2019 a significant year for pro bono work
As another year draws to a close, we wanted to reflect on those members of our community who may be vulnerable or experiencing social disadvantage.
Holding Redlich has a long history of assisting people within our community who may not otherwise have access to legal representation.
And while it has been a busy year for our firm in relation to our commercial work, we are very pleased to have also maintained a significant pro bono program.
Our pro bono work focuses on assisting refugees and people seeking asylum, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Peoples, and vulnerable women and young people.
During the 2018/2019 financial we performed over 6,500 hours of pro bono work across the firm.
We are currently acting on a pro bono basis in a number of matters, including the following:
Our four offices are committed to continuing to provide significant pro bono support to members of our local communities in 2020.
Water restrictions tightened
A number of councils and water utilities across three states in eastern Australia are imposing tighter water restrictions due to the ongoing drought and lack of rain (22 November 2019). More...
Bushfire crisis costing states millions in lost crops and property
Insurers are getting more than 1,000 calls a week for payouts as bushfires rage across Queensland and northern New South Wales, with an estimated $145 million in damages so far in those areas (22 November 2019). More...
Often labelled the ultimate 'gravy train' junket, councils come out in defence of sister cities
Most Australian councils have a sister city — but what exactly does that mean? Are they worth the cost? And should your local council be dabbling in international affairs? (21 November 2019). More...
Bushfire mayors want climate change on the table
Mayors from thirteen councils have signed a statement calling on the federal government to acknowledge the link between climate change and the catastrophic fires that have swept through NSW and Queensland (15 November 2019). More...
PCA: shifting the dial on micro-economic reform
The Property Council has welcomed the renewed focus from the federal government on ways to boost productivity through better collaboration with states and territories. The Productivity Commission’s 2017 report ‘Shifting the Dial’ highlighted better functioning towns and cities as one of five priority areas for reform, including public infrastructure, road funding and investment, planning and land use policies and access to housing. (14 November 2019). More...
What you need to know about the Melbourne council accused of corrupt deals
It's been an explosive week at the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission's hearings into allegations of corruption at the City of Casey (23 November 2019). More...
Integrity report critical of council
Questions about the unexplained disappearance of a council cherry picker and diminishing stockpiles of gravel and fuel were among the concerns that prompted an investigation. Victoria’s local government watchdog has since released a report which found deficiencies in management, oversight and governance at Yarriambiak Shire council (21 November 2019). More...
Former Victorian MP delivered monthly bags of developer's cash to councillor, corruption inquiry hears
A former Victorian Liberal MP couriered bags containing "many thousands of dollars of cash" from a property developer to the City of Casey's former mayor Sam Aziz, a corruption inquiry hears (19 November 2019). More...
Developer paid $1.2m into the accounts of local councillors: corruption probe
Companies linked to Ferrari-driving property developer John Woodman paid two councillors at Casey council more than $1.2 million in what a lawyer for the Victorian anti-corruption commission said was an attempt to win favourable planning decisions worth up to $100 million in one case (18 November 2019). More...
The protecting integrity: Yarriambiack Shire Council investigation
The report criticised poor governance and leadership at the council, saying the greatest enablers of the poor practices identified in the report were staff in senior management.
Missing' cherry picker the least damning finding in scathing report on council
Staff on a Victorian council sold off municipal property, worked other jobs while on the clock and made hundreds of thousands of dollars loaning their own equipment to council, according to a new report (21 November 2019). More...
Recycler dumps tonnes of waste in warehouse, leaving landlord with huge clean-up bill
Another Melbourne warehouse has been left with huge stockpiles of recycling, prompting calls for tougher regulation to better track the movement of waste. Victoria was engulfed in a recycling crisis in July after major processor SKM Recycling refused to take on kerbside recycling from more than 30 councils (23 November 2019). More...
