11 August, 2022

Moreton Bay Regional Council pushes for sweeping changes at the LGAQ Annual Conference

MORETON BAY Regional Council is heading to this year’s Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Annual Conference with a sweeping reform agenda, hoping to win the support of 76 other Queensland councils.

Moreton Bay Regional Council pushes for sweeping changes at the LGAQ Annual Conference - feature photo

Councillors last week unanimously agreed to ask the LGAQ Annual Conference to consider lobbying the State Government to:

* Make the disclosure of flood and other natural hazard risks information for all properties mandatory;

* Extend Fringe Benefits Tax concessions for local government employees;

* Review infrastructure planning and the critical role of Regional Infrastructure Plans;

* Ensure protections and privilege for Councillors compelled to give evidence by integrity agencies.

Moreton Bay Mayor, Peter Flannery, said top of the agenda was protecting property buyers, by making it mandatory to disclose all flood and other natural hazard risks in all property transactions.

“Personally I think this is common sense, and something property buyers are entitled to know prior to purchase,” Cr Flannery said.

“This might be as simple as mandatory disclosures of flood and other natural hazard risks during the property conveyancing process or other due diligence searches.

“I think this is an important and easy change for the state government, and I’m confident of getting the support of Queensland’s other councils.

“While Queensland’s 77 councils cover incredibly different areas and we have vastly different issues, but we share similar concerns on issues like disaster response and regional planning.

“It is vital that Regional Infrastructure Plans provide a meaningful framework for integrated infrastructure delivery.

“That’s why in relation to regional plans, we want to call on the state government to work more closely with councils to ensure these documents are locally responsive and provide for unique infrastructure needs.

“Only then will we see properly integrated ‘linkages’ between the Federal Government’s Infrastructure Australia reports, the Queensland Government’s State Infrastructure Strategy and Local Government Infrastructure Plans.

“This would be a common sense way to provide a long-term infrastructure pipeline to meet the growth targets set in regional plans.

“Infrastructure delivery is also directly linked with housing affordability and affordable living.

“Without timely and coordinated land use and infrastructure planning and delivery of essential infrastructure, a steady pipeline of land and housing supply cannot be maintained; and economic, environmental, social and financial sustainability will not be achieved.

“This places upward pressure on urban development and housing prices and impacts communities and the region as a functioning whole.

“Another area where we believe there can be greater legislative consistency is by ensuring four significant pieces of legislation are aligned with each other, namely: Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010, Defamation Act 2005, the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001, and Local Government Act 2009.

“This action will ensure legal protections for councillors who are called by integrity agencies, like the Crime and Corruption Commission, to participate in complaints investigations as part of the obligations under the Local Government Act.

“The taxation reform proposal endorsed by Council is squarely aimed at improving the ability of local governments to attract and retain staff in an increasingly competitive labour market.

“It’s essential that we regularly review and modernise laws to adapt to present-day challenges, and the LGAQ Annual Conference provides an opportunity for all local governments to not only advocate for change but also consider the implications.

“We look forward to working with the LGAQ and the State and Federal Governments to address these issues and identify new opportunities, not only for Moreton Bay but all local government areas in Queensland.”

The 126th Annual LGAQ Conference will be held in Cairns from October 17 to 19.


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