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Inside track: Local Government

18 October 2021

#Local Government

Inside track: Local Government

In the media


Closing the gap implementation plan
In 2020 the Australian Local Government Association was proud to be a co-signatory in a landmark agreement. Prepared with advice and input from all the state and territory local government associations, this Implementation Plan sets out key actions required to achieve each of the four priority reforms (28 September 2021).  More...

New national emergency alert system now live
The latest version of the federal government's Emergency Alert telephone warning system is up and running (06 October 2021).  More...

Report warns climate change a legal headache for councils
Councils are likely to face increasing legal action related to climate change, a report warns. This could include litigation related to planning decisions, environmental hazard mitigation programs, and failing to maintain infrastructure and services (30 September 2021).  More...

‘Councils between a rock and hard place on climate costs’
Climate inaction at the state and national level may end up costing local governments as much as $54 million annually, a new report has warned. Some coastal councils are already paying more than $1 million to fix eroding beaches or protect beachside property or infrastructure, and the collective bill for remediation could top $54 million a year in coming decades (01 October 2021).  More...


More than thousand homes bought for Victorians
The Victorian Government’s historic Big Housing Build is stimulating the Victorian economy, generating more than $1 billion in construction and development activity – creating 356 direct jobs and 1,246 indirect jobs. The projects are in priority local government areas in highly accessible and well serviced locations (10 October 2021).  More...

Regional property owners in Victoria ready for fire season
Victoria has announced a permit system that will allow city-dwellers with properties in regional parts of the state to receive written approval from their local council to prepare for the summer fire season (08 October 2021).  More...

Call for councils and communities to tackle ageism
The Municipal Association of Victoria is supporting a state-wide campaign to reduce ageism in our community.
It is partnering with EveryAGE Counts to shed light on the prejudice expressed towards a person because of their age as well as discriminatory practices against older people when it comes to employment and other social roles (30 September 2021).  More...

ACCC okays Gippsland LG recycling/procurement collective
A draft determination authorising the Gippsland Waste and Resource Recovery Group and six Gippsland councils to jointly tender, procure and manage glass and mixed recycling processing services was published by the ACCC (01 October 2021).  More...


Townsville officially becomes a Small Business Friendly Council
Small businesses in Townsville are set to benefit from a new Small Business Friendly Council commitment made by Townsville City Council today. By signing the Small Business Friendly Council charter, councils commit to support small businesses in their communities and help to reduce red tape (07 October 2021).  More...

Queensland Treasurer questioned as witness in mayoral misconduct case
Former Moreton Bay mayor Allan Sutherland was charged in December 2019 by the Crime and Corruption Commission (05 October 2021).  More...

$20m to boost infrastructure resilience in 47 Qld LGAs
The Federal and Queensland governments have established a $20 million fund to strengthen key infrastructure to better withstand natural disasters. “The funding will allow applicable councils and state agencies to improve key assets such as causeways, culverts, roads, bridges and floodways (01 October 2021).  More...

Govts set to sign off on city deal for south-east Qld
A City Deal for South-East Queensland involving the Council of Mayors and the Queensland and federal governments is close to being finalised. The deal has been two years in the making, and when concluded will support the growth of industry and businesses across South-East Queensland and enhance the region’s liveability (01 October 2021).  More...

National briefings begin ahead of 2021-22 bushfire season
National preparedness briefings with police, fire authorities and other emergency services have begun ahead of the upcoming bushfire season. Virtual briefings began last week with Queensland authorities and will continue throughout October (01 October 2021).  More...

In Practice and Courts

NBN Co releases guidelines for Regional Co-Investment Fund
Local governments are being invited to apply to take part in NBN Co’s $300 million Regional Co-investment Fund. Several activities will not be eligible under the fund, including projects that target fewer than 50 premises or are under $500K total build cost. Please review the guidelines to determine eligibility. The closing date for applications is 18 February 2022, with first build estimate requests required no later than 1 October 2021.

Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program
The guidelines for the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants are available on the Business Grants Hub website. The Grants Program supports the recovery efforts of communities in eligible Local Government Areas affected by the 2019–20 bushfires. Applications for the program are open until 6 October 2021.
View more information on the BSBR grants at the National Recovery and Resilience Agency’s website.

2019-20 black summer bushfires: Program is currently open
Successful project grants in LGAs will depend on the number of eligible projects submitted, how much money is requested for each project, and the merits of each project. Extensive information is also available on the NRRA website. For more information on the assistance available, including timing of the workshops and registration details go to


Travel permits for fire prevention 
From 11 October 2021, property owners with approval from the local council will be able to travel to their properties to undertake permitted fire and emergency preparedness activities such as cutting grass, clearing gutters, removing growth from around any dwellings and removing fuel from the property to reduce the risk of bushfire. Permit holders will be able to travel for a specified period of up to 72 hours to carry out preparation works. For more information visit Coronavirus Victoria.

