Legislative changes are costly and time-consuming: LGAQ

By Rachel Borchardt in Brisbane

The new legislative changes to the Queensland Local Government Act will create a costly and time-consuming exercise for councils, according to the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ).

The proposed legislation, introduced into State Parliament by Local Government Minister Desley Boyle yesterday, will provide the Local Government Minister with “the power to request information from councils to ensure serious performance and accountability issues are handled quickly”, and introduces independent Regional Conduct Review panels and a new State Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal to assess serious breaches.

Speaking at the Local Government Infrastructure Symposium in Brisbane, LGAQ president Cr Paul Bell said the reform would require councils to have a ten-year asset management plan in place by December 10.

He said strong leadership would be required if the target is to be met.

“You need to get a grip on this issue … you need to make adequate budget allocations for sustainable asset debt management and renewal,” he said.

Boyle supported Cr Bell’s call for councils to take performance management seriously, and also warned councils they would need to ensure they were ready for the changes to the Local Government Act.

 “We need to be able to demonstrate what we’ll do, when we’ll do it, how well we’ll do it and how well we can perform,” she said.

Related Story: Queensland councils tackle infrastructure challenges

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