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The Local Government Act 1993 (the Act), provides a local government code of conduct framework for Tasmanian councillors.
The framework was introduced in 2016 and provides a consistent, effective and enforceable means to address councillor misconduct.
Under the framework, councils are required to adopt a single, statewide Model Code of Conduct developed in consultation with the local government sector and approved by the Minister for Local Government. Councils are able to apply make variations to the Code, however they must be consistent with the Model Code.
The Code of Conduct is enforced by an independent Code of Conduct Panel established to investigate and determine complaints involving alleged breaches of the Code and empowered to issue sanctions against councillors found in breach.
The Code of Conduct replaces the previous system of 29 separate council Code of Conduct Panels and the Local Government Association of Tasmania’s Standards Panel.
The Model Code of Conduct was amended in December 2018 following a review of its operation during the first 12 months since it commenced. The review was jointly conducted by the Government and the local government sector.
A number of changes have been made to the Model Code to improve its operation and councils are required to adopt the revised Model Code of Conduct by 26 March 2019.
For more information on the review, see the Joint Review of the local government Code of Conduct Framework.
Any person can make a complaint under a Council’s Code of Conduct.
A complainant must complete a Local Government Code of Conduct Complaint Form and lodge it with the general manager of the relevant council within six months of the alleged contravention.
Further information about how to make a complaint, information and other requirements is contained in the Information Sheet - Local government Code of Conduct - Information for Complainants.
For information on the different types of complaints that can be made, see Making a complaint - complaints about councillor conduct or contact your council. Contact details for councils is provided via the Tasmania Council Directory.
On receipt of a Code of Conduct complaint, the general manager is required to assess it to ensure that it meets the requirements of section 28V of the Act. Where the complaint meets these requirements, the general manager must:
For more information on these requirements view the Information sheet – Local Government Code of Conduct – Information for General Managers
Code of Conduct Panel determination reports are required to be tabled by the relevant council at the first public meeting held after the determination is made at which it is practicable to do so.
Addendums to reports (which contain confidential information) are required to be tabled at the next closed council meeting at which it is practicable to do so.
Copies of Panel determination reports which have been tabled are available to view and download on the Code of Conduct Panel Determination Reports webpage.
This information sheet provides guidance on the legislative requirements of councils in relation to the model code of conduct for Tasmanian councillors.
This information sheet provides guidance on the role of general managers in the code of conduct complaint process.
This information sheet provided guidance for complainants lodging a code of conduct complaint against a councillor.
For further information regarding code of conduct complaints call the Executive Officer on 03 6232 7013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.