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Inside track: Local Government

20 November 2019

#Local Government

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Inside track: Local Government

Submissions now open on the Commonwealth Government’s draft Drought Resilience Funding Plan

Submissions are now open on the Commonwealth Government’s draft Drought Resilience Funding Plan.

The Plan has been developed as part of the government’s $3.9 billion Future Drought Fund which is aimed at supporting initiatives that enhance the drought resilience of Australian farms and communities as they respond to the impacts of drought.

To find out more visit here 

Public consultation including face to face meetings is currently in progress.

Submissions on the plan are due by 13 December 2019.

Author: Jenny Humphris

In the media

Australian cities among world’s smartest
Three Australian cities in South Australia and Queensland have been named among the world’s 21 smartest communities by the Intelligent Community Forum, a think tank. South Australia’s City of Adelaide and City of Prospect, and the Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Council featured alongside cities and counties from nine countries (08 November 2019).   More...

Time to get serious about recycling
Councils are calling for government to get serious about recycling and a circular economy as State environment ministers from across the country meet (08 November 2019).  More...

Struggling councils welcome new drought funding
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the Commonwealth’s new drought assistance measures, saying they will be of real benefit to drought-affected councils and communities (07 November 2019).  More...

Millions in drought assistance for councils
Drought affected councils have received a multi-million dollar windfall from the federal government’s $1 billion drought package (07 October 2019).  More...

Report wants ‘all options’ for water security
The Water Services of Association of Australia’s Urban Water Update 2019 says the drought has intensified over the last year, leaving many rural communities facing critical shortages. The impact of the drought is also being felt by major cities. The WSAA includes 20 local councils (06 November 2019).  More...


National recycling action plan has NSW councils support
Local Government NSW (LGNSW) has welcomed today’s commitment from State environmental ministers to prioritise delivery of waste reduction and increased recycling through an ambitious new National Waste Policy Action Plan (08 November 2019).  More...

Asbestos waste reform a win for local communities
An increase in safe disposal areas for asbestos and an end to expensive asbestos disposal levies are expected to reduce illegal dumping in a win for communities and councils across NSW. Illegal dumping of asbestos was a scourge facing many local government areas, exacerbated by restrictive regulations and levy fees that made it costly to do the right thing (06 November 2019).  More...

Councils make pledge on procuring recyclables
A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the eleven member councils of the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSRCO) has made a commitment to prioritise recyclables in procurement and to use their collective purchasing power to procure recycled materials from regional areas . (07 November 2019).  More...  

Rubbish in roads to tackle waste crisis
Sydney’s Northern Beaches Council will trial using recyclables in asphalt to improve road quality and reduce landfill (04 November 2019).  More...

Residents donate water to save trees in heritage-listed park as drought continues
Residents in the regional city of Armidale are using their own water to save trees in their heritage-listed park, as the drought continues to deplete the district's water supply (04 November 2019).  More...


Change in Federal mindset is a critical step forward in managing drought
The announcement by the Federal Government to provide drought funding to non-farm businesses and more funding for councils in drought-affected regions is a win for communities and councils (08 November 2019).  More...

Council banks on riverside revamp to turn the tide
The City Reach Waterfront draft masterplan will be open to the public to give feedback on a range of proposals to improve Brisbane's key stretch of riverside precinct. From the Botanic Gardens to Howard Smith Wharves, the City Reach Waterfront has been under review all year in a bid to create a world-class city riverfront (07 November 2019).  More...

'People will be delighted': New vision for Mount Coot-tha businesses
Jimmy's on the Mall announced as winner of two 20-year leases with Brisbane City Council to run a cafe and restaurant at the top of Mount Coot-tha (06 November 2019).  More...

Plan review to promote economic opportunities for Wide Bay Burnett region
Minister for Planning Cameron Dick said regional plans are prepared under the Planning Act 2016 as long-term, strategic planning documents which bring together councils and communities in the area to address matters such as housing supply, economic development, industrial, environment, transport and infrastructure requirements (05 November 2019).  More...

