Sat. May 25th, 2019

Local government candidates to undergo training under new laws

Candidates standing in next years local government elections will have to undergo compulsory training under legislation introduced into state parliament today.

They will also have to report any and all campaign donations in real time.

The proposed reforms aim to strengthen transparency, integrity and accountability in all local government bodies according to Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe .

“Mandatory training was one of a number of recommendations from the Crime and Corruption Commission’s Operation Belcarra Report,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“It requires all candidates at Local Government elections, including sitting Councillors, to undertake training as a condition of their nomination.

“This is about ensuring candidates having a strong understanding of their obligations, both during an election campaign and as a councillor once elected.”

The legislation would also bring in full preferential voting for mayoral and single councillor elections, to be effective for the 2020 local government election.

“This aligns voting methodologies with State and Federal elections and helps to avoid voter confusion,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“It ensures every vote counts, electing the candidate preferred by a majority of voters, and is thus inherently more democratic.

“We’re also seeking to implement real time disclosure of electoral spending, an important transparency measure that will make local government representatives more accountable.

“We’ve consulted widely on these and other proposed reforms to ensure that Queenslanders are better represented by their local Councils.”

Recent developments in Ipswich and Logan councils have reaffirmed the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to a comprehensive suite of local government reforms.

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