Major update to Melbourne’s urban design policy
City of Melbourne councillors have endorsed a set of new urban design rules for central Melbourne, as well as a decades-long plan for improving design excellence in the city, at a meeting of the Future Melbourne Committee on 19 November. The Central Melbourne Design Guide, available here, is intended to “facilitate the delivery of high design quality for developments in the Central City and Southbank (20 November 2019). More...
It’s boom time for Melbourne, report finds
Melbourne’s economy has hit boom time according to a census of of land use, employment and economic activity conducted by Council. The 2018 Census of Land Use and Employment (CLUE), shows the City of Melbourne’s annual gross local product has hit a historic high of $100.3 billion, Lord Mayor Sally Capp says (20 November 2019). More...
Property developer takes Victorian Planning Minister to Supreme Court
Bensons Property Group has filed a writ against Victoria's Planning Minister over a council amendment which resulted in a big jump in Footscray apartment project fees (20 November 2019). More...
New laws For Local Government
The Andrews Labor Government is improving democracy, accountability and service delivery in Victoria’s 79 Councils, with the new Local Government Bill 2019 introduced into parliament (13 November 2019). More...
Melbourne named Australia’s nost innovative city
Melbourne has been named as Australia’s most innovative city, ranking globally at 11th place, and two spots down from the home of Silicon Valley which came in at 9th spot (12 November 2012). More...
Stockland launches $2b business park in Melbourne’s west
Diversified developer Stockland has teamed up with landowner Mount Atkinson Holdings to launch a $2 billion business park in Melbourne’s west (12 November 2019). More...
Council push to deliver more affordable housing in Melbourne
A draft Affordable Housing Strategy is set to be released early next year by the City of Melbourne, which believes the city’s affordable housing shortage could increase by more than 23,000 by the year 2036 without changes to the planning scheme (11 November 2019). More...
Communities to win through sports facilities grants
The Andrews Labor Government will help communities provide more opportunities for people to participate in sport and active recreation through a new $22 million Local Sports Infrastructure Fund. Interested clubs should discuss project proposals with their local council, with applications closing on 14 February 2020 (11 November 2019). More...
Are Victorians living on the fringes of our cities prepared for the bushfire season?
Victorian councils are now inspecting properties and issuing warning letters to anyone whose property poses an unnecessary fire risk (10 November 2019). More...
Reshaping the 'boomburgs': Minister takes on challenge of managing Sydney's urban sprawl
Conceding that the city is spreading too far too fast, Planning Minister Rob Stokes has revealed that he wants a new relationship with councils to help manage growth and infrastructure pressures (24 November 2019). More...
Long-term solutions needed for fire-affected communities
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) has welcomed the State Government’s commitment of additional funding for bushfire-affected councils and communities but will continue to push for longer term solutions that build resilience into at-risk communities (21 November 2019). More...
NSW councils to get more planning powers
The NSW government has handed greater power to councils in Sydney’s priority precincts as it seeks to clear a backlog of planning proposals. Councils are rejoicing, saying they’ve long campaigned for this, but developers have described it as a radical shift of responsibility between state and council planning bodies which will put the brakes on housing supply (18 November 2019). More...
Federal Infrastructure spend a huge win for Queensland
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has hailed a massive Federal Government infrastructure spend as a huge win for Queensland (20 November 2019). More...
Roma Saleyards moo-ving right along with $2 million improvements
More than $2 million in improvements at the Roma Saleyards have been officially opened by Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe (16 November 2019). More...
Troubled mine's debts above $60m, as workers still await payment
The financial woes of a mining company in north-west Queensland have former employees and contractors out of pocket and the local council cutting back in certain areas because of unpaid rates (14 November 2019). More...
Bushfire assistance extended to Scenic Rim
Disaster assistance has been extended to Queensland’s Scenic Rim Local Government Area to help cover the costs of fighting the fires and help communities recover (13 November 2019). More...
Council Bans Townhouses and Units in Brisbane’s Suburbs
Townhouses and apartment blocks are no longer welcome in Brisbane’s character suburbs after the Brisbane City Council voted to protect single house blocks under a two-year protection order (21 November 2019). More...
