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Outcomes of Complaints about Councillors

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 following is a record of outcomes of complaints about Councillors since the Act came into force on 1 July 2010.

Complaints about Councillors – post 1 July 2010

Complaint Number Date Received  Nature of Allegation Outcome

C/21/00219

4 May 2021

It is alleged a councillor failed to communicate the outcome of a decision, in breach of a council policy.

The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(b)(i) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) as I am satisfied that the complaint is vexatious.

There was no requirement within the policy for the councillor to notify parties about when a decision was to be announced, only what the decision was, once made.

C/21/00243 & C/21/00244

5 May 2021

C/21/00243

It is alleged a councillor has failed to carry out his duties in relation to a council policy.

C/21/00244

It was further alleged a councillor was not a person of integrity nor is he worthy of the community’s support and respect and that the community has lost faith in the councillor as the councillors deplorable behaviour has brought the region and Council into disrepute.

The OIA dismissed both matters on the basis that the complaint/s were vexatious and or not made in good faith pursuant to section 150X(b)(i) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act).

The allegations have previously been considered by the OIA and dismissed as a vexatious.

There were reasonable indications that the complainant in this matter was a fictitious identity. The complainant declined to provide proof of identity to confirm the veracity of the complaint.

C/20/00400

15 April 2021 It is alleged a councillor disclosed personal information about a member of the public to a third party The OIA referred the complaint for investigation to the South Burnett Regional Council with the Council delegating the decision to the Mayor.  The Mayor, pursuant to section 150AG(1) of the Local Government Act 2009, determined that the councillor had not engaged in inappropriate conduct as there was insufficient evidence to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that the alleged conduct amounted to inappropriate conduct.  

C/21/00189

22 April 2021

It is alleged a councillor made false allegations about a member of the public to another person in the presence of another councillor and council employee.

The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(b)(i) of the Local Government Act 2009 as the complaint was vexatious.
C/21/00142 26 March 2021

It was alleged a councillor breached the Code of Conduct for Councillors in Queensland when the councillor posted on social media concerns about the provision of council services.

The OIA decided to take no further action pursuant to section 150Y(b) (iii) of the Local Government Act 2009 [the Act] on the basis that taking further action would be an unjustifiable use of resources.

The comments made by the councillor were considered to be borderline inappropriate conduct.
C/21/00180 26 March 2021

It was alleged that a councillor breached the Code of Conduct for Councillors in Queensland by:

  • Posting on social media inappropriate accusations about council’s operational functions
  • Treating council staff, other councillors and the general public who do not agree with the councillors on matters, with contempt
  • Engaging in unsuitable meeting conduct in a number of meetings livestreamed and viewed by the public by verbally attacking council staff and other councillors
  • Bringing the council into disrepute by working with other councillors to humiliate and harass council staff and when decisions do not go the councillors’ way they encourage residents to take to social media to begin a campaign of hate and vitriol against those who are not giving the councillors what they want in council meetings

The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(c)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) as dealing with the complaint would be an unjustifiable use of resources

Comments made by the councillor on social media were considered to be borderline inappropriate conduct.

Unsuitable meeting conduct by a councillor should be dealt with by the Chair of the meeting in real time and is not within the OIA’s jurisdiction. (section 150H and section 150I of the Act).

In relation to the allegations of treating council staff with contempt, the complaint did not provide specific details that could reasonably be investigated. As the complaint was made anonymously, the OIA could not seek further information

C/21/00206
C/21/00204
C/21/00207
C/21/00208

12 April 2021

It is alleged

  1. a number of councillors made an incorrect decision about an increase of spending on a project
  2. that a number of councillors appear to be voting as a bloc on important matters.

The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) as the conduct does not raise a reasonable suspicion of inappropriate conduct or misconduct within the meaning of the Act.

