Institute collaborates with Independent Assessor to resolve rules confusion

In the face of local governments across Queensland demonstrating growing confusion over new rules managing interactions between Councillors and developers, the Institute has stepped in to work with the Office of the Independent Assessor to help clear things up.

While meetings with UDIA Queensland representatives have been largely unaffected by recent changes to the Local Government Act, individual members have been reporting for months that their own requests for meetings with local Councillors are being turned down in many cases.

In other cases, it is business as usual creating growing confusion and inconsistency.

In response, the Institute is providing detailed information on how the industry actually works and how this fits with the new legislation to the local government’s top behaviour and ethics cop, the Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian.

Our key points include:

  • We firmly believe that ensuring local councillors are well briefed on development matters occurring in their local area is beneficial for efficient and fact-based decision making
  • The Queensland community is expressing a strong desire for ongoing involvement in development matters which we again firmly believe reinforces the need for councillor involvement in discussions rather than being an argument for their being excluded
  • The current very high levels of variability in the way Queensland councils are approaching these interactions evidences growing confusion regarding current requirements, as well as an erroneous melding of the requirements imposed by separate and different laws
  • Many parties to development matters have special roles necessitating ongoing engagement between them to ensure important endeavours are still progressed. For example, many development industry participants who are community leaders need an ongoing working relationship with relevant councillors. Conversely, councillors who are a Mayor or Chairperson need a lawful avenue to take expert professional advice from industry experts

We will provide an update in due course.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or practical experience with this issue, please contact Anna Cox, Director of Policy on (07) 3229 1589 .