Queensland preparing to see a wave of change in local government
With the 2016 local government quadrennial elections set to take place across Queensland on March 19, the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is preparing to support the influx of newly elected councillors and mayors.
"We are not expecting a massive turn over, it will not be anything like 2012, based on our understanding of community sentiment," Greg Hallam the CEO of the LGAQ said.
But Mr Hallam is still expecting lots of news faces, with 15 mayors across the state not contesting the next election.
"No matter what, there has got to be 15 new mayors and we can add to that the people that don't get returned [to office]," Mr Hallam said.
Considering this number and the amount of the newly elected councillors, LGAQ said it was anticipating it they would be undertaking approximately 60 inductions around the state throughout April and May.
To get them up to speed on their new roles and responsibilities, the newly elected mayors will receive a specialised handbook, on-the-job-training and would attend a civic leaders summit.
The summit provides mayors, deputy mayors and CEOs, with the opportunity to hear directly from a variety of speakers in a two-day intensive gathering.
"They listen to older Mayor's who have done all kinds of things and people form all sorts of walks of life; politicians, watchdogs, ACCC chairs, the Auditor General and the Ombudsmen," Mr Hallam said.
People should be looking for the good solid citizen, man or woman, who understand the community and who have the drive and passion to push it forwardGreg Hallam, CEO of the LGAQ
The LGAQ also offers long-term support to newly elected mayors and councillors through the provision of resources, including mayoral mentors, diplomas in local government, and access to independent integrity advisors.
"There is a lot of help there for new people in the game, if you've not been a councillor before, if your brand new, then there is a lot of help," he said.
Advice when considering your mayoral candidates
With local government elections drawing closer, more and more Queenslanders are pondering who they should vote for.
Mr Hallam advises people contemplating the candidates to be wary of wild promises, such as cutting rates by 10 per cent or building infrastructure the council cannot afford.
"People should be looking for the good solid citizen, man or woman, who understands the community and who has the drive and passion to push it forward," Mr Hallam said.
He also advised that voters should also be on the lookout for, "people who have got a track record, people who have got experience and people who can represent the community in a good and positive way".
There are many characteristics that make a good mayor. according to Mr Hallam, but there are no educational requirements.
"Its a democratic process ... you can have people with PhDs or you can have people who left school in grade eight," he said.
However, he conceded that people looked very closely at the experience and attitude of the candidates.
"What the community tells us is this: they want some one who is passionate about their community, they want someone who will stand up for their community, they want someone who is forward looking," Mr Hallam said.
"They want growth and prosperity."
Source: ABC News