Complaints against Noosa councillors highest in southeast
Startling figures show Noosa councillors received the highest number of complaints of any southeast Queensland council in the last financial year.
In a report from the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA), Queensland councils received 1030 complaints for the 2019-2020 financial year, including a staggering 145 for Noosa Councillors.
The highest amount for any southeast Queensland council by more than a third.
The Independent Assessor's Kathleen Florian said the complaints related to 55 of the state's 77 local governments.
"The OIA received 1030 complaints about the conduct of councillors in the past financial year and 85 per cent of them came from the public and the local government sector itself," she said.
"This is encouraging because it shows communities are engaged in the processes of local government and councils are actively taking part in efforts to improve integrity in the sector by reporting suspected misconduct or inappropriate conduct."
The complaint statistics for Noosa Shire Council were affected by the receipt of 130 complaints in the second quarter in relation to one former councillor - the investigation into potential misconduct against former Noosa councillor Jess Glasgow.
"The OIA received a number of complaints regarding the councillor's appearance on The Bachelorette reality TV program," a statement from the OIA said.
Ms Florian cautioned against making any assumptions based on the number of complaints alone.
"While a large number of complaints about a specific council or region can point to a problem, it could equally indicate a strong focus on identifying and reporting councillor conduct, which is an indicator of a robust integrity culture," she said.
While the majority of Noosa councillor complaints had been dealt with, as of June 30, 2020, there were two open investigations.
One was a matter with the OIA legal team undergoing a natural justice process, the other a matter before the CCT.
Including the single issue relating to Mr Glasgow in Noosa which generated 130 complaints, but the matter is reported as one disciplinary matter before the CCT.
An OIA spokeswoman confirmed, as of August 11, 2020 there were no current investigations in relation to Noosa Shire Council.
Noosa Council were contacted and advised they would not be providing any comment on the matter.