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Inside track: Local Government

01 November 2021

#Local Government

Inside track: Local Government

In the media


Regional councils join bioenergy project to reduce waste and greenhouse emissions
Less waste, cheaper water bills and lower rates are some of the promises being made to thousands of residents in western Victorian after six councils sign onto a biofuel project (23 October 2021).  More...

VICSES warns landslides are down hill
The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is calling on Victorians to brush up on their emergency response skills and know what to do in the case of a landslide (21 October 2021).  More...

Swimming pool and spa certification extension
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne extended the deadline for owners to lodge certificates of pool and spa barrier compliance with their local council, in recognition of the limited opportunity for building inspectors to visit homes during the pandemic. The first certificate lodgement deadline will be extended from 1 November 2021 to 1 June 2022 (19 October 2021).  More...

Engagement with councils on emergency management is vital
The public release of the second phase report from the Inspector-General for Emergency Management’s (IGEM) independent inquiry into the 2019-20 Victorian fire season has been acknowledged by the MAV. The IGEM report focused on the progress and effectiveness of Victoria’s immediate relief and recovery arrangements, in which councils play a critical role (15 October 2021).  More...


LNP pays Brisbane councillor's court costs 18 months after election dispute
A court case between Greg Adermann and his predecessor Kate Richards results in the party paying Ms Richards more than $40,000 (23 October 2021).  More...

Councils welcome OIA inquiry announcement
The LGAQ welcomes the announcement of a parliamentary inquiry into the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA). LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor said the Association and its member councils were growing increasingly concerned with the types of investigations being launched and the time being taken to resolve complaints (22 October 2021).  More...

Queensland parliamentary committee urged to terminate CCC chair over Logan council probe
A parliamentary inquiry into the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission's fraud investigation into Logan City Council hears the committee could recommend parliament terminate the head of the watchdog, Alan MacSporran (21 October 2021).  More...

Local government watchdog accused of empire building as inquiry announced
A mayor has accused Queensland's OIA of “going rogue” and empire building after the premier announced a parliamentary inquiry into the local government watchdog (22 October 2021).  More...

Palaszczuk government calls inquiry into fledgling council watchdog
Questions have been raised about the Office of the Independent Assessor’s investigative methods and complaint handling, amid a workload ten-times more than first anticipated in 2018 under Belcarra reforms (21 October 2021).  More...

Outback Queensland mayor accused of 'undermining confidence' in vaccine rollout
An outback Queensland mayor says it is "farcical" he is under investigation by the state's council watchdog for alleged potential misconduct after voicing concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for his community (20 October 2021).  More...

Outback council's 'free land' scheme attracts flood of enquiries, overseas interest
Quilpie's council has fielded more than 215 enquiries since a plan to ease its housing crisis by refunding the total cost of 28 blocks of land made international headlines 10 days ago (21 October 2021).  More...

Residents warned of the power of burning
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Energex are urging property owners to take extra caution when burning for hazard reduction near electricity assets. Assistant Commissioner Bolger said if the relevant Local Authority was not currently drought declared, dampening the cleared three-metre radius with water could also reduce the chances of accidental damage to property (19 October 2021).  More...

Queensland schools bypass communities by asking state to approve expansion plans
In a growing trend, schools are seeking development approval from the state rather than councils, and one community group is concerned that noise and congestion issues are being ignored (17 October 2021).  More...

Support package for small businesses in north and far North Queensland
Queensland Small Business Recovery Advisory Council and Smart Precinct NQ have launched the new program. To be eligible businesses must have less than 20 staff, have been in operation at the time of the Monsoon Trough disaster in January and February 2019, and based in one of the 14 Local Government Areas in North and Far North Queensland that were disaster declared (14 October 2021).  More...

Parliament gives certainty for resources sector
Legislation passed by Parliament will help the resources sector keep driving Queensland’s economic recovery by confirming the validity of more than 900 historical mining tenures. The amendments also give SEQ distributor-retailers, Unitywater and Urban Utilities, water restriction investigation and enforcement powers equivalent to those available to local government water service providers (13 October 2021).  More...

Local communities benefit from FIFO ban, review finds
Australia’s first legislation banning 100 per cent fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforces at large resource projects will be retained after a review confirmed its benefits for communities across Queensland. Queensland’s Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017 is on track to create more local jobs and economic growth for our regional communities (12 October 2021).  More...

