Policy delivers clear approach to dealing with developers

Policy delivers clear approach to dealing with developers

A landmark policy governing the role of councillors in development matters has been adopted by Moreton Bay Regional Council.

The policy clearly sets out how councillors can interact with developers, lobbyists and submitters to ensure such interactions are conducted transparently and in the public interest.

The policy provides a structured and consistent approach for councillors to conducting meetings and record-keeping.

The processes aim to reduce the risk of misconduct or perceived misconduct and enhance community confidence.

A Queensland first

Moreton Bay chief executive officer Greg Chemello told the November 12 meeting at which the policy was adopted that, to his knowledge, no other council in Queensland had adopted a similar policy.

“But I think it is imperative that we have a policy that makes it clear for the (development) industry, for ourselves, for the community how interactions should occur,” Mr Chemello said.

“There’s been a lot of legislative change in the last couple of years that has caused some consternation in some circles and I think this policy is our attempt to collectively define this as clearly as we can.”

Industry consultation

Mr Chemello said council officers had discussed the formation of the policy with the development industry and he had spoken with the Queensland Office of the Independent Assessor about its creation.

“There’s strong interest across Queensland in this policy.

“I think it’s a very good document – I won’t pretend it’s perfect - you could expect that we could come back to this room at some point in time after months or years of experience and say we need to tweak it here and there.

“But it does balance out as best we can (councillor) responsibilities to the community to convey their concerns and views and interests to staff and to developers, with what your responsibilities are under the Local Government Act.”

Councillors a conduit for communication

Councillor Brooke Savige (Div 1) expressed concern about how to deal with residents or developers who approached councillors seeking clarification after decisions were made, but was assured the policy allowed councillors to continue to convey community or developer concerns to council staff without creating a perception of bias or undue influence.

Mayor Peter Flannery congratulated Mr Chemello and council staff for developing the policy.

“We want to get that clarity and engagement, with both developers and the community knowing where we stand.

“It’s been an area in the past that’s been a grey area in the past with very broad guidelines.”

Find more local news here.

Are you #MoretonBayTough?

Pledge your commitment to support local, spread kindness and show you're Moreton Bay Tough

Sign the Pledge for Free!

item.title
What $1 worth of power will get you this winter

Have you cranked up the heater at home as the nights get cooler? You might be surprised how much it costs to run your reverse-cycle airconditioner, take a longer shower or binge watch 20 hours of your favourite TV show. Read More

item.title
Entry 310876

Maree Stephenson will leave her Griffin home on May 1 on a 10 Desert Challenge - which could see her ride into the history books. Read More

Join the Conversation

We might be spending most of our time indoors, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay silent – stay connected!

#MoretonBayTough Facebook Group   Sign The Pledge