Several requirements commence as soon as prospective candidates declare their intention to run for Council and resources are available to assist.
Tablelands Regional Council CEO Justin Commons encourages anyone considering running as a Councillor or Mayor in the upcoming March local government elections to understand the roles and responsibilities of being an elected member.
“Visit our website to access a range of useful information including links to the Electoral Commission Queensland, Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs, Office of the Independent Assessor, Local Government Association of Queensland, and Queensland Integrity Commissioner resources.
“New reforms for local government have been rolling out since late 2017 following the release of the Belcarra report.
“As part of this reform, it is now compulsory for all candidates to complete online ‘So you want to be a councillor?’ training.
“Councillors are elected to govern the Council for the benefit of the entire local community and have duties under the Local Government Act 2009 and duties arising from the organisation’s activities.
“There is a broad misconception that Councillors are employed by ratepayers to do a full-time job.
“Many Councillors balance work, family and other commitments with their representative role.
“They are not expected to be accessible 24/7 and are not able to answer all questions and address every concern.
“Councillors have very little influence over operational matters and their only decision-making capacity is at formal Council meetings.
“Operational matters should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, 1300 362 242 or a customer service centre in the first instance,” said Mr Commons.
A prospective candidate briefing will be held 5.30–6.30pm on Thursday 20 February 2020 in the Community Education and Disaster Coordination Centre, 15 Vernon Street, Atherton.
The session will be accessible via a live webinar for people who are unable to attend in person.
Check the TRC website and social media for how to remotely access the event.
“This open Q&A forum will assist any prospective candidates or interested community members with understanding the election process, roles and responsibilities of councillors, how local government works, and the opportunities and issues we have as a region.
“If you would like clarification on any aspects of the role of the organisation or the role of elected members, please email email@example.com or call 1300 362 242.”
“I wish all candidates the best for a respectful, engaging and positive campaign and election period,” concluded Mr Commons.