Interim administrator Greg Chemello said councillor education is key.
Interim administrator Greg Chemello said councillor education is key. Cordell Richardson

Pay, hours and education for future councillors

COUNCIL is driving a program to ensure Ipswich's new councillors, when elected, meet the needs of the public.

It expects the pool of candidates for election to be quite large as it is a rare opportunity to enter a "clean slate" of government, with reformed policies and procedures in place, and represent the interests of residents.

Some pundits pick any number between 50 and 100 people nominating for the 8, 10 or 12 councillor roles, and separately for the city mayoralty.

Interim administrator Greg Chemello said this project involves the creation of leading practice frameworks and toolkits to best manage communication between councillors, council officers and the community.

"When council returns to elected representation in March 2020, I'll certainly be encouraging any potential candidates to understand these responsibilities and what their commitment to the city and the community would entail," he said.

One of the 18 business transformation projects council is pursuing is Councillor Induction, preparing for the return of elected representation, including the creation of an effective councillor induction and continuing development program.

"The purpose of this project is to thoroughly prepare staff and incoming councillors alike to ensure they are well aware of their responsibilities and obligations, and act in accordance with the council values, relevant legislation and policies when the council returns to elected representation following the 2020 quadrennial elections," he said.

There will be a thorough induction program for incoming councillors as part of the program, so they understand their responsibilities, protocols and obligations.

The community will also be made aware of the responsibilities of councillors.

Mr Chemello said the State Government's Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal, which sets the pay scale for councillors, did not stipulate a minimum or maximum number of hours a councillor must commit to once elected - unlike an employee of council who has set working hours.

"Under Queensland law, a councillor's key role is to work as a team of councillors to lead the strategy and policy development for the council organisation," he said.

"This is to be in the public interest of the entire local government area, regardless of whether it is a divided or undivided council.

"Clearly, councillors need to have active engagement with their communities to effectively deliver this role.

"I'm confident incoming councillors should be also able to enjoy a healthy work-life balance."



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