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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.

Councillors are in a position of trust.

A person who is, or has been, a councillor must not use information acquired as a councillor to directly or indirectly gain a financial advantage for yourself or anyone else, or to harm the local government.

Misuse of information by a councillor

Misconduct by a councillor is:

  • misuse of information gained as a councillor
  • release of confidential information.

It is corrupt conduct if a councillor:

  • uses information for a financial benefit or to cause financial harm
  • buys or sells assets on the basis of inside information
  • gives inside information which could influence a reasonable person to decide to buy or sell an asset to another person.

A councillor will be automatically suspended as a councillor, and if convicted, automatically disqualified from holding office for four years.