The establishment of a new oversight and anti-corruption body for councils is a welcome move given the stench of corruption surrounding various Queensland local government authorities.
CFMEU Divisional Branch Secretary Michael Ravbar said the state government’s new councillor complaints office has long been needed to provide some oversight of a sector that too often has displayed a wanton disregard for probity, accountability and the interests of ratepayers.
“These reforms are long overdue and will hopefully restore some transparency in an area where for too long self-interest has at times prevailed over the public interest,” Mr Ravbar said.
“City and regional councils are sometimes administered as if they are private fiefdoms rather than accountable public institutions, as we have seen with the spate of recent Crime and Corruption Commission probes, and the swamp of corruption allegations surrounding the likes of Ipswich Council.”
Mr Ravbar said the new oversight body was needed to provide ratepayers and other parties with an avenue to air complaints, rather than relying on the LGAQ, which is little more than a closed shop industry lobby group.
“This is no silver bullet, but is a welcome start in restoring ratepayer faith in a sector which for too long has lacked sufficient oversight,” Mr Ravbar said.