Council approves major changes to Brisbane's planning laws
The council voted in multiple large-scale amendments to the city's 2014 planning legislation (19 November 2019). More...
'Don't blame developers' for growing pains of Gold Coast merging with Brisbane
Traffic congestion and a lack of infrastructure become make-or-break issues as a surging population sees Brisbane and the Gold Coast joined by a corridor of constant development (19 November 2019). More...
REIQ: No winners under de Brenni's reckless rental reforms
The Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni has announced Stage 1 of proposed rental reforms that would significantly damage Queensland’s rental market and create the most onerous rental laws in the country (16 November 2019). More...
Sunland wins approval for Mermaid Waters Apartments
Residential developer Sunland has received approval from the Gold Coast City Council for its $240 million lakefront apartment development in Mermaid Waters on the Gold Coast (12 November 2019). More...
Reminder: Retirement Living Code of Conduct
To ensure signatories meet the code’s standards and that appropriate resources are in place to support the code’s administration, the code will operate in a transitional stage until 31 December 2019. From 1 January 2020, residents will be able to make a complaint against a code signatory if they believe their community is not meeting the code standards. A copy of the Retirement Living Code of Conduct can be downloaded here.
Inquiry into Australia's waste and recycling industries
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources has commenced an inquiry into Australia’s Waste Management and Recycling Industries. The Committee is inviting submissions from interested individuals and organisations addressing the terms of reference. Submissions can be lodged online via the Committee’s website or emailed directly to the Committee Secretariat. Submissions should be lodged by 31 January 2020.
Public submissions have opened for the first review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act in a decade. The review’s terms of reference includes that the panel make recommendations to modernise the Act after consultations with State, Territory and other levels of government. Respondents can read this discussion paper and make submissions before 14 February 2020. The review will be completed before October 2020 (22 November 2019). More...
Consultation: DR AS 1926.1:2019, Swimming pool safety, Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools
The released draft Australian Standard is related to swimming pool safety barriers for public comment and local governments are invited to have their say. The draft proposes expanding elements of AS1926.1-2012 to give additional information to pool owners, pool users and certifiers so they have a better understanding of the design and construction of a child-resistant barrier. To make a submission register at the Standards Australia Standards Hub site. Responses are due by 31 December 2019.
Social Media for Government Summit, Melbourne: 4 to 6 December
This event will address the most significant challenges being faced today and uncover the knowledge, strategies and technology to improve the impact and value of social media efforts. More...
Building standards and building quality in NSW
While there is still much more to do to rebuild community confidence in building standards and building quality in NSW, I am pleased to report that Public Accountability Committee’s first report, Regulation of building standards, building quality and building disputes, was tabled in the Legislative Council this week. It corresponds with Parliamentary debate about the Design and Building Practitioners Bill - an important piece of legislation that seeks to address accountability issues in the building and construction sector (14 November 2019).
Have your say on the Draft Strategic Vision for the Central State Significant Precinct (SSP)
We welcome your feedback on Transport for NSW’s (TfNSW) proposed draft. The Department welcomes feedback from the community, government agencies and other stakeholders during public exhibition. More...
NSW Fair Trading: Part 6 of the EP&A Act postponed until 1 December 2019
The Part 6 provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act have been postponed and will now start on 1 December 2019. This delay will allow time for the sector to adjust to the regulatory changes that have been progressing around fire safety and the Building and Development Certifiers Act 2018. More...
State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 deferred
The Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code has been amended to extend for a further short period, until 31 October 2019. For landowners, pending recommendations of the review, landowners in deferred council areas will not be able to use the Code to lodge a complying development application for dual occupancies, manor houses or terraces until 1 July 2020 in the City of Ryde. More...