  1. In relation to the first issue, concerns about administrative decisions of council that the complainant considered to be flawed or not appropriately made are not within the jurisdiction of the OIA to deal with and the complainant has been re-directed to the Queensland Ombudsman.
  2. In relation to the second issue, It is not councillor conduct for councillors who take a like minded approach to an issue or range of issues to vote together.
C/19/00717 26 August 2019

Allegation One, being an allegation that on 21 August 2019, Councillor Fleischfresser, a Councillor of South Burnett Regional Council, engaged in misconduct as defined in Section 150L(1)(b)(i) of the Local Government Act 2009, in that his conduct involved a breach of the trust placed in him as a Councillor, either knowingly or recklessly, in that it was inconsistent with local government principle 4(2)(e) ‘ethical and legal behaviour of Councillors and local government employees’.

Allegation Two, being an allegation that on 21 August 2019, Councillor Fleischfresser, a Councillor of South Burnett Regional Council, engaged in misconduct as defined in Section 150L(1)(b)(i) of the Local Government Act 2009, in that his conduct involved a breach of the trust placed in him as a Councillor, either knowingly or recklessly, in that it was inconsistent with local government principle 4(2)(e) ‘ethical and legal behaviour of Councillors and local government employees’

Allegation One and Two have been sustained.

Pursuant to Section 150AR(1)(b)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009, former Councillor Fleischfresser is reprimanded for the conduct that constitutes Allegations One and Two.

C/21/00079  C/21/00081 8 February 2021

It was alleged that two councillors breached the Code of Conduct for Councillors in Queensland by:

  • Treating council staff, other councillors and the general public who do not agree with the councillors on matters, with contempt
  • Engaging in unsuitable meeting conduct in a number of meetings livestreamed and viewed by the public by verbally attacking council staff and other councillors
  • Engaging in inappropriate social media commentary and bullying of council staff and other councillors
  • Bringing the council into disrepute by working with other councillors to humiliate and harass council staff and when decisions do not go the councillors’ way they encourage residents to take to social media to begin a campaign of hate and vitriol against those who are not giving the councillors what they want in council meetings
The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 (‘Act’) as the conduct does not raise a reasonable suspicion of inappropriate conduct or misconduct within the meaning of the Act.
C/21/00014 13 January 2021 It is alleged that a councillor failed to respond to the complainants’ numerous correspondence, calls and messages about the conduct of another councillor.

The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(b)(i) of the Local Government Act 2009 (‘Act’) on the basis that the complaint is vexatious.

It was noted that the complainant’s emails to the councillor related to an on-going dispute that involves multiple agencies. The correspondence to the councillor indicated having reported the same issues to the appropriate agencies to deal with.

In addition, the volume and the nature of the communication might reasonably have caused the councillor to be concerned about engaging in further correspondence or meetings with the complainant.

C/21/00038 22 January 2021 It was alleged that a councillor influenced council decisions in which they had a declarable conflict of interest. The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(c)(ii) as enquiries were unable to identify evidence to suggest that the councillor had a declarable conflict
of interest in the matters.
C/21/00037 22 January 2021 It was alleged that a councillor  influenced council decisions in which they had a declarable conflict of interest. The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(c)(ii) as enquiries did not corroborate any influence over decisions of council by the councillor or evidence to suggest that the councillor had a declarable conflict of interest in the matters.
C/20/01109 19 January 2021 It was alleged that a Councillor did not follow policy, had a conflict of interest on the matter and did not respond to the complaint’s correspondence on the matter. Having considered all the information available, the Independent Assessor decided to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Section 150X(a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009
C/20/00735 27 October 2020 It was alleged that a Councillor by allowing  their photo to be posted online, they supported the comment and were offering support to the local state member in their election campaign. Having considered all the information available, the Independent Assessor decided to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Section 150X(a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 .
IR2744521 12 November 2020
  1. It is alleged a councillor had encouraged his friends to threaten and harass two women who had parked on a public road.
     
  2. It is also alleged that a councillor has been bullying, stalking and harassing a resident and friends of the resident over a number of months.

