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On 1 May 2019 the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was introduced to the Queensland Legislative Assembly.

The Bill has been referred to the Economics and Governance Committee who conducted an inquiry into the Bill. The submissions made, recordings and transcripts for the public hearings can be located on the Committee’s website.

On 21 June 2019, the Committee released its report which is now being considered by the State Government before the Bill is debated by Parliament. Should the Bill be passed, these reforms will apply to local governments and candidates for the 2020 local government elections. More information will be made available in due course by the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs here.

A mandatory and uniform Code of Conduct (PDF, 150KB) provides a foundation for a fair and transparent complaints management system. The code outlines how behavioural standards align with the local government principles and assists all councillors in being aware of their obligations as elected representatives.

Under the code of conduct, the standards of behavior are summarised in ‘the three Rs’, being Responsibility, Respect and Reputation.

Each standard of behaviour includes several examples to guide councillors in complying with the code of conduct. By adhering to the behaviours set out in the code of conduct, councillors will increase public confidence in local government and its decisions.

The code of conduct reinforces the local government principles:

  • transparent and effective processes, and decision making in the public interest
  • sustainable development and management of assets and infrastructure, and delivery of effective services
  • democratic representation, social inclusion and meaningful community engagement
  • good governance of, and by, the local government
  • ethical and legal behaviour of councillors and local government employees.

These principles ensure the system of local government is accountable, effective, efficient and sustainable.

Consequences of failing to comply with the Code of Conduct

A councillor’s failure to comply with the behavioural standards of the code of conduct may give rise to disciplinary action under the complaint handling provisions of the Local Government Act 2009 (LGA).

Contraventions of the Code of Conduct

Unsuitable Meeting Conduct

Handled by Council in the meeting
Council must adopt meeting procedures outlining how these complaints are handled

Inappropriate Conduct

Handled by Council under a new investigations policy
Council may refer the matter to the Independent Assessor to investigate


Handled by the Independent Assessor
Complaints are heard by the Councillor Conduct Tribunal

Corrupt Conduct

Handled by the Crime and Corruption Commission
Crime and Corruption Commission may refer the matter to another party, including the Independent Assessor

The Code of Conduct and the associated obligations for councillors commence on 3 December 2018. Previously the LGA had no requirement for a mandatory code of conduct.

More information about the Code of Conduct can be found here. Councillors in Queensland can also access online training about the Code of Conduct.