Councillors to access information and help from the organisation in the most appropriate manner a policy known as Acceptable Request Guidelines operates. These guidelines make sure Councillor requests are dealt with efficiently and management protocols are adhered to. The CEO may also authorise direct access by Councillors to certain key managers to allow urgent matters to be dealt with.
Any requests on behalf of residents for works or attention to complaints are to be lodged with the Customer Service Centre so they are properly recorded, prioritised and followed up.
For a general summary of other Councillor related information you can also refer to the DLGRMA Councillor Resource Kit (PDF 471 KB).