The Local Government Electoral (Transparency and Accountability in Local Government) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 changes the Local Government Electoral Act 2011. The Bill:

  • facilitates real-time online electoral donation disclosure for local government elections WITHIN 7 DAYS, consistent with the state system;
  • clarifies that incorporated associations are not be permitted to receive or hold electoral campaign funds which are intended to be applied for a member's benefit, either directly or indirectly;
  • ensures that a candidate's dedicated account can only be used for gifts and loans received and expenditure made for electoral campaigns, making it easier to trace campaign expenditure;
  • requires unspent campaign donations in a candidate's dedicated account to be either kept in the account for the conduct of another election campaign, paid to a registered charity nominated by the candidate, or paid to the relevant political party; and
  • sets the candidate and third party election disclosure donation threshold at $500 to align with a councillor's register of interest gift disclosures threshold.


                                             Enough is Enough
Your Community First is under attack by some of the current councillors in a number of divisions ..signs are going missing @ the rate of 10 per day.
Your Community First is offer a $500 reward to anyone with information that leads to a conviction for removing signs belonging to Your Community First candidates.
A number of the new candidates have had their signs paid for by existing councillors. One has to wonder if they are just there to split the vote. One new candidate said 'he did not know he was standing for council until he was told to.'
Mis-information is been put out there to confuse the voters.
Council rangers ( with help from the current councillors ) have been targeting Your Community First Candidates mobile & static signage.
The current councillors would not have resort to these tactics if they had done their job in the last 4 years,looking after the ratepayers .
Current councillors wages should stop when the council goes into shut down mode. They are still using their cars / mobile phones/ & offices. 
Councillors have been placing signs on public land. A list will be given to the rangers shortly.

Statement by Rodney at at a recent forum

Mr Hansen said he was "driven by principles, not politics" and emphasised his grassroots-level campaigning.

The presence of a number of Your Community First volunteers on the night seemed evidence of this.

When asked about Unitywater, Mr Hansen said he wanted several operational matters to change, including having a councillor on the board.

"I want to be that councillor on that board," he said.









Dean Teasdale  37.02%   




Dean Teasdale  34.35%    



Stop misleading your ratepayers: McArdle to Councillor

Sunshine Coast Daily

DETERMINED: Protesters gather at Unitywater’s Caboolture office. Jorge Branco

STATE Water Minister Mark McArdle's office has accused a Moreton Bay regional councillor of deliberately misleading ratepayers about the ownership of Unitywater but the council is standing firm.

In his June-July newsletter Division 5 councillor James Houghton told readers the council did not own Unitywater.

"Problems with Unitywater? Don't call council!" he wrote.

"Does council own Unitywater? Answer: No!"

The Unitywater website states "Unitywater is a statutory authority, jointly and wholly-owned by the Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast Regional and Noosa Shire Councils" but Cr Houghton and a Moreton Bay Regional Council spokesman both stood by the claims.

"If it was owned by us, we'd be telling them what to do," Cr Houghton said.

"We've got no say whatsoever in it."

The council spokesman said: "as required by state legislation, Moreton Bay Regional Council is a participant in Unitywater, not an owner."

A spokesman for Mr McArdle insisted MBRC, along with the Sunshine Coast Council and Noosa Shire Council, jointly owned Unitywater.

"Cr Houghton is deliberately misleading ratepayers," he said.

"Moreton Bay Regional Council along with the other council owners appoint the board that runs Unitywater on its behalf.

"Unitywater has a participation agreement with its owner councils. It sets out governance and reporting arrangements and how profits are distributed.

"Of the total issued participation rights for Unitywater, Moreton Bay Regional Council has 58.24%, Sunshine Coast has 37.51% and Noosa has 4.25%."


Ratepayers Action Group spokesman Dennis Austen. Photo Jorge Branco / Caboolture News Jorge Branco

A RATEPAYER advocate says the whole issue boils down to money.

At a protest earlier this month, Ratepayers Action Group's Dennis Austen said at the end of the day, the only thing people really cared about was cost.

