Queensland Shadow Minister for Local Government Howard Hobbs
Lucas Fails First Test As New Local Government Minister
Victor P Taffa
The State Labor Government was more interested in rorting the Queensland Electoral System than committing to genuine improvements for Local Government, the State Opposition said today.
Shadow Minister for Local Government Howard Hobbs said Labor’s new Local Government Minister Paul Lucas had failed his first test dismally.
Mr. Hobbs said in responding to the all-party Law Justice & Safety Committee recommendations Local Government Minister Paul Lucas had ruled out allowing councillors to run for State Parliament without first resigning.
“Labor first introduced the requirement to resign when they had a slim margin and could not afford to have conservative councillors running against their candidates.” Mr. Hobbs said.
“No other State has the requirement, proving Labor still wants to rort the system by not allowing councillors to run without first resigning, despite the all-party Committee’s recommendations.”
“Similarly, the Government has not ruled out changing the State Electoral System to suit them before the next Election.” Mr. Hobbs said.
“The Labor Government have also rejected the recommendation that Local Governments with a population under 30,000 should have a minimum of six councillors (up from four) plus a mayor.”
“Many councillors have raised concerns that four councillors are not enough when considering the strict government pecuniary interests provisions that prohibit a councillor from voting on matters if they have involvement with sporting or social clubs.”
“Councillors are sometimes unable to attend meetings due to sickness or impassable roads, leaving the council without a quorum.” Mr. Hobbs said.
Mr. Hobbs said the Liberal National Party was disappointed with the outcome and the new Minister’s failure to comprehend these basic Local Government needs.