The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X (a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 as the complaint is vexatious.

1. The matter had been reported to the appropriate authority and the conduct of the people identified in the complaint is outside of the OIA’s jurisdiction. Evidence provided by the complainant that was said to indicate the councillor’s involvement was found to be incorrect.

2. The resident had made complaints to the relevant authority. Other matters referred to the OIA have been dealt with in previous complaints.
IR2744520 8 November 2020 It is alleged a councillor had encouraged his friends to threaten and harass two women who had parked on a public road. The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X (a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 as the complaint is vexatious.

The matter had been reported to the appropriate authority and the conduct of the people identified in the complaint is outside of the OIA’s jurisdiction.

Evidence provided by the complainant that was said to indicate the councillor’s involvement was found to be incorrect.
IR2744522 23 October 2019 It is alleged that a former councillor engaged with council staff on a number of occasions in relation to development applications made by a local business in the area, in a way that was contrary to South Burnett Regional Council’s Acceptable Request Guidelines.
 

Following an investigation, the OIA decided to take no further action pursant to section 150Y(b)(iii) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) on the basis that taking further action would be an unjustifiable use of resources.

Whilst the OIA takes the view that the alleged conduct by the former councillor was not in accordance with South Burnett Regional Council’s Acceptable Request Guidelines, due to the nature of the allegation, and the fact that the subject officer is no longer a councillor, it was considered that taking further action on this matter would be an unjustifiable use of resources

IR2738320 17 August 2020 It is alleged a councillor had used their position on a regional committee to influence or obstruct the complainant’s attempts to make complaints about them. The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 as the conduct does not raise a reasonable suspicion of inappropriate conduct or misconduct.
The complaint contained a bald allegation that provided no evidence of the councillor’s involvement.
IR2738321 28 September 2020 It was alleged that a councillor breached the code of conduct, in how they treated the complainant and a former councillor. That the councillor lied to the complainant about a rumour being started by the former councillor about the complainant and another councillor. It was alleged the councillor acted in an unethical and disrespectful manner, with intent to cause detriment to the complainant, which resulted in the complainant being bullied by members of the public and becoming the subject of rumours with a sexual overtone.
It was further alleged that the councillor had sexually harassed the complainant on 4 March 2020, within the meaning of section 119 (c) and (f) of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, in that they made the remarks about the complainant and another person, and that the complainant was offended, humiliated and intimidated by the conduct.
The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(b)(i) of the Local Government Act 2009, on the basis that the complaint is considered to be vexatious.
This complaint was made after a series of other complaints that had been previously dealt with by the OIA. In this complaint, there were no details of direct evidence confirming that the councillor did in fact lie about the rumour or that it was started by the former councillor. The fact that the councillor declined to assist with a personal investigation initiated by the complainant in relation to the rumour, is not proof that they had engaged in conduct that would be in breach of the code of conduct.
In relation to the allegation of sexual harassment, the OIA does not believe that by the councillor telling the complainant about the rumour, it would amount to an offence of sexual harassment against the complainant, as the ‘remarks’ were said to have been made by someone else.
IR 2726722 2 September 2020

It is alleged that a Councillor:

  1. behaved unprofessionally and treated a member of the public with disrespect in an email; and
  2. threatened the same member of the public that if they did not withdraw their letter, they would lose grant funding and jeopardize future grant applications
The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to Section 150Q(3) of the Local Government Act 2009, on the basis there is insufficient information to properly investigate the conduct or form an opinion about whether the conduct is, or may be, inappropriate conduct or misconduct.
IR2717675 24 August 2020

It was alleged that a Councillor was trolling and defaming the complainant on Facebook under a fake name and that comments were made from the page about the complainant, in which the complainant strongly believes the language being used by the person is similar to what the councillor would say.

