Queensland councils have welcomed an announcement by Local Government Minister Desley Boyle of government moves to simplify legislation affecting local government.
The Queensland Government announced a review of all legislation that places requirements on local councils in the State Parliament.
Local Government Minister Desley Boyle said the government hoped the review would simplify arrangements and result in savings and improved council efficiency.
"There’s understandably many provisions in our Acts and pieces of subordinate legislation that councils as modern entities have to navigate," Ms Boyle said in Parliament.
"When we did the consultation on the old Local Government Act 1993, some councils admitted they were having difficulties working across the many different pieces of legislation that relate to their business.
"They also noted that at times, they had trouble working with different definitions and other legislative requirements covered in different statutes.
"Well we are listening, and we will be simplifying the regulatory system to get the balance right between improving accountability and cutting red tape. This will undoubtedly lead to significant administrative savings for councils – but ratepayers and businesses too.
Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) president, Cr Paul Bell said that a review of the legislation governing councils was long overdue.
“We’re grateful Ms Boyle has understood the difficulties councils have in working through various pieces of legislation which affect their business,” Cr Bell said.
“The review the minister is undertaking is well overdue. Five years ago, when Ms Boyle was first appointed Local Government minister and I became the LGAQ president, we began calling for this reform.
“The minister, who has had in-house experience of the difficulties legislation creates for councils as a former Cairns City councillor, has clearly shown she knows the review will be a major step forward.
The review will be completed by the end of 2011, with Treasury and the Department of Premier and Cabinet on the overseeing committee.