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Empowering qldgov policy_v1


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Empowering qldgov policy_v1

  2. 2. The CanDo LNP Empowering Queensland Local Government Policy1. PHILOSOPHY1.1 The Liberal National Party (LNP) recognises:- 1.1.1 that local leadership and community engagement is essential for Local Governments to meet their responsibilities in building balanced and healthy communities; 1.1.2 that Local Governments are in a unique position as the level of Government closest to their communities. We support Local Councils that deliver excellent customer service, exemplary corporate governance, and value- for-money for ratepayers and stakeholders; 1.1.3 the existence and importance of Local Government as the third sphere of Government in Australia; 1.1.4 that it is essential to have a close, strong relationship between State and Local Government for better decision making and integrated outcomes, and; 1.1.5 that Local Governments need to be autonomous, sustainable, efficient, responsible, accountable and responsive to local needs, with a clear role in enhancing economic, social and environmental quality of life in local communities.2. RECOGNITION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT2.1 In recognising Local Government as one of the three spheres of Government, the LNP supports appropriate recognition of Local Government in the Commonwealth Constitution. This must not diminish the State’s primary constitutional responsibility for Local Government.2.2 The LNP recognises that Local Governments are the logical and most qualified government entities to address and administer local community issues that include recreation and open space management; the provision of waste, local roads and other local services.2.3 An LNP Government will ensure that Queensland Local Governments are recognised as bodies corporate in the Local Government Act. 3. MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITY3.1 An LNP Government would ensure that Local Government continues to be recognised as a key Ministerial portfolio.3.2 An LNP Government recognises Local Government as a primary authority for integrated local and regional land use planning and management. We will ensure that Local Government is centrally involved in the development of statutory regional plans, and other planning for regional and state infrastructure and development.3.3 To ensure growth of a four pillar economy in Queensland – based on Construction, Resources, Agriculture and Tourism – an LNP Government will separate the current planning responsibilities to ensure that Statewide planning instruments and Statutory Regional Plans are managed by the department responsible for state development. This will ensure the economic and social infrastructure needs of each region to foster economic and community opportunities into the future are properly managed.3.4 The Department for local government will retain responsibility for the policies of local area planning and approvals within the overall framework of statewide policy and statutory regional plans.2
  3. 3. The CanDo LNP Empowering Queensland Local Government Policy4. LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT ROLES AND RELATIONSHIP4.1 An LNP Government will develop a close working relationship with Local Government in Queensland by establishing a Partners in Government Agreement between the State Government and the Local Government Association of Queensland that allows for: 4.1.1 adequate prior consultation on local impacts of State legislative changes; 4.1.2 addressing the issue of cost shifting and devolution of responsibilities from State to Local Government 4.1.3 appropriate delegation of State powers to Local Government, and resource sharing; and 4.1.4 appropriate levels of resource allocation for local governments to meet growing demand for infrastructure and services.4.2 The LNP intends that working relationships between State, Federal and Local Government be conducted in a spirit of mutual respect with an emphasis on partnerships and cooperation.4.3 We recognise regional groupings of Councils and/or Mayors as important advocates for regions with region-specific issues and solutions. The LNP will re-instate provisions in the Local Government Act that properly enable Local Governments to work together to deliver better outcomes.4.4 The LNP will ensure that mayors and local councillors are clearly in charge of councils.5. PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT5.1 The LNP aims to empower Queensland communities with the responsibility for planning and development at the local level, through decision making by local governments that are transparent and ultimately accountable to local people.5.2 An LNP government will implement an improved system of statutory regional planning. This will involve empowering and strengthening the position of Local Governments and by extension local communities, to have greater input to the development of regional plans as leading stakeholders. This is part of our plan to restore the power and authority for Councils to make better planning and development assessment decisions.5.3 Under the LNP, better statutory regional land use plans will aim to achieve an appropriate balance between economic development and industry, community and social needs, services and environment protection, that is supported and endorsed locally.5.4 We will, in full consultation with Local Government, fix the Sustainable Planning Act, wind back the Urban Land Development Authority, and work to mainstream identified appropriate planning powers back to Local Councils.5.5 We will work with councils to create a more efficient, planning and development assessment system, to better reflect community expectations and aspirations. 3