Mandatory training for all council candidates now live online
All intending candidates for next year’s local government elections, including sitting councillors and mayors who plan to run again, are now required to complete an online training course before they nominate. Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the training was integral to promoting community confidence in the sector (05 November 2019).  More...

Former Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft jailed for misconduct
The former mayor of the Fraser Coast Regional Council has been found guilty of using his position to push for his former campaign manager to be appointed his chief-of-staff (04 November 2019).  More...

Gold Coast Deputy Mayor refuses to comment on donations 'error' following tribunal
Gold Coast Deputy Mayor Donna Gates refuses to comment on a ruling handed down by the Office of the Independent Assessor made public this week (05 November 2019).  More...

Statement from the Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian – Gold Coast Deputy Mayor decision
Gold Coast Deputy Mayor, Donna Gates, has been ordered to undergo counselling by the council’s CEO after two counts of misconduct were sustained, including for inaccurately describing more than 30 campaign donations worth more than $68,000 as ‘race tickets’ on her register of interests (04 November 2019).  More...

Queensland councils crack $1 billion on sport and recreation spending
Statement from LGAQ President Mark Jamieson: Data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that Queensland councils spent just over $1 billion on sports and recreation for the 2017-18 financial year (01 November 2019).  More...

Councillors making vexatious complaints face hefty fines
The Independent Assessor has issued a warning to councillors who make improper complaints about another councillor’s conduct, that they could be charged with making frivolous or vexatious complaints and face a fine of more than $11,000, ahead of the 2020 council elections (01 November 2019).  More...

Black Swan Lake saved in 'inspiring' conservation victory with Gold Coast Council
Conservationists are claiming a coup after convincing Gold Coast Council to save a freshwater lake from being turned into a carpark (30 October 2019).  More...

Grants to help strengthen Queensland’s thriving, cohesive communities
A total of $3 million in grants will be made available to community groups, not-for-profit organisations and local councils across the state as part of the Queensland Government’s ongoing efforts to create thriving and cohesive communities (29 October 2019).  More...

In practice and courts

ALGA Submissions – 07 November 2019
Infrastructure Audit 2019 - Submission to Infrastructure Australia. Local governments provide a range of essential services and infrastructure that serve as the foundation for local, regional and metropolitan communities, and are critical in fostering economic activity and community wellbeing. Furthermore, local councils are responsible for 33% of public infrastructure
Inquiry into the importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry - Submission to the Senate Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee. Local roads constitute 75 per cent of the nation’s roads by length. Most road freight journeys start or finish on a local road and the freight industry has consistently nominated first and last mile issues on local roads

Beta biosecurity website
The National Biosecurity Committee is seeking user feedback from on a new biosecurity website aimed at helping councils, businesses and individuals better understand how to identify and respond to biosecurity threats (October 2019).

National Airports safeguarding Advisory Group
The NASAG is undertaking a review of implementation of the National Airports Safeguarding Framework (NASF). The review is intended to consider implementation of NASF across jurisdictions; and seeks submissions from all levels of government, industry and community stakeholders. See more information about the review here. Submissions close on 22 November 2019.  

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 and uncover the knowledge, strategies and technology to improve the impact and value of social media efforts.  More...

National Local Government Workforce Summit: Tweed Heads, 13-14 November 2019
Featuring expert speakers, interactive workshops, case studies.  More...

National Local Roads and Transport Congress, 18-20 November 2019
This year’s theme is ‘breaking through for modern transport’. Topics to be covered include the future of transport and how local government can benefit, and an update on the state of the country’s infrastructure by Infrastructure Australia CEO, Romily Madew.  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...

Net Zero Emissions and Climate Resilience for Local Government
This workshop will support local government in planning for a low emissions and resilient future. We will be helping local government to prepare for the transition to net zero emissions at a community scale, as well as building community resilience (01 November 2019).  More...

 Fixing local roads, grants open
The NSW Government has launched Round 1 of the 'Fixing Local Roads Program' for rural and regional councils to carry out maintenance and repairs of local roads including unsealed road safety or access improvements, patching or repairing cracking and potholes. Applications close 2 December 2019 (07 November 2019).  More...

