Councils respond to CCC call for governance reforms

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has responded to the State Government regarding the recommendations of the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) in its report Operation Windage, which further examined the activities of Ipswich City Council.

LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor, Mark Jamieson, reaffirmed that councils welcome all actions that genuinely support greater adherence to good governance and ways to strengthen public trust in the system of local government.

Mayor Jamieson said the LGAQ supported many of the recommendations made by the CCC, including restrictions on the use of private email accounts to conduct council business.

“Without a doubt, we agree with the CCC that certain policy and procedural reforms for local government are needed.

“Councils are keenly aware that they should be seen to meet the community’s expectations regarding openness, accountability and transparency.”

The LGAQ has however, cautioned the Palaszczuk Government against moving to restrict the use of controlled entities by local councils to do business on behalf of their communities.

The LGAQ has told the Government that controlled entities – when established with sound governance arrangements in place – can (and do) conduct their business activities in a manner that serves the public interest.

“The findings against one council should not be used to force unwieldy and unnecessary restrictions on the entire local government sector,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Councils that use controlled entities appropriately, do so in the best interests of the communities they represent.”

Mayor Jamieson said the LGAQ agreed that elected councillors should not sit on the boards of controlled entities but would oppose excessive restrictions. 

“We believe the standards of behaviour, transparency and accountability expected of local government should be the same as those applied to the State Government.”

“It is in that spirit that we will work with the Government to chart the best way forward for local councils in Queensland.”