Stage 2 reforms
The Queensland Government is pursuing a rolling reform agenda in the local government sector.
The Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 received assent on 30 October 2019.
Amended Code of Conduct
On 7 April 2020, the Minister for Local Government approved minor amendments to the Code of Conduct (PDF, 203KB) to reflect that the code will now apply to Brisbane City Council, and the Office of the Independent Assessor also now investigates councillor conduct complaints for Brisbane City Council.
Supporting changes were also made to the Local Government Regulation 2010 and City of Brisbane Regulation 2010, including a change to the declaration of office for Brisbane City Council.
The Crime and Corruption Commission’s Belcarra report found that good government requires elections to be held on a level playing field, with equal participation available to all.
The report also stressed the need for complete transparency about who candidates are, how their campaigns are funded, their interests and affiliations, and their relationship with other candidates.
The then Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs released an information paper (PDF, 357KB) in March 2019 outlining proposed legislation amendments. Following consultation with mayors, councillors and stakeholders, the department proposed key changes to the reforms (PDF, 161KB) prior to legislation being drafted. Regulation changes (PDF, 267KB) were also proposed to reflect recommendations and suggestions received from the Queensland Audit Office, Queensland Law Society, Ombudsman and the Local Government Association of Queensland.
Details of the changes
Stage 2 reforms under the amended legislation include:
- mandatory training for election candidates
- transparent candidate bank accounts and financial returns
- new restrictions on decisions during election caretaker period
- new requirements for candidates in groups
- Right to Information laws to cover Brisbane City Council civic cabinet meetings
- expanded councillor rights to access council information
- clarified responsibilities for councillors in preparing budgets
- changes to mayoral powers to direct CEOs and senior executive officers
- changes to the appointment of senior executive officers
- improved real-time donation disclosures
- improved disclosures of real donation and gift sources
- real-time expenditure disclosures
- Office of Independent Assessor to investigate councillor conduct complaints for Brisbane City Council.
Required amendments were also made to subordinate legislation:
- limits on the size of councillor ‘discretionary’ funds and new requirement to publicise spending
- ban on new decisions to use discretionary funds from 1 January in election years.
Listen to the podcast on the stage 2 legislation changes.
Read the information paper (PDF, 192KB) with a detailed summary of the stage 2 changes.
You can also download the Local government reform – stage 2 fact sheet (PDF, 411KB)
The Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 and Explanatory Notes will soon be available on the Queensland legislation website.
Resources and fact sheets
View resources and fact sheets incorporating changes made as part of stage 2 reforms.
View previous webcasts featuring information, feedback and questions used for consultation on the phase 2 reforms.
Frequently asked questions
View FAQs used for consultation on the stage 2 reforms.
Ph: 07 3452 6747.
The hotline is available between the hours of 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. The department will endeavour to respond to any questions within 48 hours (business days).
For more information or to provide feedback on the reforms, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated: Friday, Apr 9, 2021