State Government steps in amid Council woes

Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor and Councillors.
Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor and Councillors.

The State Government is appointing an advisor to help the Scenic Rim Regional Council address conflicts of interest, inappropriate conduct matters and meeting procedures.

The advisor is being appointed under section 117 of the Local Government Act, which applies if the Department of Local Government believes a local government is not performing its responsibilities properly, is not complying with laws applying to local government or it is otherwise in the public interest for an advisor to be appointed.

An advisor is responsible for helping local government build its capacity to perform its responsibilities properly or to comply with laws applying to the local government, and the local government must comply fully with the advisor.

In a statement issued on 24 November, a Council spokesperson announced the appointment.

“Scenic Rim Regional Council has been advised that the Queensland Government Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DSDILGP) will appoint an Advisor to the Scenic Rim Regional Council in accordance with section 117 of the Local Government Act 2009 (LGA),” the statement read.

“In a letter received from Director-General (DG) Mike Kaiser, Council was informed that the Advisor will be appointed to assist Council and Councillors in relation to governance areas, including conflicts of interest, inappropriate conduct matters and meeting procedure.

“DSDILGP will manage the process of appointing the Advisor. While a commencement date is yet to be determined, Council welcomes the appointment and looks forward to working collaboratively with the Advisor over the coming months.

“The appointment of an Advisor will in no way impact the day-to-day operations of Council or our ability to continue delivering services to our community. Further information will be released in due course.”

Member for Scenic Rim Jon Krause said it was a worrying development.

“An advisor being appointed to the Scenic Rim Regional Council is extremely concerning.  Firstly, because the State is so concerned to make such an appointment, but secondly because basically local control of council could potentially be taken away from locals and placed in the hands of the advisor,” he said.

“I have requested a full briefing on this matter from the Minister for Local Government as soon as possible.”

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Journalist telling the stories of where I live. I love living and working in Beaudesert and when I'm not working you'll see me walking the dogs with my husband Zac.