State Member for Bundaberg David Batt said laws to stop corruption in local councils are needed but that the state government is taking legislation too far.
State Member for Bundaberg David Batt said laws to stop corruption in local councils are needed but that the state government is taking legislation too far.

Batt’s attack on Belcarra double-standard

THE Bundaberg State MP observes a double-standard when it comes to the state government tackling local council corruption through the Belcarra legislation.

David Batt, the former deputy mayor, said if the Queensland Treasurer was set to the same standard of accountability as a local councillor, she may have broken the law.

Jackie Trad would have done this if she was a councillor, and bound by the Belcarra legislation by failing to declare the ownership of her Wooloongabba property by her family trust, he said.

"Because she is an MP and there is no specific state government rule applicable to her actions, there have been no repercussions," Mr Batt said.

"Regardless of this loophole, Labor is looking to further regulate councillors instead of dealing with their own internal integrity crisis.

"I don't deny that there are tweaks that could be made to local government regulations, but Labor's amendments will restrict and negatively impact local government councillors and staff across Queensland, instead of letting them get on with the job."

He said there needed to be increased transparency for the sake of community confidence.

"But I believe Labor's proposed changes go too far and are based on the actions of a small minority of elected representatives," he said, referring to the corruption charges made against Logan and Ipswich councillors.

A state government spokesman said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk publicly committed to the recommendations set by the Crime and Corruption Commission,

"At this time the leader of the opposition, Deb Frecklington, is yet to commit to doing the same," the spokesman said.

The Belcarra legislation has been divided into three stages, with the first passed last year, targeting political donations against property developers.

The second stage is expected to soon be debated in parliament, and targets councillor's declared public interest.

The third stage is due to enforce full-preferential voting before next year's local government election.



Hazardous seas makes for difficult rescue of surfers

premium_icon Hazardous seas makes for difficult rescue of surfers

Rescue after two missing surfers had not returned to shore

How council's sale of lighthouse sculpture birds is faring

premium_icon How council's sale of lighthouse sculpture birds is faring

The first phase of the bird sale is well under way and the council has begun to...

Huge, rare butterflies spotted around Northern Rivers

premium_icon Huge, rare butterflies spotted around Northern Rivers

The Richmond birdwing is one of Australia’s largest butterflies with a wingspan of...