Gifts

Our objective is to transform local government so that it is empowered to better deliver quality governance and services to their communities now and into the future.

We looked at opportunities to reform the requirements regarding the disclosure of the receipt of gifts by councillors and local government CEOs - and of conflicts of interest created.

The previous system

  • In certain circumstances, councillors and local government employees have to declare the receipt of gifts. 
  • Gifts and contributions to travel were regulated under the Act and three sets of Regulations – the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996, Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997 and Local Government (Rules of Conduct) Regulations 2007. 
  • Each regulation had a different framework for declaring gifts and contributions, which led to confusion in the sector. 

Consultation

The Department consulted on the previous gifts framework during stage one of the Local Government Act review.

The following sections outline what was heard during consultation and what changes have been adopted as a result of feedback from the community and local government sector. 

What you’ve told us

  • There was strong opposition to the receipt of gifts in all forms
  • There was a call for a better definition of a gift
  • Excluding gifts in a personal capacity was viewed as necessary, but there was no consensus on how to define this

Ideas for change

  • Combine gifts and travel into one gift category
  • Remove notifiable and prohibited gift categories
  • Gifts to only be declared if a council member or CEO have received a gift in respect to carrying out their role
  • Gifts received in a personal capacity should be exempt from declaration

Policy position 

On 1 August 2018 the State Government announced their policy positions on the stage one priority reforms, including their position on gifts.  

The following report provides further information on the findings from consultation and the Government’s decision regarding gifts: 

Gifts policy position

Reforms introduced

On 27 June 2019, the Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was passed by Parliament. This Amendment Act introduced a revised framework for gifts.  

Please refer to Reforms introduced for more information on the Amendment Act, and frequently asked questions on the reforms.  
Page reviewed 15 January 2020