The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) on the basis that the conduct does not raise a reasonable suspicion of inappropriate conduct or misconduct. The complaint did not provide any evidence to support the allegation that the councillor was in fact the person behind the ‘fake page’ other than an opinion about the language being used in the comments being similar to what the councillor would say. The use of common words in the English language is not considered to be sufficient grounds to raise a suspicion that a particular person was responsible for those words.

IR2710211 11/14 June 2020 It is alleged a councillor accessed jointly used social media accounts and changed the passwords to the accounts, which caused the complainant to be unable to access the social media accounts and other website accounts to remove personal credit card details that were linked to the ongoing subscription to a website account.It is alleged a councillor accessed jointly used social media accounts and changed the passwords to the accounts, which caused the complainant to be unable to access the social media accounts and other website accounts to remove personal credit card details that were linked to the ongoing subscription to a website account. The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(c)(ii) as I am satisfied that further dealing with the complaint would be an unjustifiable use of resources. The complainant was considered to relate to a civil matter between the complainant and the councillor that stemmed from a professional relationship prior to the councillor being elected. The complainant had sought legal advice and was pursuing civil action to resolve the dispute between the parties.
IR2704786 24 May 2020 It was alleged that a councillor denounced the position of a member of the public in an open forum. It was further alleged that over a one-week period, three councillors made an unconscionable decision to switch from supporting a funding agreement, to voting to withdraw from the project.  The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(a)(ii), of the Local Government Act 2009 as the complaint in essence related to a decision of council as a body and did not raise a reasonable suspicion of inappropriate conduct or misconduct within the meaning of the Act by the individual councillors. 
IR2686381 11 May 2020 It is alleged that a Councillor may have shared confidential information with third parties relating to the Art Gallery.

The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) as the conduct does not raise a reasonable suspicion of inappropriate conduct or misconduct.

 

Even if it could be proven that it was the Councillor who provided that information, the information was not confidential to the local government. 

IR2705507 28 April 2020

It was alleged that a Councillor publicly vilified a proponent of a project in community meetings due to a dispute between the councillor and the project proponent relating to their adjoining properties.

It was further alleged that due to Councillor opposition to the project, the community organization voted against the project which influenced Council to also oppose the project. 
The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to Section 150X(a)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 as the complaint did not raise a reasonable suspicion of inappropriate conduct or misconduct.
IR2704784 22 April 2020 It was alleged that a Councillor made inappropriate and defamatory comments about their competing candidate prior to the Local Government elections. The OIA decided to take no further action pursuant to section 150Y(b)(iii) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) on the basis that taking further action would be an unjustifiable use of resources.
IR2704785 27 March 2020 It was alleged that a Councillor refused to survey ratepayers and attend meetings about the Bunya Mountains Dark Sky Park, despite the majority of ratepayers who are predominantly absent owners of accomodation in the Bunya Mountains being in favour of the matter

The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(a)(ii) of the Local Goverment Act 2009 as the conduct does not raise a reasonable suspicion of inappropriate conduct or misconduct.

Decisions were made in relation to the matter by Council staff and not by any Councillor.  Various community members voted against the matter at a community meeting on 22 November 2018.  Council was represented at this meeting by Councillors and Council Officers.

IR2704783 24 March 2020 It was alleged that a candidate in the South Burnett Regional Council Local Government election, and who was not a current or former Councillor, was being continually promoted on a community social media page.

The OIA decided to take no further action pursuant to section 150Y(b) (i) of the Local Government Act 2009 on the basis that the conduct does not raise a reasonable suspicion of inappropriate conduct or misconduct by a Councillor.

The OIA does not have jurisdiction to investigate the conduct of a candidate who is not a Councillor.

IR2655064 19 December 2019 It is alleged that a media article correctly reported what was said at an ordinary council meeting and two Councillor's objected to what was said and made comments at a council meeting that a journalist had incorrectly reported the issue. The OIA dismissed this matter pursuant to section 150X(a)(ii) as the conduct does not meet the threshold for innapropriate or misconduct.
IR2619089 20 August 2019

It is alleged that a Councillor was selling alcohol from his home or shed.

