2024 council elections: mandatory training available for all Qld candidates
Pictured above: Deputy Director General of Local Government Josh Hannan
Queenslanders wanting to run in next year’s local government elections can learn what a leadership role on council is all about through compulsory training that’s available now.
All candidates across the state’s 77 council areas, including sitting councillors and mayors, must complete the free training within six months of nomination.
With Queenslanders going to the polls in March, the So you want to be a councillor training course is available via the Department’s website.
Deputy Director-General of Local Government, Josh Hannan, said the mandatory training was about building confidence for candidates and communities.
“If you’ve ever thought about running for council, this training will help you find out what the job is all about – and if it is the right role for you,” Mr Hannan said.
“Queensland is seeking candidates from all walks of life who can actively represent the range of interests and issues within our diverse regions.
“Mandatory training will help make sure all candidates go in with their eyes wide open about what is required during the campaign and their responsibilities and obligations once elected.
“It’s vital to promoting community confidence in the sector, so Queenslanders can continue to expect their councillors to be strong and fair representatives for their communities.
“Even if you have taken the training before, you’ll need to do it again before nominating this time.”
Mandatory training for all candidates in Queensland local government elections was introduced as a legislative requirement in 2019.
The training includes obligations around reporting donations and expenditure during the campaign, with caps on electoral spending in Queensland council elections applying for the first time.
It also covers responsibilities once elected, such as understanding conflicts of interest, the Code of Conduct and requirements involved with a councillor’s register of interests.
Since launching in July this year, more than 200 people have completed the training.
The Department’s So you want to be a councillor podcast, available to stream on Spotify, is also providing Queenslanders with a realistic glimpse into life in local government politics.
The series features chats with councillors, mayors, and council executives, including those who have represented our regions, First Nations people and female leaders.
Among those sharing insights is former North Burnett Mayor Rachel Chambers. A leading figure in the region's mud army during 2013's flood recovery activity, she shares that she ran for mayor because she fell in love with the community and knew she could make a difference.
In a state where just 36.5 per cent of elected representatives are female, Ms Chambers put her hand up for the top job despite being new to politics.
“I was continually asking questions and I was that really annoying constituent,” Ms Chambers said.
“And I did that up until the next election where I gave myself a long hard look, at myself, and said, ‘Rachel you have to put your life where your mouth is; it's time to give this a crack’.”
For information about the training, visit statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/local-government/for-the-community/so-you-want-to-be-a-councillor
Election day will be on 16 March 2024.