Teams put out by QLD crackdown
Local government advocates have criticised a council corruption crackdown in QLD.
Some local governments are being forced to delegate decisions to CEOs after their councillors were swept up by stricter conflict of interest provisions.
The new regime created in response to the Crime and Corruption Commission's (CCC) Operation Belcarra affects councils at which the majority of councillors were elected on a team ticket.
The changes mean the whole group is excluded from votes where a conflict arises.
Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) chief executive Greg Hallam has called on Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe to intervene.
“Where groups were elected and they have the majority of the votes on the council floor, those groups are in a unique situation; they can't vote on matters — not just the individual but the entire group — and that's making it very difficult to make significant decisions in the community's interest,” he said.
Mr Hallam said the changes would affect groups of candidates that publicly identify as a “team”, but not those endorsed by a political party. He says these two should be considered “for all intents and purposes ... the same thing”.
He called on Mr Hinchcliffe to grant exemptions when councils become “deadlocked”.
“They need to get cracking on those dispensations to enable council to do the job they were elected to do.
“Let's be very clear, there's also very substantial penalties attached to this, and people will think twice and be overly conservative in my view about some of these matters because there are up to four-year jail sentences.”