Queenslanders encouraged to get ready
Queenslanders are being urged to start preparing for disaster season and the wide range of extreme weather events that can impact our state including bushfires, storms, floods and cyclones. Just last season alone, Queensland was hit by 11 natural disaster events across 50 local government areas including a hailstorm, bushfires, floods and cyclones (11 October 2021).  More...

In Practice and Courts


Advanced notice of tender liability mutual insurance scheme service providers
MAV Insurance (Liability Mutual Insurance) will soon test the market to ensure value for money for members through an open and transparent tender process for its next insurance service provider (or providers). This open tender will be advertised through MAVs nominated tender platform MAV Tenders (20 October 2021).  More...

Investigation into allegations of collusion with property developers at Kingston City Council
Victroian Ombudsman: 12 Oct 2021
This investigation makes no findings about the legality of Council’s decisions, some of which are subject to review by VCAT; or criticism of the developer, who will inevitably seek to maximise its return to shareholders. It falls to public officers to ensure this does not happen to the detriment of the public interest.  More...

School site selection criteria guidelines
Victorian Government School Site Selection Criteria (Guidance and Toolbox) are now available
The Guidance outlines the key factors considered by the Department when assessing proposed government school site options.
The Toolbox is a detailed resource on implementing and applying the guidance at a greenfield, established or high density area level. The Toolbox is primarily intended for use by internal Departmental teams, but can also be used as a reference by local councils (07 October 2021)

COVID-Safe Events Grants
Grants of up to $50,000 are available from the Victorian Government for events supporting multicultural and multi-faith communities to reconnect, celebrate and share their culture in 2022. Applications close on 18 October 2021.  More..

Loans for council services, infrastructure
Victorian councils will now have improved access to low-interest loans to support the development of key infrastructure and other projects, to make local communities even better places to live.
Acting Minister for Local Government Mary-Anne Thomas announced the new Local Council Lending Framework, giving councils access to lower interest rates financed through the Treasury Corporation of Victoria (September 2021).

Investment fast track fund 2021: Second round
Part of the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, the stimulus round aims to create jobs by funding priority community projects that can be activated quickly, helping regions to recover and thrive. Applications for the second round of the Regional Infrastructure Fund’s 2020/21 program are open.

Investment Fast-Track Fund guidelines
Investment Fast-Track Fund guidelines 2021
Investment Fast-Track Fund guidelines 2021 | accessible version
Funded activities must be completed by 30 June 2022.


Draft State Infrastructure Strategy
The Queensland Government has released the Draft State Infrastructure Strategy and the Queensland Government Infrastructure Pipeline (QGIP).
The draft vision anticipates the State’s infrastructure needs over the next two decades and will be supported by seven regional infrastructure plans.
The QGIP is a detailed program of the Government's four-year $52.2 billion infrastructure spend and also outlines the potential future proposals currently under consideration by the Queensland Government.
Consultation has been extended and will now close on 21 October 2021.

Building our regions Round 6
Guidelines for Round 6 are being provided to regional councils so they could assess potential projects to submit for funding when applications open in the coming weeks. Councils can apply for up to $2 million in funding to support a range of eligible construction and works projects over three years. Expressions of interest for Round 6 is open from 29 September until 23 November 2021. Find more information about Building Our Regions is available here.

Works for Queensland projects across the region
The Works for Queensland program supports regional councils to undertake job-creating maintenance and minor infrastructure projects such as parks and playgrounds, community and sports facilities, swimming pools and water play areas, renewable energy initiatives, footpaths, roads and water infrastructure. A further $200 million committed for 2024-27. For more information visit Works for Queensland.


Victorian Electoral Commission v Yildiz (Review and Regulation) [2021] VCAT 1206
EVIDENCE – Review of election under S312 Local Government Act (Vic) 2020 – evidence of vote tampering – application for production of documents including ballots in the possession of the Victoria Police – s312(f) Local Government Act (Vic) 2020 and s80 Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) – whether the documents are relevant to matters to be considered in the review – common law of elections
EVIDENCE – whether documents should not be produced to Tribunal conducting review of election due to ongoing criminal investigation and pending charges against one councillor – whether prejudicial to that councillor.

