Understanding Local Government – some very relevant information

Understanding Local Government – some very relevant information

Category : General News

untitled-9After working in Local Government for over thirty years, I would like to share a few facts with you as residents of our region to assist your understanding of our Council.

Somerset Regional Council covers an area of 5,379 sq kilometers and includes main townships of Esk, Fernvale, Kilcoy, Lowood and Toogoolawah. The region has a population of some 22,500 people with a projected annual growth rate of 3.2% and is part of Australia’s fastest growing region. It has the largest land area of all south east Queensland Councils and currently has the smallest rate base. There are 12,000 rateable properties and has the lowest residential rates in Queensland. So given these facts, our Council is performing extremely well to be debt free.

Large corporations and businesses, and in this case Local Government share a goal or a vision and our Council’s Mission Statement is:

We, in partnership with the community, will realise our vision by:

  • Focusing on our customer’s needs
  • Planning for the future
  • Utilising resources efficiently and effectively
  • Using sound business practices
  • Utilising the practice of continuous improvement

The above mission statement has been developed to assist Somerset Regional Council to service its community in a responsive, innovative and efficient manner – exercising leadership and builds community strength. Through a variety of council services, Council feels it can deliver on these promises.

So now you are aware of the very basics about Somerset Regional Council, there are so many more layers to the day to day operation of councils. Twenty odd years ago councils were most concerned with operational items such as “Roads, Rates & Rubbish”. Today councils are also concerned with business development, community engagement, compliance, infrastructure planning, governance, economic development, project management, risk management, enterprise bargaining, asset management, energy audits and the big one of late – disaster management. Long gone are the simple days of just roads, rates and rubbish, these items are still very important and essential, but priorities have grown immensely.

Councillors today must have a clear understanding of strategic planning, infrastructure prioritisation and fiscal sustainability. They must also understand their local communities and be the collaborative influence. I look forward to achieving this and so more as your Councillor.


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Somerset Farmers book your seat now for the Farmer's Big Night Out on Wednesday, 8 September at the Somerset Civic Centre.Enjoy a great evening of live entertainment, dinner and socialising. This event is Free for Somerset farmers.Call Council on (07) 5424 4000 to book your ticket now as seats are limited. ... See MoreSee Less
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Councillor Cheryl Gaedtke for a strong Somerset Region
See you there tomorrow morning for a sausage sandwich.🌭👍👍💲2-50 each ... See MoreSee Less
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Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and PlanningThe Honourable Dr Steven MilesGreater council integrity for QueenslandersThe Office of the Independent Assessor will receive more funding and Queensland communities will see improved clarity for councillors around their decision-making, announced the Deputy Premier and Minister for Local Government today.The Deputy Premier announced $1.302 million over two years to support eight full-time equivalent positions in the Office of the Independent Assessor OIA.“It’s vital Queensland communities have confidence in the decision-making of their elected representatives, and we are looking to ensure that decision-making isn’t hindered by any confusion around potential conflicts of interest,” Mr Miles said.“The Government recently undertook a project which analysed the operations of the new councillor complaints framework to make sure it is working smoothly and effectively.“The analysis resulted in a number of recommendations, including streamlining the interactions between the department, the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) and the Councillor Conduct Tribunal (CCT).“We will streamline the process of declaring conflicts of interest, clarifying when a councillor can and cannot participate in decision-making, and how the conflict of interest framework, including the definition of ‘related party’, applies in small council settings.“We’re also providing greater resourcing support for OIA to help carry out its investigations into councillor complaints and keep up with high demand.“To support the OIA to carry out its investigations into councillor complaints we’re committing an additional $1.302 million over two years to support eight temporary full-time equivalent positions.It follows an announcement in December 2020, of an extra $250,000 for the OIA to fund an additional three staff.Mr Miles said the Government will continue working with key stakeholders such as the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), to look at ways of improving the system.Local Government Association of Queensland CEO Greg Hallam thanked the Deputy Premier and his department for working proactively with the LGAQ and its member councils to review the current conflict of interest laws to make sure they are achieving what they were designed to.“Ensuring Queensland’s conflict of interest rules are both workable and effective is of critical importance to local councils and the communities they serve,” Mr Hallam said.“We have provided the Deputy Premier and his department with an extensive submission outlining some of the unintended consequences our member councils are experiencing and recommending potential reforms to the Local Government Act and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Government to progress those changes.”Mr Miles thanked the LGAQ and all stakeholders involved for their input to improve the sector.“It’s crucial we keep listening to stakeholders and support councillors to be the best representatives they can be for their communities,” Mr Miles said.“This is about making a good system even better by increasing transparency and integrity and providing Queenslanders the finest Local Government system in the country.”ENDSMedia contact: Katharine Wright – 0428 957 903 / Amy Hunter – 0423 651 484 ... See MoreSee Less
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