Local Government Remuneration Tribunal 2020 Review of the fees payable to Mayors and Councillors
The Tribunal is seeking feedback on the proposed classification model and the allocation of individual councils in the model outlined by the Tribunal, in addition to the range of fees payable in the proposed classification model. Members submissions close on 13 December 2019 More...
New dates for Environmental Planning & Assessment Act Updates
Councils, certifiers and other industry practitioners have more time to implement some of the recent EP&A Act updates. Changes affect new provisions for building and subdivision certification, Local Strategic Planning Statements for councils in the Greater Sydney Region and Community Participation Plans.
No 6: Arrangements for the caretaker period and amendments affecting councillor discretionary funds from 1 January — 2020 Local Government Quadrennial Elections
The purpose of this bulletin is to provide advice to Local Governments on the limitations on making major policy decisions and publishing election material during the caretaker period (November 2019). More...
Property Council lodges submission on Gold Coast City Plan
The Property Council has provided a response to the amendments proposed to the Gold Coast City Plan as part of the ‘Our City Our Plan’ package. The Property Council’s submission provides advice on the key areas. A copy of the submission can be accessed here Gold Coast Planning Amendments (18 November 2019).
Public Notice of Adoption of Temporary Local Planning Instrument 05/19 – Civic Spaces and Iconic Vistas (TLPI 05/19)
The purpose of TLPI 05/19 is to protect significant civic spaces and iconic vistas until Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan) is amended to include additional protections for civic spaces and iconic vistas in the City Centre. TLPI 05/19 can also be accessed by searching for ‘Temporary Local Planning Instrument 05/19’ (20 November 2019). More...
2020 Annual Valuation Program
Queensland's Valuer-General will undertake a statutory valuation of 21 local government areas.
The following local government areas have been selected: Banana, Brisbane, Bundaberg, Burke, Cassowary Coast, Cloncurry, Flinders, Fraser Coast, Gold Coast, Goondiwindi, Hinchinbrook, Livingstone, Mackay, McKinlay, Mount Isa, Richmond, Rockhampton, Scenic Rim, Torres, Townsville and Winton.
This represents an increase from last year’s total of 18 valuation areas (14 November 2019). More...
Proposed amendments to the Land Regulation 2009 - Have your say
The Land Regulation sets out operational details that are fundamental for dealings in state land (such as leasehold and trust land), and administering the Land Act 1994. Closing 6 December 2019. More...
Have your say on the new IPWEAQ street design manual
IPWEAQ has released a proposed new Street Design Manual: Walkable Neighbourhoods, for public consultation until 20 December 2019 (15 November 2019). More...
Two weeks left to apply for active community infrastructure funding
Organisations, including councils, are invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for active community infrastructure projects. Closing date for Round 1 EOIs 6 December 2019 (15 November 2019). More...
Stage 2 changes
Stage 2 commences on 1 July 2019 and introduces the remaining waste-related ERAs.
The information sheet Fees for new waste environmentally relevant activities (ERAs) (PDF, 73K) details the new fees that apply for waste-related ERAs from the first anniversary day after 15 November 2019 or the next anniversary day if the environmental authority is amended before 15 November 2019.
LGAQ: Container Refund Scheme (CRS) – Revenue sharing arrangements
Transitional arrangement provisions in the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Container Refund Scheme - Material Recovery Agreements) Amendment Regulation 2019 have been extended to 31 December 2019, allowing more time to find a sustainable (default) arrangement. More...
