Congratulations and Welcome to new and re-elected Councillors

News from Peak | April/May 2024

Congratulations and Welcome to new and re-elected Councillors


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By Donna Neilson, Senior Advisor/Trainer, Peak Training

To the new and re-elected Councillors out there - congratulations on your election! As you reflect on that achievement, you might have a few questions about the challenges you may encounter in the next four years. 

As a former Councillor myself, I realised very quickly after being elected for the first time over 30 years ago, that although I had legal acumen, local government was different. Very different. It was a steep learning curve, so I undertook every training opportunity on offer.  

Terms like ‘let the matter lie on the table’, ‘riparian vegetation’, ‘desired environmental outcomes’ and ‘building footprint’ suddenly became part of regular conversations. 

Entering or re-entering local government is the right time to upskill. The recently released Queensland Audit Office Local Government Report (8:2023-24) recommends that councils educate all elected Councillors and Mayors following the March election, “on matters that are specific to their council, including unique challenges of their council and the strategic objectives and operations”. 

Together with our other subject matter experts, I’d love to help you become the best Councillor you can be to serve your constituents and help create liveable communities across Queensland. 

In preparation for the election, we’ve developed a bespoke Councillor training course that will make both new and re-elected members feel confident about their responsibilities and constraints. Our program is designed to explain the intricacies of local government including legislation and the Code of Conduct, in an easy-to-understand way. 

You will also learn about Conflicts of Interest and how to deal with them – basically how to stay out of trouble.  You may be very familiar with meeting procedures in organisations or business meetings, but Council meetings follow strict protocols known as Standing Orders. We’ll help you understand your role in meetings so that you can make a valuable contribution to effective decisions for your community. Yes, we’ll even demystify acronyms. 

To this end, we are also able to offer training in financial governance and budgeting, and provide tips on dealing with the media and using social media with our expert media trainer and journalist Kim Skubris.  

Take this local government learning curve with both hands and embrace all the information you can while the opportunities are there. Arm yourself with as much information as possible to provide the best opportunity for a successful term. Good luck! 

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