"All we want is the prices down," he said.

"Do people really care about de-amalgamation? Do they really care about Unitywater? I don't think so.

"I think all they want to do is see the b******* prices down."

Mr Austen made the comments at a protest against the water retailer in Caboolture on July 4.

He and 25 other protesters gathered with Unite Against Unity placards and a megaphone to discuss water pricing.

"The main thing we're here for today is to just make our presence known," Mr Austen told the gathering.

"While we're not great in number, we're just continuing to chip away at the edges.

"This is an election year - eight months away now from an election. It's going to be interesting to see if Labor or Liberal promise to do anything about the situation."

A Unitywater spokeswoman said the company would try to increase efficiency to keep costs and prices down.

"Unitywater announced a 3.5% increase as of 1 July 2014. This is one of the smallest increases across water and sewerage service providers in SEQ," she said.

The State Government increased bulk water prices (shown as a separate component on your bill) by 10.1% on July 1, adding further pressure to water bills.

The increase was part of the bulk water "price path" that will see all south-east Queensland council regions paying $3217/ML for bulk water by 2017-18 - an almost 20% increase from this financial year.

Speaking after the protest, Mr Austen said the group's aim was to keep water prices down. He said disbanding Unitywater was the best way to do so, but failing that he wanted to see a representative of the public on the Unitywater board.

A spokesman for Moreton Bay Regional Council said the three participating councils, including Noosa, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay, were jointly responsible for appointing board members.

"There are currently no local government representatives on the board of Unitywater," he said.

The spokesman said there were no available positions on the Unitywater board.

Beware of FAKE information.


I have just received James Houghton's latest attempt to denigrate the
Your Community First team in the upcoming MBRC elections.

First up James could not even get the date right for the video by Geoff
McKay. It was released on the 30th January, not the 31st.
Next he claims Geoff and YCF said we will spend $2 million dollars
setting up "plush new offices" for divisional Councillors to be able to
meet the people throughout the MBRC region.
Can someone please show me where in Geoff's video he said this please?
In fact at several candidate forums held throughout the region it was
specifically emphasised that MBRC already has facilities that can be
used for this purpose at minimal cost.

Cr Houghton then goes on to describe how YCF wants to "divide the region
in half and make Caboolture the new regional centre"
This is not a new plan from YCF, but in fact something that James
himself voted in favour of, earlier this year, when council adopted the
MBRC Regional plan.
This is also in the State government plan for our region.

However better is yet to come

"Don't risk your vote on people with no experience......." he cries in
Three YCF candidates hold tertiary degrees which are very relevant to
the running of council - Three YCF candidates have spent many years in
business for themselves and/or holding high office in government run
James, perhaps you would like to enlighten us on your "qualifications"
when you first took office in council.
Perhaps you can also enlighten us on Alan Sutherland's qualifications
while you are at it.

Now we already know James Houghton has difficulty with the truth when he
published another flyer some weeks earlier, telling us HE was the one
who managed to stop the buses running through narrow Scarborough streets.
James then claimed HE took a petition instigated and completed by Arn
Pritchard (Candidate Div 5) and "rescued" it form obscurity by getting
council to submit it to the appropriate people before the submission
date deadline - James did ALL of this AFTER Arn had already received
Post Office verification that the petition was safely in the hands of
the appropriate bodies.
In fact James Houghton was the first person to be approached by the
concerned citizens over the changes to bus routes, and dismissed their
concerns, he did not involve himself until after he discovered Arn
Pritchard was actively working on the people's concerns and well on the
way to having these concerns heard.

James - a little attention to detail goes a long way if you are to
retain any semblance of credibility here.

Now we hear Alan Sutherland is about to launch an attack on the
"faceless men controlling Your Community First and their candidates"
How short our Mayor's memory must be.
Alan Sutherland is VERY familiar with each and every person involved
with YCF - they are the same people that have had numerous Face to Face
meetings with him and Jim Soorely over the refusal of this council to
address the issue of the cost of water across the region.
These "faceless men" are the ones who have campaigned tirelessly on
behalf of the community, over the past 8 years, to keep this council to
account on issues such as the council's botched flood planning, rate
rises, pensioner concessions, removal of the waste pick up scheme and
many more important issues.

