Councillor Gleeson’s inappropriate conduct

Cr Paul Gleeson during a meeting of the Redland City Council in 2014

Cr Paul Gleeson at a 2014 Council meeting

Redland City Councillor Paul Gleeson (Division 9) has again been reprimanded for his inappropriate social media usage.

A Redlands resident submitted a complaint to Redland City Council in response to Cr Gleeson’s comments on the Redlands2030 Facebook page earlier this year.

The complainant was recently advised that the Mayor determined Cr Gleeson’s comments to have been inappropriate and he has been reprimanded in accordance with the Local Government Act 2009. The Council’s advice stated that:

The reason for the determination was the Councillors use of inappropriate language contrary to Guideline 0248-007 Use of Social Media by Councillors, namely, “Be polite and respectful to all people they interact with.”

Gleeson is a serial offender

Since he was first elected to Council in 2012 there have been several complaints about Cr Gleeson’s conduct on social media. All except the most recent complaint are detailed in the Councillor General Complaints Register which can be downloaded from the Council’s website.

In 2014 a complaint about alleged disrespectful remarks on social media resulted in Mayor Karen Williams making an order reprimanding Cr Gleeson for inappropriate conduct and an order that any repeat of the inappropriate conduct be referred to a regional conduct review panel as misconduct.

Within a year, another complaint about Cr Gleeson’s social media conduct (alleged inappropriate publication of personal information on facebook and failure to demonstrate respect to member of community) was part substantiated. On this occasion the outcome was counselling from the Mayor.

In January 2016 a complaint was substantiated that Cr Gleeson had engaged in posting material on social media that is offensive, threatening or bullying and disrespectful to members of the community. But instead of being referred to a regional conduct review panel for a misconduct hearing the serially offending councillor was given another reprimand by the Mayor.

A couple of months later, during the local government elections, Cr Gleeson appeared as a member of Mayor Williams’ team on her How to Vote card.

Use of social media by councillors

In late 2014, after Cr Gleeson’s first reprimand, Redland City Council approved a guideline on the use of social media which says that councillors must not:

  • Post material that is offensive, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, bullying,discriminatory, hateful, racist, sexist, infringes copyright, constitutes a contempt ofcourt, breaches a Court suppression order, or is otherwise unlawful.
  • Use, disclose or release any confidential or personal information obtained in their capacity as a councillor.

These social media guidelines support the Council’s Code of Conduct which sets out the standards of behaviour expected of councillors including that Councillors must:

  • ensure that their personal conduct does not reflect adversely on Council’s reputation
  • demonstrate respect for fellow councillors, council employees and members of the community
  • commit to honest, fair and respectful engagement with the community

Inappropriate conduct and misconduct

The conduct and performance of councillors is dealt with in Division 6 of the Local Government Act 2009.

Two levels of unacceptable behaviour are defined in Section 176: inappropriate conduct and the more serious offence of misconduct which includes repeated instances of inappropriate conduct. Corrupt conduct is dealt with separately by the Crime and Corruption Act.

Under the Local Government Act people can lodge complaints about a councillor’s conduct and there is a process for dealing with complaints.

If a councillor is found to have engaged in inappropriate conduct they can be reprimanded. Also, an order can be made that further instances of the inappropriate behaviour will be treated as misconduct which can result in more serious sanctions including a fine and/or a recommendation to the Minister that the councillor be suspended or even dismissed.

Review of councillor complaints process

The Queensland Government initiated a statewide review of the councillor complaints process in 2016. Consultation about a discussion paper closed on 26 September 2016.

Seven months later, according to the Government’s website, “responses are being considered”.


Redlands2030 – 27 April 2017

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5 thoughts on “Councillor Gleeson’s inappropriate conduct

  1. CODE OF CONDUCT. Cr Gleeson’s conduct is of concern, said to be guilty of displaying inappropriate behaviour in the course of representing his constituents in Division 9, Capalaba, and has been reprimanded by Mayor on more than one occasion. Like a naughty child, he knows he’s safe in behaving however he likes… unconcerned by being counselled/reprimanded by mayor, with whom he appears to enjoy a close personal relationship.
    Remembering last local election, Cr Gleeson used same 4-wheeled contraption with huge twin photo signs affixed on platform, parked along Mt Cotton Rd Capalaba, with mayor’s further along outside newly established McKenzie CapellaBay Aged Care Home on Old Cleveland Rd East, which drew angry complaints from within stating view of oncoming traffic from Birkdale was obscured by the massive signage.
    Cr Gleeson is selective who he speaks with when called on issues in his division. To this day he has not responded to elderly, retired resident/s who, on being informed by Boystown office they no longer needed the caravan/demountable, unused for six months, parked on perimeter of Winter Memorial Park adjacent to Capalaba Park shops dumped there one night by Cr Williams & Co when elected as Div 9 Cr with then MP Michael Choi having attempted to introduce wayward boys to residents who created havoc & worry for many years. If Cr Gleeson had any caring or concern for rights of Div 9 citizens, that he is well paid to represent, he would do all in his power to return the park back to the local people for their rightful use and move the caravan RSL no longer wanted to another more appropriate location some have suggested at Horizon centre next to Indigiscapes.
    I personally feel frustrated and sad locals are deprived of use of their park that I helped to have established when the houses were built behind the fence as there are no backyards to speak of…the park served as their backyard where we planted trees with KAG, along with WWII vet who lived with wife in 1st home and where I worked with council parks workers to install seating, + shade over play area. Grounds are well maintained, but for whose use? Could Cr Gleeson advise?

  2. wow!!! so it’s a shocker when councillors have on line opinions ….YET what happens when ratepayers are abused and councillors parade up and down in front 0f polling booths holding up signs rubbishing other divisions or ex councillors abusing 80year old rate payers with a support team of the extreme green …wow you guys really have a tough time with double standards

    • Samantha Delawarr, you will find no double standards in this story as it is about one of Mayors preferred team you refer with some candidates, friends, family and supporters displaying at times intimidation of other non aligned candidates at the last council elections. You are wrong in describing them as extreme green though as they are anything but.

      • Still pushing the same barrow ….what about Councillor Elliot dancing around with a sign putting down another division ….or the ex councillors with the 2030 agenda and Elliot intimidating 80yr frail women at the voting booths …cane supply photos ,witnesses and letter to council over these intimidations ….pot calling the kettle black

    • Sam, when you are accused of being a facebook troll, accused of assuming false identity, then accused of lying about it, just because I have an unusual surname – that’s not usual councillor behaviour!

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