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Inside track: Local Government

13 March 2019

#Local Government, #Government

Inside track: Local Government

In the media 

Trust in local government high, councils told
Australians have a strong connection to their local councils despite public confidence in institutions hitting an all-time low, Labor frontbencher and South Australian Senator Penny Wong says (28 February 2019).  More...

Austrade urged to work with councils on investment strategy
A key parliamentary committee has urged the Federal Government to strive for greater co-operation with local councils to attract trade and investment to regional Australia (27 February 2019).  More... 

The end of an era: Private saleyards overtake public with new high-tech facilities
Rural councils are moving away from owning and running livestock exchanges, opening the door for private investors to develop multi-million dollar facilities (23 February 2019).  More... 

New warning on outsourced advice
Governments’ heavy reliance on reports from commercial consultants can have “pernicious effects” on policy making, a new analysis says, amidst mounting disquiet over the use of commercial consultancies by both federal and state governments (21 February 2019).  More...

Speak the language of business, say data experts
Successfully rolling out a data strategy across an organisation requires experts to “speak the language of business” and prioritise work and resources wisely, an industry panel told the audience at Gartner’s annual Data and Analytics Summit (21 February 2019).  More...

Smart cities: Councils enter ‘action’ phase
Councils are using smart city initiatives to transform services and operations and respond to major challenges such as climate change and population growth, according to a new analysis by KPMG (20 February 2019).  More...


As tourism thrives along the Great Ocean Road, the Apollo Bay Surf Club struggles to keep up
As millions of tourists visit Victoria's south-west coast every year, a surf life saving club at the lynchpin of the Great Ocean Road is an unlikely victim of the region's success. Chief executive of the shire council, Peter Brown, said the surf club could seek funding through a joint council-State Government plan (26 February 2019).  More...

Recycling crisis: State and National leadership and action urgently needed
SKM, Victoria’s largest recycler who receives more than half of the state’s kerbside recycling, has temporarily shut its three materials recovery facilities for safety reasons. In the immediate short term, a small number of councils have been able to divert their recycling to other processing facilities. However, with limited reserve processing capacity at other facilities, landfilling is sadly the only option for many councils (25 February 2019).  More...

New South Wales

NSW councils told to improve financial reporting
NSW councils need to improve the quality of their financial reporting, according to an Auditor General’s report which found $1.4 billion worth of accounting errors last financial year (28 February 2019).  More...

City of Sydney claims rival Waterloo plan will avoid 'urban disaster'
Clover Moore's council will reveal plans for a lower-density housing precinct at the Waterloo public housing estate in the city's south (28 February 2019).  More...

New network to drive waste innovation
The Circular Economy Innovation Network, announced by the State Government on the back of a survey finding widespread public support for waste recycling initiatives, will link industry experts with governments to explore innovative ways to tackle the waste crisis (28 February 2019).  More...

Land and Environment court halts demolition of Sydney Football Stadium
The Land and Environment Court has halted the "hard demolition" of the Sydney Football Stadium while they prepare a judgement on a legal challenge on its reconstruction. The community group Local Democracy Matters and Waverley Council launched the legal challenge, claiming the planning process was flawed (26 February 2019).  More...

Liverpool, the surprise star of Australia's future-city planning
We need to learn a key international lesson: no smart cities without smart governance, Newcastle is one and, within Sydney, there is Liverpool, where the city council is leading Australia in its thinking and action to make its CBD a centre of urban and transport innovation (25 February 2019).  More...

Inclusive play space guidelines released
Following a six-month exhibition period, the NSW Government has released guidelines and launched a new website – Everyone Can Play – to support the planning and development of inclusive play spaces to ensure everyone gets the chance to enjoy quality, outdoor spaces. The first round of funding is finalised, with 30 councils sharing $4 million in matched funding to deliver 34 projects (22 February 2019).  More...

Councils welcome planning platform announcement
A pledge to restore the opportunity for local communities to help determine the nature of their own neighbourhoods has been welcomed by the local government sector. The real problem here is a code that allows medium density buildings to be thrown up by developers and then privately certified, without any input by the community or council (18 February 2019).  More...

