South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell with Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff.
South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell with Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff. Matt Collins

Five complaints made to council in last 12 months

IN THE past 12 months, there have been five official complaints made against current South Burnett Regional councillors.

The council websites states "pursuant to Section 150DX of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act), local governments must publish the Councillor Conduct Register on the local government's website”.

The allegations of the complaints range from a councillor selling alcohol from their home or shed, to a councillor making public comments on social media about the personal circumstances of a member of the public.

Each of these allegations have been finalised, and the outcomes are outlined below.

South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell said the council treated any complaint towards staff with great importance.

"My fellow councillors and I take very seriously the preservation of public confidence in the integrity of our council,” Cr Campbell said.

"I work to ensure that my councillors, and indeed myself, are open for public scrutiny and need to be mindful of that fact at all times.”

Council has developed a councillor conduct complaints management framework in accordance with the Local Government Act 2009.

It is intended to ensure that breaches of council's Councillor Code of Conduct Policy or other inappropriate councillor conduct are handled in accordance with legislative and regulatory requirements.

COUNCIL COMPLAINTS 2018-2019

1. Alleged a councillor was selling alcohol from his home or shed.

OUTCOME: The complaint was dismissed by the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) pursuant to section 150X

(a)(ii) as the alleged conduct is not within the jurisdiction of the OIA.

2. Alleged a number of current and former councillors engaged in inappropriate conduct when at a council meeting held in 2012.

OUTCOME: No Further Action as advised by the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIC) - the OIC delegate made the decision to dismiss the complaint as it was determined that it does not constitute inappropriate conduct or misconduct, as per Section 150X(a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 and related rather to an administrative decision of council. The complaint related to a council decision, rather than the conduct of individual councillors.

3. Alleged a councillor breached Section 150K(1)(b) a policy, procedure or resolution of the local government.

OUTCOME: Referred to the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) 18 December 2018.

Referred by the OIA to Council 9 January 2019.

In accordance with the adopted Councillor Conduct Complaints Investigation Policy:

- the matter has been resolved under section 5.7 'Early Resolution'; and

- the complaint is considered to be withdrawn.

4. Alleged a councillor made public comments on social media about the personal circumstances of a member of the public.

OUTCOME: Referred to Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) - 10 January 2019;

Notified 23 January 2019 from OIA - It was decided not to investigate this matter further on the basis that the complainant did not include sufficient information to properly investigate the conduct under Section 150Q(3)(b) of the Local Government Act 2009.

5. Alleged a councillor arranged a job for a family member by asking contractor and/or developer if they had any jobs going during a meeting with management.

OUTCOME: Office of the Independent Assessor advised council that the complaint was dismissed pursuant to Section 150X(b)(iii) of the Act - lacking in substance; dismissed after preliminary assessment.