Council of the City of Ryde v Azizi  NSWSC 1605
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – jurisdictional error – judicial review of Determinations of Compensation issued by the Valuer-General under s 47 of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (NSW) – whether the Determinations with respect to underlying zoning and development standards lacked probative evidence and were legally unreasonable – whether the Determinations with respect to the comparable sales method of valuation were legally unreasonable – not legally unreasonable – impermissible merits review – no jurisdictional error
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – jurisdictional error – whether there was power to award certain disturbance costs under s 59(1)(a) of the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (NSW) – where the Valuer-General misdirected himself to the date from which disturbance costs were claimable in accordance with Hoy v Coffs Harbour City Council  NSWCA 257 – whether the legal error made by the Valuer-General in making the Determinations has the consequence that the Determinations are liable to be set aside for jurisdictional error – jurisdictional error – Determinations set aside – declaration made
CIVIL PROCEDURE – stay – orders made by consent staying the legal effect of the Valuer-General’s Determinations until the final disposition of the proceedings – whether the Court can stay the operation of an Act
COSTS – party/party – issues severable – first and second defendants successful on 70 per cent of issues in the case – plaintiff to pay 30 per cent of the first and second defendants’ costs
Sneesby v Shoalhaven City Council  NSWCATAD 234
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION - consultation with third parties – personal information – prejudice to court proceedings or right to procedural fairness
Young v Racing NSW (ABN 862 816 044 17)  NSWDC 662
TORT – defamation – negligence – plaintiff brings proceedings against two racing entities and a Council following a refusal to permit him to train horses at a racing club – damage to reputation asserted to arise from unknown persons viewing a 2012 media news hyperlink and using this information in unspecified downloadings and/or publications – no particulars of date, contents, publisher or publishee of any consequent publications – negligence claim brought on a similar basis - application for summary dismissal pursuant to rr 13.4 and 14.28 Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) – abuse of process – whether proceedings brought for a collateral advantage – proceedings struck out and dismissed
Macaulay v Bayside Council  NSWLEC 1568
ORDERS – unauthorised attic construction – compliance with National Construction Code – Building Code of Australia
Denny v Central Coast Council (No 2)  NSWLEC 1565
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – removal and replacement of fence structures – conciliation conference – agreement between the parties – orders
NOTICE OF MOTION – application to amend the Court’s orders to allow for correct case name, parties name references and condition of consent – Uniform Civil Procedure Rules – rule 36.16(3A)
Universal Property Group Pty Ltd v Blacktown City Council  NSWLEC 179
APPEAL - proposed secondary dwelling - compliance with minimum allotment size requirements - proposal permissible pursuant to cl 22(4)(a) of State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 - proposal prohibited by Appendix 4, cl 4.1AC of State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Region Growth Centres) 2006 - both State Environmental Planning Policies contain paramountcy clauses - paramountcy clauses to identical effect - neither paramountcy clause can prevail - determining which provision is to apply based on general principles of statutory interpretation - consideration of hierarchy of instruments - consideration of specificity of provisions - consideration of timing of the making of the conflicting provisions - more restrictive provision is later in time and considered to be more specific - proposed development in breach of minimum allotment size development standard DEVELOPMENT STANDARD - beneficial and facultative provision in applicable Precinct Plan permitting dispensation from applicable development standard - no application to seek dispensation from applicable development standard - all town planning issues otherwise resolved - appropriate to permit Applicant the opportunity to consider whether to apply for dispensation from compliance with development standard - self-executing order to dismiss the development appeal if Applicant does not apply to seek dispensation from compliance with breached development standard
Atchison v Randwick City Council  NSWLEC 1559
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL – desired future character – amenity of neighbouring properties – foreshore scenic protection area – contemporary and innovative design
Cittrus Pty Ltd v Inner West Council  NSWLEC 1558
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – roof signage – Parramatta Road transport corridor – desired future character – State Environmental Planning Policy No 64 – Advertising and Signage – height standard
CVC Capital Pty Ltd v Council of the City of Sydney  NSWLEC 1554
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – alterations and additions to an existing building listed as a local heritage item – change of use of the first floor to retail – impact on the heritage significance of the heritage item.