The complaint was dismissed by the OIA pursuant to section 150X

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

IR2586969 4 April 2019 It was alleged that a number of current and former Councillors engaged in inappropriate conduct when at a Council meeting held in 2012 they voted unanimously to withdraw from a funding agreement for a development project without taking into account work already undertaken. 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.
IR2564279 13 December 2018 Alleged that a Councillor breached Section 150K(1)(b) a policy, procedure or resolution of the local government.

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

IR2564013 9 January 2019 Alleged that a Councillor made public comments on social media about the personal circumstances of a member of the public. 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 the complainant did not include sufficient information to properly investigate the conduct under Section 150Q(3)(b) of the Local Government Act 2009.
IR2563316 17 December 2018 (by Office of the Independent Assessor) Alleged that 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 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
IR2428287 8 November 2017 Alleged that a Councillor engaged in misconduct in terms of s.176(3)(a) of the Local Government Act 2009, being a conspiracy or attempt to engage in conduct, that adversely affects, or could adversely affect, (either directly or indirectly) the honest and impartial performance of the councillor’s responsibilities or exercise of the Councillor’s powers, when the Councillor engaged in inappropriate conversations with members of the public about the ongoing tender process for the council lease on the Coolabunia Saleyards and/or Council dip facilities, prior to the Council’s decision being made. That the Councillor be counselled about the misconduct, and how not to repeat the misconduct. The counselling to be conducted by an appropriate Department nominated resource and the counselling to focus on the important integrity controls associated with council tender processes.
IR 2412246 3 October 2017

Alleged bullying conduct by Councillors against a fellow Councillor.

In accordance with Section 176 of the Local Government Act 2009, a preliminary assessment of the complaint has been undertaken to decide whether the complaint—

(a) is about a frivolous matter or was made vexatiously; or

(b) is about inappropriate conduct, misconduct, corrupt conduct under the Crime and Corruption Act or another matter (including a general complaint against the local government, for example); or

(c) is lacking in substance.

One (1) Councillor received a written reprimand for conduct not appropriate for a Councillor

IR 2362328

30 May 2017

Alleged inappropriate conduct pursuant to section 176 of the Local Government Act 2009 by allegedly verbally abusing a member of public during a telephone call

In accordance with Section 176 of the Local Government Act 2009, a preliminary assessment of the complaint has been undertaken to decide whether the complaint—

(a) is about a frivolous matter or was made vexatiously; or

(b) is about inappropriate conduct, misconduct, corrupt conduct under the Crime and Corruption Act or another matter (including a general complaint against the local government, for example); or

(c) is lacking in substance.

Councillor received a written reprimand for conduct not appropriate for a Councillor and advised to remedy the matter with the provision of an written apology by Friday 16 June 2017 which has been provided.

IR1691537

12 December 2016

Lodging complaint under Local Government Act 2009 in relation to the following allegations:

  1. Lack of response to email correspondence.
  2. Lack of promotion or attendance at SBRC community events.
  3. Lack of use of social media to promote SBRC and community events.
  4. Lack of response to invitations or apologies for not attending community events within his division or general SBRC area.
  5. Poor representation as identified at other community group

Following matters have been substantiated as inappropriate conduct:

  1. Lack of response to email correspondence.

  1. Lack of response to invitations or apologies for not attending community events within his division or general SBRC area.

Mayor meet with Councillor and advised Councillor of responsibilities.

IR1305123

16 May 2014

Alleged inappropriate conduct pursuant to section 176 of the Local Government Act 2009 by allegedly:

  1. attempting to bully local media provider into not printing articles or advertisements perceived as detrimental to Council.

The Department considered the elements of section 177(2) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) and does not consider that the complaint should be dismissed on the basis it was frivolous, vexatious or misconceived, nor does it consider the complaint to be lacking in substance or otherwise an abuse of power.

The Department decided instead, pursuant to section 177(2)(c) of the Act, to take no further action in relation to the complaint.

