Queensland government to sack Logan City Council

The Queensland government will sack the Logan City Council, formerly led by mayor Luke Smith (R).
The Queensland government will sack the Logan City Council, formerly led by mayor Luke Smith (R).

The Queensland government will sack the Logan City Council on the back of a corruption probe involving the mayor and most of the city's councillors.

Luke Smith and seven councillors were last week charged with fraud, accused of pushing the council's CEO Sharon Kelsey out of her job.

An eighth councillor is also on charges, accused of siphoning funds into her own bank account.

Smith was already suspended from his job for alleged corruption offences when he was charged with fraud last week.

He's also now facing charges of drink driving and breach of bail after he crashed his car into a stationary vehicle and a tree south of Brisbane on Wednesday. Police say he was more than three times over the limit.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has told parliament he has no choice but to dismiss the council and appoint an administrator pending fresh elections in March next year.

"With only four councillors remaining, it cannot perform its responsibilities," he told parliament.

"As it stands the council is unable to pass its budget for the 2019/2020 financial year, appoint an acting mayor or make decisions.

"This is a situation which I cannot let happen."

He said Logan ratepayers deserved a council that could function.

Smith is due in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Thursday on the drink driving and breach of bail charges.

Logan is the second council to be sacked by the government in less than a year, after alleged widespread corruption in Ipswich.

A Crime and Corruption Commission investigation found Ipswich City Council's culture was allowed to rot for years, to the point where corruption was no longer recognised.

More than a dozen people connected to that council, including former mayors Paul Pisasale and Andrew Antoniolli, have been charged with criminal offences.

Australian Associated Press