  4. 4. The CanDo LNP Empowering Queensland Local Government Policy6. ROLE OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION OF QUEENSLAND6.1 An LNP Government will: 6.1.1 recognise the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) as the peak body of Queensland Local Governments; and 6.1.2 acknowledge the role of the LGAQ in assisting local councils, and in representing Local Government at the State level.6.2 An LNP government will recognise the LGAQ as the principle body representing Local Government in Queensland.6.3 The LGAQ will be invited to make submissions on the formulation of the State Budget.7. LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS7.1 An LNP Government will amend relevant legislation to allow elected local Councillors to maintain their Council position if they choose to nominate as a candidate for election to the State parliament. Councillors seeking election will be required to take leave without pay upon registering as a candidate for election, and to resign their council position immediately upon notice of successful election to State parliament, as currently applies for Councillors running for Federal Parliament.7.2 The LNP proposes to allow Local Governments the choice to severally run their own quadrennial Local Government Elections, under defined circumstances.7.3 The LNP supports the direct election of mayors by voters.7.4 The LNP supports legislative changes to allow local governments to hold voter polls to inform council decision making, providing this occurs at no cost to the State Government.8. LOCAL GOVERNMENT DISMISSAL8.1 An LNP Government will retain the power to dissolve a Local Government if a Council has been found to have acted contrary to the aims and requirements outlined in legislation.8.2 An LNP Government will support a fair and proper system of addressing concerns regarding the conduct of individual Councillors to ensure orderly operation of local government.9. LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOUNDARIES9.1 An LNP Government will ensure that there is an open and logical process under the authority of a Queensland Boundaries Commissioner, with adequate public consultation before changes are made to local government boundaries.9.2 The LNP‘s preference is for Queensland Councils to now remain as currently constituted to avoid any further disruption and cost for local communities. We don’t believe there is a widespread need or community mood for changes to Local Government boundaries.9.3 However, we do recognise that there are a small number of Queensland communities that will want to re-examine their position. The LNP is committed to giving local people a choice about de-amalgamation.4
  5. 5. The CanDo LNP Empowering Queensland Local Government Policy9.4 The process that the LNP would follow in Government to determine the feasibility of de-amalgamation in the case of Queensland communities wishing to pursue this option is as follows: 9.4.1 achieve an understanding that ratepayers of any proposed new local government would bear the full costs of any de-amalgamation; 9.4.2 receive a strong community-driven submission demonstrating a high level of community support for de-amalgamation; 9.4.3 appoint a Queensland Boundaries Commissioner to consider community preferences and review current local government boundaries; 9.4.4 provide an opportunity for community groups and local government to make submissions to the Queensland Boundaries Commissioner on the suitability of current local government boundaries; 9.4.5 ensure the Queensland Boundaries Commissioner independently consults with affected councils and communities and undertakes research on the economic, social and environmental viability of altered local government boundaries; 9.4.6 obtain advice of Qld Treasury on financial viability and ongoing financial sustainability of proposed changes 9.4.7 require the Queensland Boundaries Commissioner to prepare the preferred options for any proposed changes to Local Government boundaries and publish the priorities for these changes; 9.4.8 except for minor boundary alterations, conduct an advisory poll of voters in any proposed new Local Government boundary; and 9.4.9 when establishing any new local government boundary, ensure that there are appropriate transitional and financial arrangements in place to support the change.10. INTERNAL DIVISION BOUNDARIES10.1 An LNP government will offer support to local governments in determining internal ward or divisional boundaries equitably.10.2 Within each local government area, an LNP government will support an arrangement of internal boundaries that:- 10.2.1 reflects the communities of interest; 10.2.2 demonstrates an equitable balance of population and geographical areas in each internal ward or division.10.3 An LNP Government will require that any changes to internal boundaries occur only after the Queensland Boundaries Commissioner consults with relevant local governments and communities. 5
