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Amendments to Part 4 the Local Government Act Qld 2009

Eligibility - Queensland citizens

Principal Petitioner:

Gary Duffy
47 Blackall Street
EAST IPSWICH QLD 4305

Total Signatures - 908

Sponsoring Member: The Clerk of the Parliament

Posting Date: 4/06/2019

Closing Date: 19/08/2019

Tabled Date: 20/08/2019

Responded By: Hon Stirling Hinchliffe MP on 12/09/2019

TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Queensland citizens draws to the attention of the House that an article in The Gympie Times of 21 October 2017 reported that a spokesman for the then Local Government Minister stated, "The Queensland Government does not support councils using ratepayer funds to fund private legal action". The State Government's position aligns with the majority of Australian states, which assert councils paying for private legal action is not appropriate. In the same article, a spokesman for the New South Wales Office of Local Government said "A council must not meet the legal costs of legal proceedings initiated by a councillor under any circumstance ... This includes the legal costs of a councillor seeking advice in respect of possible defamation, or in seeking a non-litigious remedy for possible defamation". However, Queensland Councils have ignored the Minister, providing funds to initiate private legal action where there is no community benefit.
 
Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to legislate to ensure:

1. Councillors or Executives must not use ratepayer funds or instruments (insurance policies or loans) to begin or defend any private or personal litigation matters.
2. Any policy approved by any council which is in conflict of 1. above shall be void.
3. Councils must not make a policy which can be of personal benefit to or for Councillors, Council Executives or Council staff, or of a private personal benefit to individual associates.