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 they will abide by the code of conduct when they are elected and the code applies to all councils.

Complaints about councillor conduct

Complaint assessment

All complaints about the conduct of a Councillor must be referred to, and are initially assessed by, the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA). The OIA may:

  • Assess the complaint and dismiss it in accordance with section 150X; or,
  • Reasonably suspect a conduct breach and refer the complaint back to the CEO of Council for investigation (in accordance with Council’s Investigation Policy); or,
  • Reasonably suspect misconduct and make an application to the Conduct Tribunal for investigation and a decision.

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

For more information about making a Councillor conduct complaint to the OIA please:

Conduct Breach and Misconduct

A conduct breach is defined in section 150K, while Misconduct is defined in section 150L of the Local Government Act 2009.

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 assessment and 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

Council is required to maintain a Councillor Conduct Register. As a result of amendments to the Local Government Act 2009, which took effect on 22 November 2023, Council is no longer required to include ‘dismissed’ matters on the register.

To access the register and understand what is now required to be captured, see Councillor Conduct Register. 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.