“Bigger is not Better” Professor Dollery presents new research.

Professor Dollery and his colleagues from UNE have taken advantage of being able to use 2014 data to compare the performance of merged councils with their unmerged counterparts over ten years. When researching the Queensland data, where in 2008, 157 councils were merged into 73, it was demonstrated that this resulted in a greater proportion of councils exhibiting dis-economies of scale. That is, mergers created entities that were simply too large to be run efficiently.

Click on the link below to read the article in full.

16.3.31 Dollery Bigger is not Better’ in ‘The Conversation’ https


Queensland Government says complaints review didn’t stem from MP Rob Pyne

  • 21 April 2016 – Amy Remeikis reporter with the Brisbane Times reports :

Independent MP Rob Pyne has had a victory, with the government announcing a review of local government complaints and councillor conduct – although Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said it was at the request from local government stakeholders themselves. Click the link below to read the full article  ….


LGAQ slamming MP Rob Pyne proves him right!

A peak body of Queensland ratepayers groups (QLGRA) has expressed strong support for Rob Pyne’s call for a corruption inquiry into Queensland Regional Councils.    “The LGAQ would do well to stop the personal attack on Rob. He has taken up a courageous fight. His call stands as a warning to any government failing to address the state of local government in Queensland”:  QLGRA spokesperson Colin Hewett said today.  Click on the link below to read the release

Media release LGAQ slams MP Rob Pyne

Excerpts from interview with MP Rob Pyne and Steve Austin on ABC Radio (16 Feb)

In an interview with Steve Austin on ABC Radio this week (Tue 16 Feb), the Member for Cairns, Rob Pyne again called for an inquiry into local government corruption in Queensland.

In today’s sitting of Parliament Mr. Pyne tabled documents including ‘public interest disclosures’ that make NEW allegations of corrupt conduct, bullying and harassment.

The above documents add to material tabled in December calling for an inquiry into local government. Mr. Pyne, who tabled allegations of  misconduct, corruption and breaches of the Local Government Act (Qld) in October said, “If the material tabled in October and December opened the door on wrongdoing in local government, the material I tabled today should blow the door off its hinges.”

“I have been contacted by numerous residents from across Queensland, who have supported the call for an inquiry into Council corruption. These people have supplied my office with a significant new material.

Mr. Pyne, who in October was joined by Tablelands Residents Jason Ward and Lyn O’Connor in relation to concerns regarding Tablelands Regional Council (TRC), again teamed up with Ward, O’Connor and scores of other Queenslanders concerned about the administration of their local council. Pyne and Ward advised they also met with a number of senior academics concerned with corruption in local government and the appalling treatment of council staff. Council is the heart of local communities. It is often the biggest employer, and where a lot of apprentices and graduates start their careers. Council’s should support community groups, and empower their staff to feel valued, safe and supported. Unfortunately what is happening is often quite the opposite.

Councils owe a duty of care to their staff and the number of people who have been dismissed and damaged because of the bullying and toxic nature of certain councils. Unions are also reporting increased activity in contacts, and increased fear of retribution, without access to a dedicated bullying jurisdiction, as available to most Australia workers under the Fair Work Act.

The CCC has consistently failed to identify and punish wrongdoers and a judicial inquiry should be established, with all the required powers. Transparency and accountability must be a cornerstone of our governance process, and documents I have tabled in our Parliament show this is not the case in Queensland.

In a recent article in the Australian slamming the CCC, Professor Timothy Prenzler said, “The current approach is overly elitist. Ordinary complainants and whistle-blowers are treated dismissively, and the people of Queensland are badly let down. A major restructure is required to ensure optimal legitimacy and effectiveness.” Pyne agrees, saying “Most complaints about Councils are referred back to Councils, so they can investigate themselves. How anyone can defend such a process is beyond me.” Pyne concluded, “There is no politics in this, indeed the councils concerned range across the full spectrum of political leanings. An inquiry without ‘fear or favour’ is required to get to the ‘root of the allegations and identify systemic weaknesses, so remedial action can be taken to ensure accountability and transparency.”

Complaints process is the broken link for Council Corruption Cases.

MP Rob Pyne

Another Parliament sitting, another tabling of documents with damning evidence around local government corruption and the systemic failures of the complaints processes.’ Rob Pyne MP says.

In December the Deputy Premier spoke in Parliament and wrote to the Member for Cairns setting out the complaints pathway.  “I accept that advice because it is consistent with the advice we provide complaints.  What I am raising is that when people go through those correct pathways the complaints system fails.” said Mr Pyne.

‘The huge groundswell of contacts, emails, phone calls and documents arriving at our office convinces me that things aren’t quite what they seem. And that people are tired of having their voices ignored, and their situations made worse by inequitable decision making.’ Rob says.

‘With the volume and seriousness of the material we now have, it would be naïve of me to believe that they are all submitted incorrectly, and that not one has any issue to respond to in the public interest. It would be negligent if I were to pretend everything was going amazingly well in local government land.’ Rob says.

Mr Pyne explained the documents are again tabled in the Public Interest.  This documentation contains two very important elements. “Firstly, a snapshot of the material my office has received from people in response to being told to go through the proper process.  Some of their responses are shocking however they go to the heart of simply demonstrating the extraordinary lengths complainants have gone through in navigating the complaints processes as well as the financial and personal cost this situation is having in our communities.”

My Pyne further explained that contained in this tabling are two Public Interest Disclosures.  One demonstrates a Councillors experience in the complaints process and the other demonstrates a Council Staff member’s current experience in making an internal complaint through the proper way.  Find the documents here http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/tabled-papers/online-tabled-papers ref item 188.

‘If you don’t think things can quickly slip in public life, just check out the current saga in the NSW Auburn Council, where an independent body is currently reviewing decisions and overturning them due to flawed processes. It happens. It’s real. It’s time to step up and make Queensland corruption free.’ Rob urges.

‘So far we’ve tried every reasonable avenue to raise this issue followed by tabling documents in October, December, and now February. There will be more in March if we don’t get relevant and meaningful strategies happening to address this very important matter. We aren’t going away. We can’t. There’s too much at stake.’

It’s a simple fix.

  • Reinstate the independence and resources of the Crime and Corruption Commission to ensure complaints are dealt with,
  • backdate people’s ability to have their cases reviewed by this independent body,
  • do an inquiry into decisions made in local government, the complaints processes and the relevant legislative frameworks to find out exactly what has been going on and how to actually fix it.


Media contact – Rob Pyne 0438 360 376     

Lyn O’Connor 0407 736 746 

Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne raises local govt inquiry again for ‘ignored’ voices

, Queensland political editor for the Brisbane Times reports “Cairns Labor MP Rob Pyne has refused to abandon his crusade to reform how local government complaints are dealt with, breaking party ranks to once again raise the issue in Parliament.”  You can read the article by clicking the link below  ….