Latest drought information at your fingertips
Visit the LGNSW website for latest drought-related information including public information session dates and locations, Regional Water Availability Report, Water News, State Seasonal Update, Combined Drought Indicator (CDI) tool, BoM Water data, status and forecasts (07 November 2019).  More...

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, which Concludes 27 November 2019.  More...

Have Your Say on Sydney Fish Markets
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment is calling for community feedback on plans to develop the new Sydney Fish Markets, on Bridge Road in Glebe.
Sydney Fish Markets Concept and Stage 1 works
Sydney Fish Markets and Stage 2 works
Both exhibitions close on 13 November 2019

Draft vision for Central Precinct
The community is invited to have its say on a draft vision for Central Precinct. The exhibition is open until 27 November 2019.  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 November 2019 (or 1 July 2020 in the City of Ryde).  More...

Product Stewardship Amendment (Packaging and Plastics) Bill 2019
Councils are invited to make submissions to the Parliament of Australia’s Environment and Communications Legislation Committee’s inquiry into the Product Stewardship Amendment (Packaging and Plastics) Bill 2019. The closing date for submissions is 21 November 2019.  More...

IPART Local Government Report Consultation
The NSW Government is seeking feedback on the final reports from three local government reviews by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal. These include:
a review of reporting and compliance burdens on local government
a review of local government compliance and enforcement (submissions close 15 November).  More...

A New Risk Management and Internal Audit Framework for Local Councils in NSW
Every council in NSW will be required to appoint and operate an Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee by March 2021 as part of the NSW Government’s package of reforms to strengthen local government. The discussion paper-A New Risk Management and Internal Audit Framework for Local Councils in NSW-will be on public exhibition until 31 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. CPPs must be finalised and published on the ePlanning portal by 1 December 2019

Local Strategic Planning Statements Training Sessions
Following changes to the Environment Planning and Assessment Act last year, councils are required to prepare statements by 1 December 2019 (Sydney councils) and 1 July 2020 (regional councils).  More... 


Local Government Bulletin: 05/19 - Recent changes to legislation – implementation of stage 2 reforms for the Local Government sector
The purpose of this bulletin is to provide information about recent legislative amendments to implement the second stage of the Queensland Government’s rolling reforms for the Local Government sector. The Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was assented to on 30 October 2019. Changes that are in effect immediately are outlined here More...

Implementation support
The Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 and Explanatory Notes are available on the Queensland Legislation website:
Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019
Explanatory Notes
City of Brisbane Act 2010 reprint current from 30 October 2019
Local Government Act 2009 reprint current from 30 October 2019
Local Government Electoral Act 2011 reprint current from 30 October 2019

LGAQ – 08 November 2019
QIRC releases it's 2019 State Wage case decision

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...

Noise Regulation Review for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and Specialised Aircraft

The review will consider the community noise impacts of each type of operation and determine considerations for potential noise regulations. Due by close of business Friday, 22 November 2019.  More...

Report - No. 54, 56th Parliament – Criminal Code (Trespass Offences) Amendment Bill 2019
The committee's findings from its examination of the Bill.
Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee - Report No. 54, 56th Parliament - Criminal Code (Trespass Offences) Amendment Bill 2019 inquiry (01 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.

North Queensland Regional Plan
The draft NQ Regional Plan is a 25 year strategic, statutory planning document for the local government areas of Burdekin, Charter Towers, Hinchinbrook, Palm Island and Townsville. Consultation on the draft document closes on 22 November 2019.   More...

PCA: Reef regulations amendment Bill passed by Parliament
The new Reef protection regulations proposed to come into effect on 1 December 2019.  More...

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...

Waste tyre receivers in Queensland now need an environmental authority
An environmental authority (EA) is now required for activities that involve receiving and sorting, dismantling, baling or storing greater than 4t or 4m3 of end-of-life tyres at any one time. Learn more about the waste changes. Current operators have until 23 November 2019 to hold an EA.
Reminder: Central Queensland Bushfires Flexible Funding Grants Round 2
Grants of up to $150,000 are available to help Central Queensland communities Banana, Bundaberg, Central Highlands, Gladstone, Isaac, Livingstone, Mackay and Rockhampton. Closing 5 November 2019. NOTE: Recipients of Round One grants are also encouraged to apply. More...