IR1388612

10 November 2014

Alleged misconduct pursuant to section 176 (3)(b) of the Local Government Act 2009 by allegedly:

  1. not communicating with the registered licence holder before the removal of a Category R 25 lb field gun from the Burnett War Memorial Museum at the Kingaroy Airport and arranged to have it positioned at the RSL building in Murgon.

The South Burnett Regional Council referred the complaint to the Mayor, pursuant to section 181 (2)(a) of the Local Government Act 2009, an order reprimanding the councillor for the inappropriate conduct was issued.

IR1106713

29 November 2012

Alleged misconduct pursuant to section 176 (3)(b) of the Local Government Act 2009 by allegedly:

  1. Conduct in an inappropriate manner toward a member of the community in the Public Gallery

The Department of Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience determined that, on the balance of probabilities, Councillor did not engage in inappropriate conduct.

IR1361453

20 November 2012

The Department of Local Government referred a series of allegations to the Regional Conduct Review Panel (the Panel). After a detailed examination of these, the Panel considered the following allegations:

That the Councillor, who at the dates relevant to this complaint was a Councillor of the South Burnett Regional Council, (the Councillor was not a Councillor at the date of this determination), engaged in misconduct as defined in section 176(3) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) in that the conduct, as set out below, involved:

  1. The performance of the Councillor responsibilities or the exercise of their powers, in a way that was not honest or was not impartial, contrary to section 176(3)(b)(i) particulars being that the Councillor used information gained through a meeting with an individual to inform and benefit a group occupying a facility owned by the council, namely the Wondai-Murgon aerodrome; and
  2. A breach of the trust placed in the Councillor, contrary to section 176(3)(b)(ii) of the Act in that the Councillor did not comply with local government principle 4(2)(c) in the Act requiring democratic representation, social inclusion and meaningful community engagement, particulars being that the Councillor did not engage in meaningful community engagement:
    1. Prior to a decision of the council at its meeting on 18 July 2012 to provide a letter to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) in support of the request by St John's Lutheran Primary School to purchase from the Queensland Government 94 Ivy Street (Kingaroy )- (Lot 69 on RP221281 (being part of a park known as Adermann Park being land held in trust by the council as trustee); or
    2. After this meeting, when the Department of Natural Resources and Mines indicated by letter dated 25 September 2012, that the South Burnett Regional Council must arrange for the preparation of a land management plan for the trust land mentioned above, following Guidelines provided by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

The Regional Conduct Review Panel has decided, pursuant to s176A(2) of the Act to take no further action in relation to the allegations.

IR1358783

14 November 2012

Alleged breach of trust placed in him as a councillor, contrary to section 176(3)(b)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) in that he did not comply with the local government principle 4(2)(c) in the Act requiring democratic representation, social inclusion and meaningful community engagement, particulars being that he did not engage in meaningful community engagement:

  1. Prior to a decision of Council at its meeting on 18 July 2012 to provide a letter to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) in support of the request by St John's Lutheran School to purchase from the Queensland Government 94 Ivy Street (Kingaroy) – (Lot 69 on RP 221281 (being part of a park know as Adermann Park) being land held in trust by the council as trustee); or
  2. After this meeting, when the Department of Natural Resources and Mines indicated by letter dated 25 September 2012, that the South Burnett Regional Council must arrange for the preparation of a land management plan for the trust land mentioned above, following Guidelines provided by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

The Regional Conduct Review Panel determined that, based on the onus of proof being the balance of probabilities, the allegation has not been sustained.

