On 13 April 2016, the Local Government Amendment (Code of Conduct) Act 2015 (Amendment Act) came into effect. The Amendment Act incorporates a number of amendments of the Local Government Act 1993. The Act was amended to provide a new Local Government code of conduct framework for Tasmanian Councillors.
The Local Government code of conduct framework is prescribed under Part 3, Division 3A (code of conduct, complaints and complaint resolution) of the Local Government Act 1993.
The key aspects of the code of conduct framework include:
- A Model Code of Conduct (made by order of the Minister for Planning and Local Government) which prescribes the standard of behaviour that all Tasmanian Councillors are required to meet when performing their role
- The Minister’s independent Local Government Code of Conduct Panel which is responsible for the investigation and determination of code of conduct complaints;
- The availability of new sanctions to the panel in relation to breaches and an ability to dismiss frivolous and vexatious complaints.
The model code of conduct sets out the following elements in relation to councillor conduct:
- Decision making
- Conflict of interest
- Use of office
- Use of resources
- Use of information
- Gifts and benefits
- Relationship with community, councillors and Council employees
- Variation of Code of Conduct
For further information on the framework please refer to the following Local Government Division link.