I guess desperate times call for desperate measures and to hell with the

Colin Hewett
Your Community First Inc.


Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll helped get Allan Sutherland re-elected as mayor of the Moreton Bay Regional Council



POLITICAL ALLIES: Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll and Moreton Bay Regional Council mayor Allan Sutherland. PIC: Chris Higgins Source: The Courier-Mail

REDCLIFFE MP Scott Driscoll helped get Allan Sutherland re-elected as mayor, co-ordinating a controversial "push polling" campaign costing thousands of dollars.

The Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor and Mr Driscoll, both of whom are now in political hot water, teamed up ahead of last year's council election.

Mr Driscoll played a key role in Cr Sutherland's election campaign strategy, with his family company Norsefire benefiting financially.

Documents obtained by The Courier-Mail reveal Mr Driscoll organised the telephone survey, during which residents in the region were targeted with negative messages about the Mayor's opponent, Chris Whiting.

The Courier-Mail revealed yesterday that Cr Sutherland conspired with David Trask, a financial backer, to set up Mr Whiting by planting a $1000 donation in his election campaign fund, which later led to a Crime and Misconduct Commission complaint when it was not disclosed on time.

But The Courier-Mail has also established that other tactics were used by Cr Sutherland, with Mr Driscoll playing a central role - even as he himself was running for the state seat of Redcliffe for the LNP.

Mr Driscoll oversaw the survey, with his staff member and campaign director Ben Scott providing the analysis of the results to Cr Sutherland.

Documents show Cr Sutherland paid $10,000 towards polling and other campaign work organised by Mr Driscoll, and he was billed for a further $22,500.

Candidates in local government elections are not required to provide details of campaign expenditure to the Electoral Commission Queensland.

Push polls are used by politicians to influence voters through the use of loaded questions. They are not illegal.

A script for the push polling, obtained by The Courier-Mail, reveals the telephone survey asked local residents a series of questions weighted towards exposing the Labor Party membership of Mr Whiting.

Almost 50 per cent of residents polled answered that they would be less likely to vote for Mr Whiting when told his campaign was "Labor-backed and union funded", according to the results seen by The Courier-Mail.

Cr Sutherland last night issued a statement saying his campaign committee "had been approached by a company called 3W operated by Bruce Mills, an associate of Scott Driscoll, to conduct polling" but the committee "at no time authorised push polling".

The Mayor said Mr Driscoll "had no involvement in campaign activities".

But evidence obtained by The Courier-Mail shows Mr Driscoll was intimately involved in organising the polling and helping other aspects of Cr Sutherland's campaign.

In an audio recording heard by the paper, Cr Sutherland discusses a telephone survey to target parts of the electorate with "a few dirty bombs".

On March 12 last year, Cr Sutherland also stepped in to defend Mr Driscoll when claims were made about his past, drafting a media statement slamming "Labor's secret campaign of lies and dirt".

But an email exchange around the same time reveals Cr Sutherland becomes increasingly frustrated with delays in being provided the survey results.

After a series of phone calls from Cr Sutherland, Mr Scott emailed Mr Driscoll to complain: "I don't have time for Allan at all. I'm trying to organise the state election scrutineers. If he needs a campaign manager he can hire one."

Mr Driscoll last month resigned from the LNP ahead of a party expulsion hearing and is the subject of a CMC investigation over allegations of fraud and misconduct.

Mr Driscoll did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.


Redcliffe residents beware when driving along Anzac Ave. .. there is a large migration of mayoral signs crossing from division 6 to join their cousin the councillor into division 5 .Rumour has it another newspaper attack on YCF will come from cousin Des... COURIER MAIL NEXT SATURDAY.YCF candidate Arn Pritchard has challanged James Houghton to a debate on his campain brouchure , @ THE ROTHWELL COMMONUNITY HALL , SATURDAY AFTERNOON ..STARTING TO BE jAMES "S CHOICE

Out with the old, in with the new

Dear Moreton Bay Community

It has come to my attention that a Councillor has attacked the Your Community First group.  RAG is a major supporter of this group, and wants to put our knowledge and perspective into the situation.