IR1361371

16 November 2012

That Councillor engaged in misconduct as defined in section 176(3) of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) in that his conduct, as set out below, involved:

  1. the performance of Councillor responsibilities or the exercise of the Councillor powers, in a way that was not honest or was not impartial, contrary to section 176(3)(b )(i) of the Act, particulars being that he provided misleading information to the South Burnett Regional Council at its meeting on 20 June 2012 and/ or its meeting on 18 July 2012 regarding the support of the Adermann family to the sale of part of Adermann Park as mentioned in (2).
  2. a breach of the trust placed in the Councillor, contrary to section 176(3)(b)(ii) of the Act in that he did not comply with local government principle 4(2)(c) in the Act requiring democratic representation, social inclusion and meaningful community engagement, particulars being that he did not engage in meaningful community engagement:
    1. prior to a decision of the council at its meeting on 18 July 2012 to provide a letter to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) in support of the request by St John's Lutheran Primary School to purchase from the Queensland Government 94 Ivy Street (Kingaroy)- (Lot 69 on P221281 (being part of a park known as Adermann Park being land held in trust by the council as trustee); or
    2. after this meeting, when the Department of Natural Resources and Mines indicated by letter dated 25 September 2012, that the South Burnett Regional Council must arrange for the preparation of a land management plan for the trust land mentioned above, following Guidelines provided by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
  1. The Regional conduct Review Panel determined that the allegation was sustained. The Panel made the following orders:
    1. That the Councillor make an apology at an open Council Meeting on 22 January 2014 or 19 February 2014 for providing misleading information to the Council.
    2. That the Councillor pay the Local government the penalty of $1,000 imposed by the Panel on or before Friday 28 March 2014.
  1. The Regional Conduct Review Panel determined the allegation was not sustained.

IR1311787

15 August 2012

Alleged breach of trust pursuant to section 176 (3)(b)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 by allegedly:

  1. By acting contrary to the Local Government Act 2009 local government principles (in particular the principle of ethical and legal behaviours of Councillors and local government employees)[s4 (2)(e)]) by allegedly representing the St John's Lutheran Church (for which the subject Councillors holds the position of committee member, as well as treasurer for the St John's Lutheran Primary School) rather than representing the South Burnett Regional Council as an elected official whilst attending a community consultation event regarding the sale of Council land to the church.

The Regional Conduct Review Panel determined in respect to the allegations that, on the standard of proof in the hearing, namely the balance of probabilities (refer to s179(5) of the Act, the Councillor did not breach the trust placed in him as a councillor by acting contrary to the principle of ethical and legal behaviour required of a councillor under the Act.

IR1311787

15 August 2012

Alleged breach of trust pursuant to section 176 (3)(b)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2009 by allegedly:

  1. Providing misleading comments in a radio interview regarding the proposed St John's Lutheran Church development application
  2. Allowing Councillor to represent the St John's Lutheran Church rather than as a member of the Council, in a community consultation meeting regarding the sale of Council land.

The Regional Conduct Review Panel determined in respect to each of the two allegations that, on the standard of proof in the hearing, namely the balance of probabilities (refer to s179(5) of the Act, Councillor did not breach the trust placed in him as a councillor pursuant to s176(3)(b)(ii) of the Act.

IR950538

24 October 2010

  1. Alleged breach of trust - alleged the Councillor did not act in the best interests of the community by moving a motion in Council to approve a development application overriding the Planning Scheme and against town planners' recommendations
  2. Alleged breach of trust by not informing the complainant of the date of the meeting at which the objections were to be heard after the Councillor had undertaken to do so.
  1. The Regional conduct Review Panel determined that the allegation was not sustained.
  2. The Regional Conduct Review Panel determined the allegation was sustained. The Panel made the following recommendations:
    1. That the Councillor make an apology to the complainant. (Apology sent 11 July 2011)
    2. Department monitor the local government for compliance with the Local Government Acts in relation to future development applications for the next twelve months.

IR927833

6 September 2010

  1. Alleged official misconduct - Complainant alleged the Councillor had misused his authority in dealings with an associate's development application for a material change of use for a waste management facility without undertaking the requisite processes and involving the required concurrent agencies.

The Department of Infrastructure and Planning, on completion of their review, determined that there was no evidence to support further investigation of the allegation.