In practice and courts

NGA19 preliminary program now available
The NGA19 preliminary program is now available online. This year, NGA19 is Future Focused celebrating past achievements while firmly focused on the future. The preliminary program outlines an exciting agenda. Get ‘future focused’ by registering (22 February 2019).

New round of info sessions to support supply chain safety
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will host another round of information sessions to support the heavy vehicle industry with the transition to recent changes to Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws. The NHVR has developed a series of free tools to support businesses to implement a Safety Management System (22 February 2019).  More... 


LGAQ: Have your say on Austroads' Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management
Austroads' Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management is being developed as part of the strategic priority project Safety at Road Worksites (Project BN2019). The industry comment period closes on Thursday 14 March 2019.  More...

LGAQ: Have your say energy pricing proposals
Have your say on regulatory proposals submitted by Ergon energy and Energex. The AER invites interested parties to make submissions on Energex's regulatory proposal by the close of business on 16 May 2019 (01 March 2019).  More...

LGAQ: Changes to the Crime and Corruption Act 2001
From 1 March 2019, the Act will change and some of the major changes will affect councils in their role as units of public administration (UPAs). See factsheets on new definitions and record-keeping requirements (25 February 2019).  More... 

LGAQ: Have your say - Draft waste strategy
Provide your input for the LGAQ submission on the Draft Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy by Wednesday 27 March 2019.  More... 

LGAQ Local Government Bulletin 01/19: Procurement processes for councils
The purpose of this bulletin is to inform assistance has now been activated for in excess of 30 councils across Queensland following monsoonal flooding.  More...

Environmental offsets framework discussion paper released
A discussion paper on Queensland’s environmental offsets framework has been released by the State Government, aimed at seeking community and industry feedback on the policy’s effectiveness. Consultation on the discussion paper closes on 15 April 2019  (28 February 2019).  More... 

The Premier’s Outback Events Program: Funding rounds 2019
Each application must be for unique submissions and events must be delivered on or before 31 December 2020. The deadline for round one applications is 1 April 2019, with applicants notified in May 2019. For more information on the Premier’s Outback Events Program and to apply for funding, please click here.

Combustible Cladding Checklist: Registrations close 29 March
Relevant building owners have one month remaining to complete the first stage of the Queensland Government's mandatory ‘combustible cladding checklist’. The online checklist is part of the Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018, which is aimed at identifying buildings in Queensland that may have potentially combustible cladding, built, or had the cladding altered, after 1 January 1994 but before 1 October 2018. Building owners must register and begin the new statutory three stage process through the 'Safer Buildings' website.

City Plan amendments
Brisbane City Council has passed amendments to the Brisbane City Plan 2014, applying to land in Bald Hills, Bracken Ridge, Doolandella, Eight Mile Plains, Ferny Grove, Gumdale, Indooroopilly, Nudgee, Rochedale, Salisbury, Upper Kedron and Woolloongabba. Amendments include zoning changes to reflect current development approvals and supporting updates to overlay maps to reflect zoning changes. The current amendments came into effect on Friday 15 February 2019.  More...


City of Melbourne: Notice of intention to make a local law
Notice is given pursuant to sections 119 and 223 of the Local Government Act 1989 (Act) that the Melbourne City Council (Council) proposes to make a new local law pursuant to Part 5 of the Act to be known as the Conduct of Meetings Local Law 2019 (the proposed Local Law). A copy of the proposed Local Law can be obtained here. All submissions must be received by the Council on or before 22 March 2019. 

Living Heritage Grants Program – Round 4
Safeguarding and reactivating our heritage. Applications for Round 4 of the Living Heritage Grants Program will open on 4 March 2019 and close on 10 May 2019. Councils are eligible to apply, please read the 2019 Program Guidelines.  More...

Reporting on local government performance
To determine the relevance, appropriateness and fair representation of key local government performance measures and the extent to which the Local Government Performance Reporting Framework (LGPRF) drives council performance and improvement.  More...