Brighton Foreshore Association Inc v Bayside City Council [2021] VSCA 284
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – application for leave to appeal the decision of trial judge with respect to appeal on question of law – application at first instance for leave to appeal decision of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal granting planning permit for use of land as life saving club, multi-purpose function space, and café – whether powers and restrictions imposed by An Act to vest land in the Mayor Councillors and Burgesses of the Borough of Brighton for purposes of Public Recreation 1877 (Vic) (‘Vesting Act’) on land owner were required to be taken into account – whether trial judge erred in concluding the Tribunal was not required to consider the effect of the Vesting Act in reaching its decision as to whether a planning permit should be granted for the proposed uses – whether mandatory consideration – whether open to Tribunal to conclude that proposed uses will be ancillary to use of the land as a place of public resort or recreation – whether trial judge erred in analysis of application of the Vesting Act to the proposed uses by presupposing that the respondent Council had the power to lease part of the subject land; by accepting that the proposed uses might be permissible as incidental or ancillary uses to the use of the land subject to the Vesting Act as a ‘place of public resort or recreation’; in failing to have proper regard to whether any monetary profits to arise from the proposed uses would be devoted to the public purpose contemplated by the Vesting Act – leave to appeal refused – Local Government Act 1874 s 483, Planning and Environment Act 1987 ss 60(1), 60(1A), 84B(1), 84B(2), Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 s 148.

Brunswick Investment Project Pty Ltd v Moreland CC [2021] VCAT 1191
PLANNING - Question of law – review of a failure to grant planning permit – proposed parking above statutory rate – permit not required for car parking above statutory rate – whether car parking above statutory rate is inconsistent with sustainable transport policy in the planning scheme – relevant considerations – ambit of discretion to be exercised - whether Tribunal can refuse permit on grounds related to oversupply of car parking or impose a condition requiring a reduction of car parking – whether Tribunal must have regard to local and state policy in consideration of oversupply of car parking – Moreland Planning Scheme - Clause 33.03 Industrial 3 Zone - Clause 52.06 Carparking – Clause 65 -Clause 71.02-3 Integrated decision making - Planning and Environment Act (Vic) 1987 ss 60(1) 62(2), 84B.

Melone v Mornington Peninsula SC [2021] VCAT 1163
Section 109 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998; costs; preliminary hearing; section 80 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.1 By no later than 7 December 2021, pursuant to section 109 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is ordered to pay the costs of Josephine Melone fixed in the sum of $6,500.00. 

Sunshine Coast Regional Council v Dwyer [2021] QPEC 53
COURTS AND JUDGES – CONTEMPT – PARTICULAR CONTEMPTS – DISOBEDIENCE OF ORDERS OF COURT – where an enforcement order was made in the Planning and Environment Court – where the order required the removal or demolition of rooftop structures – where the order required the rooftop to be restored to an earlier condition – whether and to what extent the respondent has not complied with the enforcement order – whether the respondent had a lawful excuse – whether the respondent is in contempt of the enforcement order
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – PROCEDURE – ORDERS – VARYING AND STAYING – EXTENSION OF TIME TO COMPLY – where an enforcement order was made in the Planning and Environment Court – where there has not been compliance with the whole of the order – where there is a pending development application for the approval of some of the structures the subject of the enforcement order – whether the order should be varied to defer or delay its effect.

Edith Pastoral Company Pty Ltd v Somerset Regional Council & Ors [2021] QPEC 52
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – where appeal against decision to refuse an application for a material change of use comprising an extractive industry, concrete batching plant and environmentally relevant activity – whether the development is a single planning unit – whether the development will have unacceptable visual amenity and character impacts – whether the development will have unacceptable noise impacts – whether the development will have sufficient access to water – whether operational characteristics of the development warrant refusal – whether the development complies with the respondent’s 2005 planning scheme – the weight to be given to the respondent’s 2016 planning scheme – whether the development complies with the respondent’s 2016 planning scheme – whether there is a town planning, community, and economic need for the development – whether there are discretionary matters that support approval – whether the planning discretion should be exercised in favour of approval
Planning Act 2016 QLD ss 45, 59 and 60; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 QLD ss 43, 45 and 46
Water Act 2000 QLD s 119.

Gavin & Anor v Sunshine Coast Regional Council [2021] QCA 217
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – BUILDING CONTROL – OTHER MATTERS – where the applicants constructed a building which was used contrary to s 162 and s 165 of the Planning Act 2016 (Qld) – where the building was used as an “accommodation building” instead of a “dwelling house” – where the Planning and Environment Court made orders to prevent further unlawful use of the building including orders compelling significant changes to the building – whether the orders were within power of the Planning and Environment Court.



Statutory Rules – 28 September 2021
No 123 Environment Protection Further Amendment Regulations 2021

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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