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).

MAV Submissions – October 2021
MAV Submission – Parliamentary inquiry into housing supply and affordability

Plan Melbourne land use framework
Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 recognises that more detailed planning is needed for Metropolitan Melbourne to manage growth across the city. It identifies the need for six plans to be developed, providing detailed guidance at a regional level and setting a 30-year vision for each area. The Department of Environment, Water and Planning Melbourne’s Future Planning Framework which is now available for review and feedback by 24 October 2021.

Planning Consultations: Melbourne’s Future Planning Framework
Planning Initiative – Melbourne’s Future Planning Framework: Long-term strategic plans to guide land use, infrastructure, transport and development for the next 30 years in the six Melbourne metropolitan regions. Closes on 24 October 2021.  More...

Designated bushfire prone areas (BPA) map updated
On 6 July 2021, BPA Review 18 updated the mapping in 15 municipalities. The Planning Property Report and VicPlan reflect the changes. The next review is now open from 08 July 2021. 9 August – 3 September 2021 (3 weeks) Unless the bushfire hazard is removed before site visits, the BPA will not be removed by this review.
September – 14 December 2021 (15 weeks).  More...

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
Funded activities must be completed by 30 June 2022.


Betterment fund
The betterment fund will be administered by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA). Eligible local councils and state agencies are requested to apply for betterment funding along with their restoration funding submissions to QRA. REPA submissions may be submitted to QRA up until 31 March 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.


Turner v Baw Baw SC [2021] VCAT 1139
1 The Applicants are ordered to pay the costs of the Council fixed at the sum of $ 5,700.00, the costs must be paid within 120 days of the date of this order
The Council seeks costs for the Applicants to pay Council’s professional fees fixed at $13,674.55, reasonable costs for the application for costs fixed at $2,500 and any costs associated with the application fee.

Redland City Council v King of Gifts (Qld) and HTC Consulting Pty Ltd & Anor [2021] QCA 210
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING – PLANNING SCHEMES AND INSTRUMENTS – QUEENSLAND – where, in 2018, the primary judge granted an appeal pursuant to s 461(1) of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) (‘SPA’) against the applicant’s refusal of a development application for a material change of use to develop land for a service station, drive through restaurant and an on-site effluent disposal irrigation area – where, in 2020, this Court granted an application for leave to appeal and allowed an appeal against the 2018 judgment upon the ground that the primary judge had erred in principle in the application of s 326 of the SPA – where in this Court’s 2020 decision the orders made by the primary judge were set aside and the matter was remitted to the Planning and Environment Court to be determined according to law – where no additional evidence was adduced at the remitted hearing – where, on rehearing, the primary judge allowed the appeal, and approved the development application subject to conditions – where the applicant seeks leave to appeal against that judgment upon the ground that the primary judge erred by finding in fact that there was a need for the proposed development and its constituent elements, at the proposed location, in the absence of any evidence of that fact – where in the 2017 reasons the primary judge described the proposed development as “fundamentally different in nature and size (in terms of its footprint) to the types of uses and development that the Redlands Planning Scheme envisages on the subject site” – where the primary judge also found there was a need for the proposed development that was sufficient to justify approval despite the conflicts with the Redlands Planning Scheme – where the primary judge relied on economists’ and town planners’ reports for that finding – where the primary judge found there was a “clear and strong level of economic need” – where the primary judge found that the combined effect of six matters established that “the public interest in approval of the proposed development is greater than the public interest in upholding strict compliance with the Redlands Planning Scheme by refusing the development” – whether the primary judge erred in law by making that finding in the absence of supporting evidence.

Upan Company Pty Ltd v Gold Coast City Council (No. 2) [2021] QPEC 50
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL AGAINST REFUSAL OF OTHER CHANGE APPLICATION – where original application concerned stepped form high rise residential development – where appellant seeks approval of other change application for built form residential development – where proposed other change concerns reductions of storeys, increase of building height
CONFLICT WITH PLANNING SCHEME – where proposed development results in unacceptable impacts in respect of setbacks and site cover – loss of stepped design – building height transition – where appeal dismissed
Planning Act 2016 Qld s 78.

Paige Pty Ltd v Redland City Council [2021] QPEC 51
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPLICATION – Application in pending proceeding – application for minor change – where the development application seeks a development permit for reconfiguration of lots – where, at the time of the decision, the development application provides access to Bunker Road – where the proposed change includes removal of vehicular access to Bunker Road – whether the proposed change is a minor change
Planning Act 2016 Qld Sch 2; Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld s 43, s 46.



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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