New transparency laws for ministerial staff in Queensland

The Queensland Government has vowed to strengthen transparency and accountability measures in the state’s political system.

Premier Anna Bligh introduced in Parliament today the second tranche of Integrity Reform Bills.

“We want Queenslanders to have confidence in our political process going forward,” Ms Bligh said in a statement.

“This is about building a stronger, modern Queensland by instituting proper checks and balances on power and process within government.”

The Government introduced new legislation covering ministerial and opposition staff, along with the Public Interest Disclosure Bill to replace and reform the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1994.

The Integrity Reform Bills also included amendments to the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994, Public Service Act 2008, Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990, Ambulance Service Act 1991, Integrity Act 2009 and Parliament of Queensland Act 2001.

Ms Bligh said the Government would also investigate electoral reforms which limit political donations by releasing an exposure draft of the proposed legislation later this year.

“This is the first time such state-based restrictions have been attempted so we want to ensure we get them right and that means genuine consultation,” she said.

A communiqué has been distributed to all ministerial and opposition staff, outlining new employment arrangements in the Ministerial and Other Office Holder Staff Bill 2010.

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