Stokes v Waverley Council (No 2)  NSWLEC 174
APPEAL – appeal against a Commissioner’s judgment on questions of law – whether Commissioner erred in finding that she did not have jurisdiction to grant consent to the development application – whether Commissioner erred in finding that the consent of the owner of adjoining land was required pursuant to cl 49 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (NSW) – whether Commissioner erred in finding that the location of existing piles used for structural stability raised an issue of jurisdiction – whether the Commissioner erred in finding that jurisdiction to determine the appeal was only provided if the piles were structurally isolated from the proposed development – whether Commissioner erred in dismissing the appeal without giving the parties an opportunity to make submissions as to whether the consent of the owner of adjoining land was required and whether she had jurisdiction to grant consent to the development application – appeal upheld
Gurr v Waverley Council  NSWLEC 1548
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL – modification of consent – exceedance of height – privacy impacts – view loss
Beaini Projects Pty Ltd v Cumberland Council  NSWLEC 1547
MODIFICATION APPLICATION – developer contributions – conditions require public road to be constructed over land dedicated as a laneway – agreed material public benefit – whether there is power to amend the contribution – basis for reducing contribution
Sleiman v Central Coast Council  NSWLEC 1549
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – multi-dwelling development – flood risk – reliance on evacuation plan with safe egress - tree protection plan – absence of root mapping – character and streetscape consistency
Doyle v North Sydney Council  NSWLEC 1545
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – masonry wall and new fence – consent orders – character – amenity – heritage conservation area – works wholly on applicants land
Telecommunications (Interception and Access) (Emergency Service Facilities – Queensland) Amendment Instrument 2019
14/11/2019 - This instrument amends the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) (Emergency Service Facilities — Queensland) Instrument 2015 to include an additional premises operated by Concentrix Services in Brisbane, Queensland as an emergency service facility
Building Amendment (Cladding Rectification) Act 2019
Act Number: 43/2019 Date of assent: 19 November 2019
Defeated in the Council
Planning and Environment Amendment (Local Democracy) Bill 2019
Provide increased local council control of maximum building heights in their municipal districts and increase Council control of local planning policy.
Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Local Government (General) Amendment (Minimum Rates) Regulation 2019 (2019-553) — published LW 22 November 2019
Property NSW Amendment (Transfer of Property) Order (No 3) 2019 (2019-554) — published LW 22 November 2019
Road Transport (General) Amendment (Parking Fine Flexibility) Regulation (No 3) 2019 (2019-555) — published LW 22 November 2019
Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery (Container Deposit Scheme) Amendment (Removable Ring-Pulls) Regulation 2019 (2019-556) — published LW 22 November 2019
Water Management (General) Amendment (Metering) Regulation 2019 (2019-557) — published LW 22 November 2019
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Central Coast Council Local Planning Panel) Regulation 2019 (2019-544) — published LW 15 November 2019
State Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989 — Order declaring state of emergency in relation to bushfires (2019-540) — published LW 11 November 2019
State Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989 — Order regarding volunteers taking part in emergency operations (2019-541) — published LW 11 November 2019
Bills introduced Non-Government – 25 November 2019
Independent Commission Against Corruption Amendment (Protections for Disclosure of Information) Bill 2019
Bills revised following amendment in Committee
Better Regulation Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament
Better Regulation Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
Electoral Funding Amendment (Cash Donations) Bill 2019
Bills introduced Non-Government – 15 November 2019
Independent Commission Against Corruption Amendment (Ministerial Code of Conduct—Property Developers) Bill 2019
Privacy and Personal Information Protection Amendment (State Owned Corporations) Bill 2019
Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament
Electoral Funding Amendment (Local Government Expenditure Caps) Bill 2019
Fines Amendment Bill 2019
Right to Farm Bill 2019
Water Supply (Critical Needs) Bill 2019
Subordinate legislation as made – 18 November 2019
No 228 Proclamation—Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (commencing remaining provisions)
This Proclamation fixes the following dates for the commencement of a number of remaining provisions: 18 November 2019, 20 January 2020, and 30 March 2020. To improve transparency and public accountability of local government elections in line with State and Commonwealth electoral and governance frameworks
No 229 Local Government Legislation (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) Amendment Regulation 2019
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.
Published by Jenny Humphris