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From 1 January 2012 changes to the registers of interest provisions for relevant persons under the Local Government (Operations) Regulation 2010 (LGOR) and the City of Brisbane (Operations) Regulation 2010 (CBOR) will take effect.
Under the regulations, 'relevant persons' are:
The changes were made by the Local Government Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2011 - as notified in the Queensland Government Gazette on 9 December 2011. A copy of the regulation and the Explanatory Notes are available from the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel's website.
Differences have been identified between disclosure requirements of Members of Parliament (MPs) (and persons related to MPs) and councillors (and persons related to councillors).
Chapter 5, Part 5 of LGOR and Chapter 5, Part 5 of the CBOR provide for the disclosure of financial and non-financial particulars of councillors, chief executive officers, senior contract employees and persons related to councillors, chief executive officers or senior contract employees, on registers of interests.
The Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 part 2A provides for the Standing Rules and Orders of the Legislative Assembly for Members of Parliament (Standing Orders) which require the disclosure of financial and non-financial particulars of MPs and persons related to MPs on separate registers of interests.
The amendments to the LGOR and the CBOR aim to:
Amendments to the LGOR section 106 and CBOR section 103 clarify that all interests are to be disclosed regardless of whether the relevant person holds the interest alone, jointly or in common with any other person. For example, a register of interest for a person related to a councillor must include interests held jointly or in common with persons other than the councillor.
Amendments to the LGOR section 106 and CBOR section 103 clarify that the information to be included in a register of interests for a relevant person does not need to include:
Amendments to LGOR schedule 4 and CBOR schedule 2 require additional particulars to be provided on registers of interests for councillors and persons related to councillors. The additional particulars are:
The Department of Local Government and Planning will provide updated material personal interest forms on its website.
Amendments to the LGOR section 110 and CBOR section 107 require local governments to publish copies of the registers of interests for councillors on their websites as soon as practical and no later than 5 business days after receiving an approved form from a councillor to change information that is no longer correct on his or her register of interests. A business day is a day that is not:
It is for each local government to determine the format in which the contents of the councillors' registers of interests will be made available on their website.
The amendments make no changes to the public access of registers of interests for persons other than councillors.
Under section 107 of the LGOR and section 104 of the CBOR, councillors, chief executive officers and senior contract employees have 30 days in which to record an interest or correct an existing interest which is recorded on his or her register of interests (or which relates to related person's register of interests). The maximum penalty for a failure to record or correct an interest is 85 penalty units and for a councillor remains a disqualifying offence.
The amendments commence on 1 January 2012. This means that relevant persons will have 30 days from this date in which to notify if an interest in the register is no longer correct as a result of the amendments to the LGOR and CBOR.