New South Wales 

Floodplain Management Grants
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) is calling for applications through the Floodplain Management Grants Program for the 2019-20 financial year to support projects that manage flood risk.For more information and contact details for your regional office, visit the OEH website. Applications close on 20 March 2019.



Zacka and Fraser Coast Regional Council ; BGM Projects Pty Ltd (Third Party) & Ors [2019] QICmr 2
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - RIGHT TO INFORMATION - REFUSAL OF ACCESS - CONTRARY TO PUBLIC INTEREST INFORMATION - Correspondence between legal representatives on a ‘without prejudice’ basis - history of disputes and ongoing litigation between the applicant, council and third parties regarding planning and development issues - accountability and transparency - fairness - prejudice ability to obtain confidential information - impede administration of justice - whether disclosure would, on balance, be contrary to the public interest - whether access may be refused under section 47(3)(b) of the Right to Information Act 2009 (Qld).

Walters & Ors v Brisbane City Council & Anor [2019] QPEC 3
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – Where the co-respondent seeks a development permit for material change of use to redevelop its existing retirement facility with a new retirement facility – where the application is impact assessable – whether the Council approved the development application – where local residents oppose the development – whether the proposed development complies with assessment benchmarks with respect to height, bulk, scale and density – whether amendments to City Plan 2014 should be given significant weight – whether proposed amendments to City Plan are complied with and should be given weight – whether need is a relevant matter that supports approval in this case – whether there are other sound town planning principles that are relevant matters that support approval.
Planning Act 2016 (Qld), s 45, s 59, s 60; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 (Qld), s 45; Planning Regulation 2016 (Qld), s 31.

New South Wales

Fisher v Goulburn Mulwaree Council [2019] NSWCATAD 34
(1) The Tribunal sets aside the administratively reviewable decision and remits the matter for reconsideration.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - GIPA Act – Government Information – access – record keeping – relevance - sufficiency of searches.
Administrative Decisions Review Act 1997; Archives Act 1960; Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013.
Freedom of Information Act 1989
; Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009; Local Government Act 1993; Roads Act 1993; State Records Act 1998.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council v Mansfield [2019] NSWCCA 7
(1) Grant leave to appeal.
(2) Allow the appeal.
CRIMINAL LAW – Appeal against interlocutory judgment – where accused charged with breach of ss 76A and 76B of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 – where prior to commencement of the trial the accused applied to set aside subpoenas issued by the prosecutor –subpoenas set aside because they were based upon information gathered by unlawful s 119J notices issued by a council – whether s 119J notices can be issued to a person when the council considers a later criminal prosecution against that person likely – s 119J notices not ultra vires.
WORDS AND PHRASES – ‘In connection with an investigation purpose’ – Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, s 119J(1).
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW), ss 76A, 76B, 118BA, 119A, 119C, 199F, 119J, 119S, 121B, 125; Local Government Act 1993 (NSW), ss 21, 22, 23, 684, 687.

Ku-ring-gai Council v Bunnings Properties Pty Ltd [2019] NSWCA 28
(4) Order Ku-ring-gai Council to pay Bunnings Properties Pty Ltd’s costs of the proceedings in this Court.
APPEAL – Appeal against Land and Environment Court judge’s decision on questions of law upholding Commissioner’s decision – appeal against consent authority’s refusal of development application – Commissioner made interim findings, allowed amendment of development application and granted consent to amended development application – whether Commissioner acted outside power – whether Commissioner failed to exercise jurisdiction by not finally disposing of appeal in first judgment – merits review jurisdiction – whether exercise of administrative or judicial power – whether ‘amber light approach’ outside power.
Australian Constitution Ch 3; Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW), ss 11, 64, 65.

