By Brittney Kleyn and staff
The proposed legislation goes before State Parliament next month. (ABC News: Melanie Vujkovic)
The Queensland Government’s plan to sack the Ipswich City Council is a breach of fundamental human rights, prominent state legal groups say.
Public hearings begin in Ipswich and Brisbane today before the Queensland Government’s proposed legislation goes to State Parliament next month, which would see all Ipswich councillors axed and an administrator appointed to run the council until the next election.
The Queensland Law Society (QLS) and Queensland Council for Civil Liberties (QCCL) have been critical of the Government’s proposed bill in their submissions sent to the inquiry before today’s hearings.
QCCL spokesman Michael Cope said the principle of being considered innocent until proven guilty should be respected.
“Just because they’re sitting on a council, they don’t lose those rights,” Mr Cope said.
“If there were allegations of corruption against them as individuals, presumably they would have been charged by now.
“The people of Ipswich should be trusted to decide which of these councillors should be replaced and which should not.
“They’re elected and the people of Ipswich shouldn’t be deprived of the opportunity to decide who should be running their council for a period of two years.”
The QLS is also outraged the proposal “excludes judicial review and appeal”.
In its submission, the QLS also expressed concerned “no election will be held until the next council elections in 2020”.
QLS president Ken Taylor said it was “about due process and the rule of law”.
“It should be left to run its course whereby people are presumed to be innocent and are given the due process and access to appeals,” Mr Taylor said.
Scathing submissions have also been put forward by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and Council of Mayors South East Queensland.