The concerns the Councillor raised were:

  • Spending up big on plush new offices for Councillors at a cost of $2 million to ratepayers
  • Divide the region in half and make Caboolture the new regional capital
  • False promises - specifically related to the cost of water
  • Being a 'radical new political team' trying to take over Council
  • Candidates with no experience

The response to these concerns are:

  1. It is disappointing to have a Councillor quote YCF Candidate Geoff Mackay (Division 10) as the source of the big spend on Offices.  It was indeed Geoff Mckay that was on the video as stated, but the information provided by the current Councillor is false. Firstly, the date was wrong, it was indeed the 30 January 2016, not the 31st.  But more importantly, if you wish to check yourselves, the video does not refer to any cost whatsoever, but it does talk about having Councillors much more accessible across the large region.  The YCF believes in listening to the constituents, and has the intention of utilising existing Council owned premises for the offices, which would minimise any costs.
  2. Regarding the issue of splitting the region and making Caboolture the new regional capiltal - YCF has no such policy.  Having said that major issues raised by the community will be considered.The identification of Caboolture as the Regional Capital is not the brainchild the YCF. It is so identified in State Government plans and in the MBRC Regional Plan which the council voted for in 2016.Further there is no mention of dividing the region in half.This statement by the division 5 councillor is misleading to say the least. 
  3. Regarding false promises - YCF believes it can minimise the cost of water to the constituents by minimising the profit that Council makes - last year $26 million.  The Councillor stated that it was not possible to change the water, as it is a state issue, but the Council is an owner of the business and reaps the profits.  Former Minister for resources and water, Mark McArdle, stated in a public meeting of 500 people that the State did not own Unitywater.  For further supporting information see page 38 of Unitywayters' annual report 2015.  In terms of influencing the cost of water to the community,  the Council itself has previously offered rebates, which has now ceased, but which could be re-instated.  So changing the water cost to the community is possible. Also, since the issue of false promises was raised by the Councillor, it should be noted that this particular Councillor (along with the incumbant Mayor and Division 6 Councillor) last election made a promise to re-instigate kerbside collection, yet only 130 days after the election the issue was binned (excuse the pun) (Courier Mail, August 29 2012). 
  4. Being a 'radical new political team'.  While the cohesive team is happy to be seen as bringing fresh change and new ideas to the local political landscape, we doubt this was the intent of this statement.  The second part of this statement relates to 'taking over the Council'.  YCF only has 5 Candidates across the 12 total divisions, and no Mayoral Candidate.  It is hard to envisage how the minority of numbers if all successful would 'take over' the Council.  It could be seen as concerning that an incumbant felt as though a minority can run the Council. 
  5. The next issue raised was related to candidates having no experience.  As shown above in point 3 - experience does not make one impervious to imperfection - so why not give the new comers a go. YCF has 5 candidates - 3 of which are proven business people, and 2 of which have tertiary (university) degrees and a history of community service roles.  The strengths of the individuals make them worthy candidates, but as a team they are focused on working with integrity for the community.  All YCF candidates have passed a police check. 


Another concern (not to do with the above Councillor) is the issue of missing signs - particularly in Division 6. See the below transcript of what may be a targeted attack in Division 6, which we are disturbed by as our local community deserves much better in terms of people being free to nominate to represent it, without fear of repercussion.

Strange coincidences.