Cando Management and Maintenance Pty Ltd v Cumberland Council [2019] NSWCA 26
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING — Consent — duration or lapsing of — onus of proof for establishing criteria preventing lapse of consent.
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING — Consent — duration or lapsing of — whether work consisting of clearing trees and shrubs prevented lapse of consent — whether work related to building or work on land to which consent applied — whether work in compliance or not prohibited by consent.
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING — Land and Environment Court — jurisdiction and powers — discretionary powers — whether power to make orders extends to sanctioning and authorising breaches of Act.
Building and Construction Industry Long Service Payments Act 1986 (NSW), s 94.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW), ss 76A, 76B, 81A, 95, 96, 96AA, 99, 109B, 109E, 109H, 109M, 124, 125, 149A, 149E.
Land and Environment Court Act 1979 (NSW), ss 22, 58.
Local Government Act 1919 (NSW), 315.

Local Democracy Matters Incorporated; Waverley Council v Infrastructure NSW [2019] NSWLEC 18
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Grant of interlocutory injunction. 

Cumberland Council v See Win Holdings Pty Ltd [2019] NSWLEC 15
PROSECUTION - Carry out development otherwise than in accordance with a development consent - early guilty plea - breach of consent not trivial - no need for specific deterrence - need for general deterrence to reinforce need to protect integrity of planning system - offending conduct toward lower end of the range - fine appropriate - Defendant fined $30,000.  


Social Security (LIN 19/137: Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment) Determination 2019 (No. 4)
19/02/2019 - This instruments revokes the Social Security (LIN 19/130: Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment) Determination 2019 (No. 3) and sets out the circumstances in which a person is 'adversely affected' by the major disaster which produced heavy rainfall and associated flooding from 25 January 2019 and which is expected to continue in February 2019 and affected the local government areas of Burdekin, Burke, Charters Towers, Cloncurry, Cook, Doomadgee, Douglas, Flinders, McKinlay, Richmond, Palm Island, Townsville, Winton and Wujal Wujal in the State of Queensland.


Bills updated 

Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
Introduced by: Hon A Lynham MP on 26/02/2019
Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 26/02/2019

Liquor (Rural Hotels Concession) Amendment Bill 2018
Introduced by: Mr R Katter MP on 2/05/2018
Stage reached: PASSED with amendment on 26/02/2019

Waste Reduction and Recycling (Waste Levy) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Introduced by: Hon L Enoch MP on 6/09/2018
Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 14/02/2019
Assent Date: 21/02/2019
Act No: 2 of 2019
Commences: see Act for details

New South Wales

Proclamations commencing Acts
Criminal Legislation Amendment (Consorting and Restricted Premises) Act 2018 No 50 (2019-84) — published LW 22 February 2019

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Crown Land Management Amendment Regulation 2019 (2019-119) — published LW 28 February 2019
Electoral Amendment (Exemptions) Regulation 2019 (2019-139) — published LW 28 February 2019
Environmental Planning and Assessment (Savings, Transitional and Other Provisions) Amendment (State Significant Infrastructure) Regulation 2019 (2019-121) — published LW 28 February 2019
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Primary Production and Rural Development) Regulation 2019 (2019-120) — published LW 28 February 2019
Gaming and Liquor Administration Amendment (Music Festivals) Regulation 2019 (2019-123) — published LW 28 February 2019
Liquor Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2019 (2019-125) — published LW 28 February 2019
Liquor Amendment (Music Festivals) Regulation 2019 (2019-126) — published LW 28 February 2019
Registered Clubs Amendment (Disclosures) Regulation 2019 (2019-131) — published LW 28 February 2019
Road Transport (General) Amendment (Speed Measurement Devices) Regulation 2019 (2019-132) — published LW 28 February 2019
Liquor Amendment (Special Licence Conditions) Regulation 2019 (2019-87) — published LW 22 February 2019
Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Drug Exhibit Waste and Vapour Recovery) Regulation 2019 (2019-88) — published LW 22 February 2019
Road Transport (General) Amendment (Parking Fine Flexibility) Regulation 2019 (2019-89) — published LW 22 February 2019

Gerard Timbs, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0644

Jenny Humphris, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0690

Joseph Monaghan, Partner 
T: +61 3 9321 9857 

Peter Holt, Special Counsel
T: +61 2 8083 0421

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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