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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    New local government legislation for best practice councils: Minister

    Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    New local government legislation for best practice councils: Minister

    Local Government Minister Desley Boyle has today introduced the Local Government Bill 2009 into State Parliament.

    “Developed in partnership with councils and communities, the Bill signals a new and exciting era for local government in Queensland and it delivers on the Bligh Government’s commitment to create and support stronger communities right across our State,” Ms Boyle said.

    “The world has changed since the Local Government Act was developed and enacted some 16 years ago, and it operates in a complex business environment, encompassing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, urban, rural and remote lands,” she said.

    “The environment of public administration has also changed, and ratepayers today rightly expect high standards of accountability. They want transparency in decision-making and they expect their councils to look over the horizon and plan for future generations.

    “Residents not only want to understand how local government processes work, but also want to know who is accountable for the delivery of services and this Bill delivers.”

    The Bill gives the Local Government Minister the power to request information from councils to ensure serious performance and accountability issues are handled quickly, with checks and balances in place and the mecahnisms to investigate complaints.

    There will be independent Regional Conduct Review panels and a new State Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal which will assess serious breeches.

    Ms Boyle announced today that the Bligh Government’s Register of Lobbyists and the Lobbying Code would be applied to local government after consultation which would take place over the months ahead.

    While the Bill includes a number of provisions regarding mandatory compliance for a minimum standard – such as in planning and finance management matters, Ms Boyle said it was principles-based and outcomes focused.

    “This gives local governments the flexibility to develop their own operational procedures and processes, or better still, to set their standards higher. It allows for the diversity of Queensland’s local government rather than adopting, as in the old Act, a one-size-fits-all approach,” said the Minister.

    “I am pleased to announce there is a provision enabling local governments to consider Aboriginal tradition and Torres Strait Islander custom. This is significant recognition of all Indigenous peoples living in Queensland.

    “I would like to pay special tribute to the Local Government Association of Queensland and Local Government Managers Australia for their participation as the peak bodies, along with unions representing local government employees.

    “All have made an invaluable contribution to this Bill’s development, and to the robust system of local government in Queensland.

    “Because of their work and advocacy, local government in Queensland is among the best supported and serviced in Australia.”

    Media Contact: Minister Boyle’s Office on 3227 8819