Saturday, May 25, 2024

LGAQ hat off to spending caps decision

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has thanked Deputy Premier, Steven Miles and the State Government for listening to the views of the LGAQ and member councils in the formulation of new campaign spending caps for council elections.

LGAQ CEO, Alison Smith said the Association had long supported campaign spending caps as an important accountability and integrity measure.

“We thank the Deputy Premier for acting swiftly on these reforms and for making good on his pledge to listen to the views of the LGAQ and its member councils before deciding on the final campaign spending cap regime,” Ms Smith said.

Mr Miles today announced that state-wide public consultation on a proposed expenditure cap scheme has reached completion.

“We have incorporated the feedback from the 22 submissions and will progress the final scheme design as a Bill later this year,” the Local Government Minister said.

“The proposed caps for Brisbane City Council will be set at $55,000 per ward for councillor candidates and $1.3 million for mayoral candidates.”

The scheme will see expenditure caps applied to all electoral participants, including councillor and mayoral candidates, groups of candidates, political parties, and third parties participating in an election.

The capped expenditure period for local government elections will run for approximately seven months, aligning with the Electoral Act 1992 State legislation, the Minister confirmed.

Third parties’ expenditure caps will be 100% of the mayoral cap in the relevant local government area, without the ability to pool their caps across local government areas.

“We particularly welcome the decision to remove the proposal for the cap for third parties to pool their expenditure limits across local government areas,” said Ms Smith.

“We believe the final proposal released by the Deputy Premier will create a much more level playing field for all who wish to be involved in local government elections, starting with the next quadrennial polls in March 2024.”

Mr Miles said every Queensland Councillor and Mayor was encouraged to make a submission on the discussion paper and the feedback we received was “broadly supportive of a local government electoral expenditure caps scheme”.

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