Logan City Council adopts reforms to councillor expenses, bolster transparency ahead of 2020 election

LOGAN councillors will no longer be supplied with cars or free canteen lunches under a suite of reforms interim administrator Tamara O'Shea adopted during a special meeting today.

REFORMS: Interim administrator Tamara O'Shea with Logan City Council CEO Silvio Trinca. Photo: Jacob Wilson

REFORMS: Interim administrator Tamara O'Shea with Logan City Council CEO Silvio Trinca. Photo: Jacob Wilson

In consultation with the interim management committee, Ms O'Shea developed the Transition to Council plan to bolster accountability and good governance principles.

Reforms include a councillor expenses and entitlements policy, revamped decision making framework and a review of audit and risk systems.

This comes more than six months since the Queensland government dismissed all elected members of the council due to the suspension of eight councillors, including the mayor, charged with causing a dishonest detriment to former CEO Sharon Kelsey.

Four former councillors who were not charged including Darren Power, Laurie Koranski, Lisa Bradley and Jon Raven formed part of the Interim Management Committee which had input into the reforms.

Ms O'Shea said the plan was designed to restore the community's confidence in Logan City Council and give the next elected members the best platform to succeed.

"From the outset, the Transition to Council plan acknowledged that Logan City Council already had a strong foundation of policies, procedures and systems in place," she said.

"Notwithstanding this, the interim administration has presented an opportunity to not only make improvements, but to seek to become a leader through the development of exemplary policies and frameworks.

"We have had the rare opportunity to consider a raft of improvements that will better prepare this organisation for the return of elected members and to also set the direction for a more transparent and accountable way of doing business beyond the March 2020 election.

"I think the community is looking forward to having elected representatives, that is true democracy, what we are in now is an aberration and I'm confident what we are doing today will mean we won't have an interim administrator again."

Under changes to expenses and entitlements, councillors will be provided with a vehicle allowance for travel with their own car and will no longer have access to branded merchandise like name engraved pens.

Ms O'Shea singled out the decision making framework as the most significant reform.

"At the heart of any good government is good decision making and that decision making framework provides the basis from which councillors can move forward with confidence that they are making those decisions in a transparent way," she said.

"No newly elected councillor can be expected to simply step into the role next year and make effective decisions without the right guidance and support.

"We are hoping to have live (video and audio) streaming (of meetings) to commence early next year."

Candidates for the 2020 Logan City Council election are encouraged to gain an understanding of their roles and responsibilities via an online portal on the Logan City Council website.