Four mayors suspended as new laws take effect
FOUR Queensland mayors have been suspended after Governor Paul de Jersey assented to the Palaszczuk Government's new automatic stand down powers today.
Logan Mayor Luke Smith, Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli, Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Edric Walden and Hope Vale Mayor Greg McLean have all been suspended as of today. Logan councillor Stacey McIntosh has also been suspended.
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said in a statement that Cr Smith was stood aside as he fights charges including official corruption and perjury.
Cr McIntosh is facing a stealing charge which triggered her suspension while both Cr Antoniolli and Cr McLean are facing fraud charges, leading to their suspension.
Cr Walden has been suspended as he fights charges including misconduct in public office and forgery.
The laws were assented to today, meaning they are considered to have taken effect from 12am.
"The mayors and councillor have been advised, as have the CEOs of the affected councils," Mr Hinchliffe said.
"The mayors and councillor are suspended on full pay. They cannot appeal the suspensions.
"Under section 165 of the Local Government Act, the deputy mayors in the affected councils will assume the roles and responsibilities of acting mayor. A suspended councillor is not replaced.
"This action does not reflect on the outcome of the charges which will be dealt with by the courts.
"I have also written to all councillors to ask them to declare if their status is affected under the new provisions.
"These are very new laws, and I will need to carefully consider whether to exercise any of my new powers, based on the facts of each case."