Setting standards of behaviour for local council members

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What standards of behaviour should be expected of all council members in South Australia?

What's being decided?

We want to hear your feedback on our proposed Behaviourial Standards for Council Members in South Australia.

Your input will help shape the standards that all local council members must abide by.

Background

As part of significant local government reforms, the Government is introducing a new conduct management framework for council members that will set clearer rules for behaviour and provide better tools to resolve repeated and serious misbehaviour.

As part of the framework, the Minister for Planning and Local Government is required to set behavioural standards that will:

  • establish the kinds of behaviour all council members must show
  • identify the sorts of behaviour that is not acceptable
  • outline the actions that must be taken if the standards are breached.

If council members breach these standards, their council must take action to address the matter. If council members repeatedly breach the standards, they may be referred to a new Behavioural Standards Panel, which can look into a matter and apply sanctions.

Other important conduct standards also apply to council members and will be contained in the amended Local Government Act. These are considered 'integrity matters' and include things like:

  • managing gifts and benefits
  • dealing with conflicts of interest
  • taking care with confidential information.

Any complaint that a council member has breached these integrity matters will be dealt with by the Ombudsman and alleged corruption will be considered by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Get involved

Find out more:

Have your say by:

What are the next steps?

Once all comments are received, the Minister will release a final draft of the Behavioural Standards.

This will provide the base of other parts of the new conduct management framework, including the policies that councils will put in place for managing breaches of the standards and how the new Behavioural Standards Panel will deal with repeated breaches.

The new conduct management framework is proposed to commence in November 2022, to coincide with a new term of council starting after the 2022 council elections.

What standards of behaviour should be expected of all council members in South Australia?

What's being decided?

We want to hear your feedback on our proposed Behaviourial Standards for Council Members in South Australia.

Your input will help shape the standards that all local council members must abide by.

Background

As part of significant local government reforms, the Government is introducing a new conduct management framework for council members that will set clearer rules for behaviour and provide better tools to resolve repeated and serious misbehaviour.

As part of the framework, the Minister for Planning and Local Government is required to set behavioural standards that will:

  • establish the kinds of behaviour all council members must show
  • identify the sorts of behaviour that is not acceptable
  • outline the actions that must be taken if the standards are breached.

If council members breach these standards, their council must take action to address the matter. If council members repeatedly breach the standards, they may be referred to a new Behavioural Standards Panel, which can look into a matter and apply sanctions.

Other important conduct standards also apply to council members and will be contained in the amended Local Government Act. These are considered 'integrity matters' and include things like:

  • managing gifts and benefits
  • dealing with conflicts of interest
  • taking care with confidential information.

Any complaint that a council member has breached these integrity matters will be dealt with by the Ombudsman and alleged corruption will be considered by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Get involved

Find out more:

Have your say by:

What are the next steps?

Once all comments are received, the Minister will release a final draft of the Behavioural Standards.

This will provide the base of other parts of the new conduct management framework, including the policies that councils will put in place for managing breaches of the standards and how the new Behavioural Standards Panel will deal with repeated breaches.

The new conduct management framework is proposed to commence in November 2022, to coincide with a new term of council starting after the 2022 council elections.

Guest book

Let us know what standards of behavior should be expected of local council members. 

What do you think about the proposed Behavioural Standards for Council Members? Is there anything missing you would like to see included?

You need to be signed in to comment in this Guest Book. Click here to Sign In or Register to get involved

Whatever standards are approved there should NOT be legal costs attributed to ratepayers. The aggrieved parties should fund their OWN legal costs. I pay rates for the betterment of my community NOT to fund legal issues between council staff.

Cathy Johnson13 15 days ago

Standards need to be the same across all levels of government. having different rules for local govt is inconsistent, members are being held to a higher standard than the legislators.

Jennie Boisvert 20 days ago

I am very concerning about the inclusion of bullying in the policy. It is far, far too subjective and open to interpretation. Who decides if something constitutes bullying? I do not approve of you putting limits on the speech of my elected representatives. If a council elects a communist member and that member decides to state that another councilmen is a capitalist whose business is built on the back of exploiting the working class and that therefore this capitalist world view is behind approving of a development application is that bullying or is that simply the interpersonal interactions one should expect in an adversarial political system in which different ideologies engage robustly? It might be distressing and possibly humiliating, but it adds to the political debate in that council, it adds to our polity and it is well within the tradition of political debate. What if someone wanted to state that as a white person of privilege someone might not have the understanding to properly contribute to a decision? I do not agree with this idea at all, however, it is an idea that is believed by a section of a community and by speaking it within council would you be distressing someone? discriminating against them? Yes of course, but does that mean someone should be prevented from enunciating their political views and the views of those who elected them, no not at all. I am very very unhappy with the idea that an unelected body is creating rules for what my elected representatives can and cannot say. If we approve this, what is next? Will you start regulating what political ideas can be discussed? What a councillors expressed attitude to religion, homosexuality, immigration, etc is? That is not your job, The only people who can decide what people can say is their electors and they make their approval or disapproval clear on election day. Your job is only to regulate what they do, their actual actions as councillors, not to regulate what they say - hands off our democracy.

JC about 1 month ago
Page last updated: 24 January 2022, 10:38