Qld council watchdog in place by year end

Stuart Layt

A new integrity body to deal with complaints against Queensland's local councils will be set up by the end of the year, the state government has promised.

As part of new laws passed this month, an Office of the Independent Assessor will be established to work alongside the established corruption watchdog, the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the new body would focus on official misconduct, while the CCC would continue to investigate corruption allegations.

"One of the biggest weaknesses of the current system is the requirement to lodge complaints directly with a council's CEO," Mr Hinchliffe said.

"Understandably, potential complainants can be reluctant to 'dob in' councillors, given CEOs' close working relationship with mayors and councillors."

"An independent complaints handling process will see this potential conflict largely removed."

The government has not been able to confirm how much will be allocated to the new body, saying the figure will be revealed in next month's state budget.

It was introduced as part of a suite of reforms in the wake of the CCC's Operation Belcarra, which found widespread misconduct among a number of Queensland councils.

The Local Government Association of Queensland has welcomed the new body.

"Council CEOs will no longer be in the position where they are referred to as Caesar judging Caesar," LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam said.