Australian State Govt to Probe Local Govt Watchdog

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The Queensland authorities volition probe the state’s autarkic section authorities watchdog aft increasing concerns astir its investigations, 1 of which was precocious criticised arsenic being a “storm successful a teacup.”

Queensland Deputy Premier and Local Government Minister Steven Miles connected Tuesday ordered an enquiry into the Office of the Independent Assessor (OAI).

This comes aft the OAI was criticised for investigating a Queensland politician for alleged misconduct aft helium raised concerns astir the COVID-19 rollout program for his municipality successful a Barcaldine Regional Council gathering successful February.

Deputy Premier Miles said that helium has besides precocious heard caller concerns astir immoderate of the watchdog’s different investigations.

“Queenslanders expect councillors to beryllium beardown and just representatives of their communities,” helium told parliament connected Tuesday.

“The reforms we person implemented successful section authorities are highly important, but assurance successful the strategy of integrity is besides crucial.

“In airy of caller issues, I’ve asked the parliamentary committee that has oversight of the OIA to behaviour a review.”

The OIA is investigating a ailment that comments by Barcaldine Mayor Sean Dillon could beryllium “detrimental to nationalist confidence” successful the section vaccine drive.

Dillon made comments during a section assembly gathering successful February that expressed his interest that the program by wellness officials to vaccinate everyone successful his municipality successful 1 time could not beryllium achieved.

Local media reported that his comments included that helium had “no confidence” successful wellness officials who didn’t recognize determination Queensland and thought they could vaccinate everyone “in 1 pass,” saying “it’s conscionable not going to work.”

The OIA has besides reportedly told Dillon that it was alleged his comments “should person been addressed straight with the [Central West Hospital and Health Service] successful the archetypal instance, alternatively than successful an unfastened gathering of the council.”

The autarkic assessor said this determination “did not show high-quality leadership.”

Dillon described the probe arsenic a “farcical, protracted, mode overblown tempest successful a teacup.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who came to Dillon’s defence past week, calling the OIA probe “ridiculous,” and similar Dillon said, the probe was a “storm successful a teacup.”

She said Mr Dillon had done a large occupation promoting the rollout successful the Barcaldine region.

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) President Mark Jamieson said Dillon’s lawsuit was a wide illustration of the strategy “going wrong.”

“We simply cannot person a concern wherever elected members are frightened to correspond their communities successful the frank and fearless mode Queenslanders not lone expect but deserve,” Jamieson said.

“The LGAQ has ever supported the relation of the OIA, but aft 3 years, we judge it is clip for a parliamentary reappraisal to look astatine what is moving and what is not.”

The LGAQ past week said it was consenting to instrumentality the substance to the High Court if needed.

AAP contributed to this report.

Caden Pearson

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Caden Pearson is simply a newsman based successful Australia, with a inheritance successful screenwriting and documentary. Contact him astatine [email protected]