Over the past two weeks, I have had a number of signs disappear from various locations throughout the area. Of my total 100 signs, which were to be used at polling booths in addition to the legal limit of 60 signs allowed for street signage, I now only have 2 left due to the continual need of replacing missing signs.
Both my partner’s car and my own car incurred flat tyres within the same week. When I took both tyres to be fixed, thinking how unlucky we had been to get two flat tyres in such a short period of time, I was shocked to be told the damage was deliberate. The mechanic described side wall penetrations that were not consistent with any normal puncture. He pointed to my campaign signage and said, “you have an enemy”.
Then on Thursday whilst out campaigning in my vehicle I pulled over to make a phone call. Only to have a council ranger pull up behind me, exit her vehicle and inspect my car whilst making notes without attempting to engage me in conversation.
If I didn’t know better I would think I was being targeted. At this stage I’m going to do the Christian thing and turn the other cheek, hoping for the best that all this was just co-incidence. (Karen Haddock, Facebook, March 5)

I hope the above has added to your information pool to aid in an informed decision, regarding the upcoming election.


Dennis Austen


Ratepayers Action Group Moreton Bay.





Over the past two weeks, I have had a number of signs disappear from various locations throughout the area. Of my total 100 signs, which were to be used at polling booths in addition to the legal limit of 60 signs allowed for street signage, I now only have 2 left due to the continual need of replacing missing signs.
Both my partner’s car and my own car incurred flat tyres within the same week. When I took both tyres to be fixed, thinking how unlucky we had been to get two flat tyres in such a short period of time, I was shocked to be told the damage was deliberate. The mechanic described side wall penetrations that were not consistent with any normal puncture. He pointed to my campaign signage and said, “you have an enemy”.
Then on Thursday whilst out campaigning in my vehicle I pulled over to make a phone call. Only to have a council ranger pull up behind me, exit her vehicle and inspect my car whilst making notes without attempting to engage me in conversation.
If I didn’t know better I would think I was being targeted. At this stage I’m going to do the Christian thing and turn the other cheek, hoping for the best that all this was just co-incidence.


Redcliffe's kerbside collections have been consigned to the bin

  • by: Staff writers, Redcliffe Herald
  • From: Quest Newspapers
  • August 29, 2012 12:00AM

Councillors Koliana Winchester and James Houghton who have been back at Moreton Bay Regional Council for almost 130 days. Source: Quest Newspapers

It has taken less than 130 days for councillors to renege on their pre-election promise to reinstate kerbside collection in Redcliffe.
Mayor Allan Sutherland and councillors James Houghton and Koliana Winchester each agreed before the April election it was a valuable service that would be considered in this year's budget if they were elected.

But Cr Houghton said on Friday the service would cost $2 million to provide region-wide and would see council lose $900,000 of income every year from their trash and treasure markets at Dakabin and Caboolture tips.

``We chose to continue with free residential tipping instead,'' Cr Houghton said.

Before the election the Redcliffe & Bayside Herald spoke to councillors James Houghton and Koliana Winchester about their promises to Divisions 5 and 6 should they be elected.

Both promised to help solve the Redcliffe Tigers' flooding woes, help attract business to Redcliffe Seaside Village and extend the water rates subsidy to ease the effects of price rises.

Cr Winchester said she wanted to see kerbside clean-up reinstated and more animal control officers employed in the region, while Cr Houghton said he wanted local enforcement teams strengthened.

No extra animal control officers have been employed, but Cr Houghton said patrols had increased.

Margate resident Aidan Caldwell said he would love kerbside collection to be reintroduced.

``Kerbside collection is great because it allows people a chance to get rid of their stuff without needing to hire a truck or get it to the dump, a process that can be very expensive,'' he said.

Redcliffe Tigers were given $400,000 to help flood-proof their clubhouse, and were also given money to build a storage shed and a $10,000 grant for new lining.

Cr Houghton said the council was still working on relocating the club in the long term and had identified a possible site that needed to be investigated. 


SOME have likened the antics in this campaign to a circus but now the real circus, Lennons, is in town and they are taking advantage of all the signage around by positioning their signs right next to those of candidates.

Let’s hope people don’t get confused and vote for the wrong clown, sorry, candidate.



STILL on the topic of signs, we’ve been told that their theft and damage has reached epic proportions this election.

