News

Local Government Act passed in parliament

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli told Parliament the amendment was in line with the government's intention to put mayors and councillors in charge of councils.
Local Government Minister David Crisafulli told Parliament the amendment was in line with the government's intention to put mayors and councillors in charge of councils. Lee Constable

LEGISLATION aimed at giving local governments more decision-making power, including cracking down on noisy party-houses, has passed the Queensland Parliament.

After hours of detailed debate, the Local Government Act was passed late on Tuesday night.

Among the sweeping changes is the power for councils to conduct referendums on locally relevant issues and for mayors to be responsible for the preparation of budgets, not chief executive officers.

Local Government Minister David Crisafulli told Parliament the amendment was in line with the government's intention to put mayors and councillors in charge of councils.

But Mackay MP Tim Mulherin raised concerns about councils having the ability to pass their own interim local laws without consultation.

"Many people in regional and rural areas are used to looking to their local papers for information about their council, and this is an ideal way to keep the community informed," he told the Parliament.

"I cannot imagine that the cost would be so excessive as to outweigh the benefit of keeping the community informed."

The act also gives councils the power to pass local laws to make the owners of noisy properties liable for penalties.

Noosa MP Glen Elmes said legitimate accommodation houses in his electorate had lost business unfairly to competitors who flouted planning laws to pursue their own personal interests.

"Those interests have been at the expense of the neighbours adjacent to their purpose-built party houses," he said in Parliament.

"Those party houses do not normally meet fire safety or emergency evacuation standards or any of the other proper safety infrastructures that is required of genuine holiday accommodation."

Changes to conflict of interest regulations will exempt councillors from declaring a material personal interest at a meeting regarding an "ordinary business matter".

Mr Crisafulli said the previous act made councils less responsive to their communities because they were too busy reporting to the State Government.

"Whether it's Brisbane City Council having to pay $5000 for tabling the minutes in the wrong order, or regional mayors having to keep pointless logs of requests to their CEOs, we can do a lot better," he said.

"Voters are back in the driver's seat with their councils, rather than bureaucrats and the State Government."

The act followed Mr Crisafulli's visits to 73 councils around the state.

"Big or small, country or city, the message was the same: stop the stupid rules and regulations," Mr Crisafulli said.

"The previous act made councils less responsive to their communities and we're restoring their power to act."

Topics:  local government act, queensland parliament




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Women’s footballers with Tigers spirit

Players in the Norths Tigers open rugby league women’s side are forming a strong bond.

Female players hitting as hard as the men

Greyhound trainer brought possums to use as live bait

Michael John Chapman at Ipswich Courthouse.

Greyhound trainer escapes jail time for his role in live baiting

LETTERS: Libs have a strong record in Ipswich

Election, vote, poll booth, Voters at Newtown State School. Council Election 2016, March 19,

Maybe we're not such a Labor town after all?

Latest deals and offers

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

Hey Mumma Exercise

Do you think kids these days need more exercise?

Do you think kids these days need more exercise?

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Rockhampton property in a lull, but a change is coming

Rockhampton's housing market in "pre-election mode"