  6. 6. The CanDo LNP Empowering Queensland Local Government Policy11. FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION11.1 An LNP Government will:- 11.1.1 ensure that the Local Government Grants Commission, after consultation with the LGAQ, establishes the principles for distributing grants to Local Government areas; 11.1.2 cut red tape in State Government grant payments to Local Governments, and consolidate grant structures where possible to create greater flexibility for Councils; 11.1.3 support the continuation of Federal Government funding for local governments in all States and Territories, and support the principle that the total of Federal funding for local governments in the States and Territories be an explicit share of Federal taxation revenue agreed on by the Council of Australian Governments; 11.1.4 support programs to Local Government that provide assistance to cities, regional and rural communities.11.2 An LNP Government will, in consultation with the LGAQ, work to ensure local governments are financially viable, accountable and efficiently managed. To this end, an LNP Government will:- 11.2.1 consult with Queensland Councils to identify priority areas for assistance in maintaining financial viability and good financial management; 11.2.2 provide support to help Councils establish sound financial management systems; 11.2.3 streamline reporting and auditing regulation where local governments have demonstrated adequate financial planning and administration to reflect diversity of local governments, and take into account appropriate risk profiling.11.3 An LNP Government will support the streamlining of shared information and data between Local and State Governments. An LNP Government will remove unnecessary reporting and reduce the duplication of information shared between State and Local Governments.11.4 To assist the business community, an LNP Government will devise and implement simpler and more efficient systems for State approvals for local government projects.11.5 The LNP supports greater choice for local government in the selection of auditing services for local government finance and administration.12. SETTING OF RATES AND CHARGES12.1 An LNP Government will support autonomy for local government in the setting of rates and charges doing so in a responsible manner that reflects the requirements of their communities. We do not support a state-imposed system of rate capping.6
  7. 7. The CanDo LNP Empowering Queensland Local Government Policy13. NATURAL DISASTER RELIEF ARRANGEMENTS13.1 An LNP Government supports the continued provision of State and Commonwealth funding to Local Governments in Queensland through natural disaster relief arrangements.14. ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT14.1 An LNP Government will work cooperatively with Local Governments to better manage public land in Queensland to control feral animals, noxious weeds, mosquitoes and biting midge, to minimise impacts on communities.15. CONTROL OF DOMESTIC ANIMALS15.1 An LNP Government will work cooperatively with Local Governments to control domestic animals.16. YOUTH DEVELOPMENT16.1 An LNP Government supports youth development initiatives in Local Government, recognising that young people play an important role in revitalising communities, especially those which experience population drift.17. SUPPORT FOR INDIGENOUS COUNCILS17.1 An LNP Government will support and collaborate with the LGAQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Council Leadership Group to ensure fundamental change to the delivery of government services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities, with the aim of achieving improved living standards and life opportunities for these communities equal to those of the rest of Queensland.18. WORKPLACE RELATIONS18.1 An LNP Government will allow Local Government to negotiate Enterprise Bargaining Agreements with members of their workforce.18.2 In addition to the power to appoint a CEO, the LNP will ensure Councils have the right to full consultation on the appointment of other senior Council staff.19. LOCAL LAWS19.1 The LNP believes it is important that local communities have the power to establish appropriate local laws, through a responsible, accountable local council.19.2 An LNP Government will work to ensure that the jurisdiction of local laws are complementary to, and do not replicate the controls and management that already exist under Queensland legislation.20. LABOR’S TAXES ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT20.1 The LNP opposes Labor’s Carbon Tax, and its increased cost on Local Councils.20.2 The LNP will repeal Labor’s newly introduced Industry Waste Levy (Waste Tax). 7
  8. 8. Authorised by M.O’Dwyer,66 Bowen St, Spring Hill, Qld, 4000. The CanDo LNP Empowering Queensland Local Government Policy