Mayoral candidate sitting Logan City councillor Luke Smith said he had 100 signs stolen in one night. His opponent Brett Raguse has also had a lot of signs stolen or damaged.
What do you do with 100 signs of one person whom you, presumably, don’t support? Or are the signs being stolen because they really like the candidates and the signs are now decorating the wall of someone’s garage or media room? 

  Karen Haddock for Division 6 Moreton Bay Regional Council

Annual valuations for 2016 have just been released for Moreton Bay Regional Council area. Redcliffe had a increase of 22.2% . This means the rates will be much higher than at present if council approves the increase.

Your Community First candidates want to impose an immediate freeze on rates INCREASES for 12 months, and restrict future annual rate increases to the CPI. We want to cease special charges for regional infrastructure, rental properties and other excesses as qu...ickly as possible.

We also believe in reinstating early payment discounts as formerly applied by the separate co

Australian Army 6th Engineer Support Regiment to be granted Freedom of Entry at Redcliffe

March 4, 2016 12:10am


RSM Shawn Goodbody at Redcliffe’s Anzac Place memorial. The 6th Engineer Support Regiment (6ESR) will march through Redcliffe on March 5. Picture: Chris Higgins.

IN WHAT will be a first for the Redcliffe Peninsula, more than 100 Australian Defence Force personnel will be granted freedom to enter the city on March 5.

It will be part of a Freedom of Entry ceremony which include a march along Redcliffe Pde.
Redcliffe Police and Moreton Bay Regional Council will grant members of 6th Engineer Support Regiment permission to enter the city.
Regimental Sergeant Major Shawn Goodbody (6ESR) said the event had taken more than 12 months to plan.
“It is not something people get to see often,” he said. “It is a way for us to show our support to the community and the community to show their support to us.”
Redcliffe RSL sub-branch assistant secretary Cheryl Barrett hopes hundreds of people will line the street. 

This was badly organised, the public did not know it was on . Very few people saw the parade other than the usual saturday shoppers . The RSL was still trying to organise a location for the army to change. I suspect it was organised in hast as election grandstanding.

There are THREE teams running candidates for council- SUTHERLAND ALLIANCE / YOUR COMMONUNITY FIRST / & THE GREENS. 



DIVISION 1...PAUL WHYTE ( supported by retiring councillor ) 






DIVISION 7...(?)


DIVISION 9...MIKE CHARTON ( COUNCILLOR)(rumoured to the next mayor)
DIVISION 10..MATT CONSTANCE ( supported by retiring councillor )
DIVISION  11..DARREN GRIMWADE ( supported by retiring councillor )
                                                    YOUR COMMONUNITY FIRST 
DIVISION 1..Tony Longland 
DIVISION 10...Michael Berkman 
The above are candidates for the Moreton Bay Regional Council Election, which will be held on 19th March 2016.

The office of YOUR COMMUNITY FIRST is now open in the jetty arcade, between 10.00am. & 12.00 ( hours will be extended as the election nears ).

Locations wanted for signs , ask your friends,etc.Donations are needed if you know anyone that can assist  Booth workers are required .

Call into the office for your FREE t-shirt . 

The underfollowing article appeared this week in the Caboolture Shire Herald / Bribie Weekly / Northlakes Times / Pine Rivers Press / Redcliffe Herald.

Water prices at core of alliance tilt at council

A NEW alliance has emerged ahead of the March 2016 council elections.

The Your Community First (YCF) group is calling for candidates to run in all 12 divisions. Chairman Peter Houston said it had policies, a logo, website and finances.

“We hope to field one council candidate in each of the council positions. This will be what is assessed as the most capable and talented candidate in each position,” Dr Houston said.

“It will be a two-way street with all council candidates having to agree to our policy platform.”

He said candidates would need funds for a “reasonable campaign”.

YCF planned to campaign on water prices, and Dr Houston said candidates would not accept donations from developers.

The alliance includes community groups such as Save Redcliffe, the Ratepayers Action Group and Caboolture First.

Members are expected to come from Redcliffe, Caboolture, Bribie Island, and Arana Hills.

Visit for details.