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Decisions made by local governments must be made in a way that is consistent with the local government principles set out in section four of the Local Government Act 2009 and the City of Brisbane Act 2010. These principles are:

  • transparent and effective processes, and decision-making in the public interest
  • sustainable development and management of assets and infrastructure, and delivery of effective services
  • democratic representation, social inclusion and meaningful community engagement
  • good governance of and by local government
  • ethical and legal behaviour of councillors and local government employees.

In addition, good decision-making requires that:

  • decisions must be those which the local government can lawfully make
  • decisions must be consistent with and in accordance with legislation and council policy/ies
  • councillors should have all the relevant information before them in order to make a considered and an 'informed decision'
  • councillors should be impartial, objective, free from bias and act in the public interest of their local government area
  • decisions should be made on a reasonable basis.

Decisions made at meetings are recorded in the form of resolutions which are binding on the local government until they are formally amended or repealed. Resolutions, once recorded, take effect immediately.

It is important to note that councillors are subject to the laws of defamation during council meetings and at other times. Unlike members of state or federal Parliament (who enjoy legal protection in respect of anything said by them in Parliament), councillors can claim no special 'privilege' by virtue of their office.

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Material personal interests and conflicts of interest