Nielsen v Wingecarribee Shire Council [2019] NSWLEC 1529
COSTS – judicial review proceedings – principles governing exercise of discretion to order costs – costs order made 

Dungay v Kempsey Shire Council [2019] NSWCATAD 225
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY – leave required for complaint to proceed – principles applying to grant of leave EQUAL OPPORTUNITY – race discrimination in provision of goods and services

Amos v Central Coast Council [2019] NSWCATAD 226
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Freedom of information — Access to information – GIPA – confidential information – third party objections - personal information – reasonableness of searches – scope of access application

Syncept Chatham Pty Ltd v City of Ryde Council [2019] NSWLEC 170
LAND AND ENVIRONMENT COURT – Jurisdiction and Powers – Class 4 – Heritage Act – Interim Heritage Order – statutory authorisation – local council – statutory construction – conditions of minister’s authority under Heritage Act – discretionary powers – invalidity

Chan v City of Canada Bay Council [2019] NSWLEC 1530
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – boarding house – whether the proposal is compatible with the character of the local area – the proposal does not meet the parking standard – overshadowing of adjoining property – impact on views across the site – amenity of boarding rooms – vicinity of heritage conservation areas and impact on setting – management of tandem car parking

Boyce v Inner West Council [2019] NSWLEC 1521
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – boarding house – breach of LEP height and FSR standards – whether cl 4.6 written request required in light of cl 29(4) of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 – desired character – height transition to adjacent development

Zhiva Living Dural Pty Limited v Hornsby Shire Council (No 3) [2019] NSWLEC 152
APPEAL - appeal against Commissioner's refusal of development application for seniors living project - appeal confined to question of law - Commissioner dismissed the development appeal on the basis of failure to satisfy a precondition set by State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing for Seniors and People with a Disability) 2004 (SEPP) - matter not raised in the Council’s contentions - Applicant proposed a condition of consent to satisfy requirement - Commissioner's request for further submissions did not request submissions as to whether a condition could satisfy the requirements of the SEPP - Commissioner dismissed the appeal without providing the parties with an opportunity to make submissions as to why a condition could provide a proper basis to satisfy the provision - Applicant complains of denial of procedural fairness in circumstances where, in earlier unrelated proceedings, the same Commissioner had accepted a condition of consent in near identical wording to the proposed condition to satisfy the same provision in the SEPP - procedural fairness denied to the Applicant - appeal upheld
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION - approval of the proposed development required a site compatibility certificate - without a current site compatibility certificate, the proposed development was prohibited - the proposed development had been given a site compatibility certificate but it had expired as at the date of this appeal against the Commissioner's decision - no basis upon which the Court would have power utilising s 39(2) of the Land and Environment Court Act 1979 (the Court Act) to consider whether to issue a fresh site compatibility certificate - in the absence of a current site compatibility certificate, there is no development application capable of approval - remitter to Commissioner futile - appropriate course to exercise power pursuant to s 56A(2)(b) of the Court Act to determine the proceedings by refusal of development consent - Class 1 appeal dismissed and proposed development refused development consent.

Byron Shire Council v Ardill Payne & Partners [2019] NSWLEC 153
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING - Land and Environment Court - practice and procedure - extension of time for appeal - UCPR 50.3 - exercise of discretion - leave granted

Thomas v Randwick City Council (No 3) [2019] NSWLEC 161
JOINDER - Notice of Motion seeking setting aside of costs order made concerning costs thrown away as a result of ex parte application requiring vacation of conciliation conference process - no basis to disturb costs order for costs thrown away made against moving party seeking joinder - application for joinder successful - applicant for joinder seeks costs of hearing at which joinder was granted - basis for consideration of costs application - application for costs to be determined on the basis of application of Land and Environment Court Rules 2007 requiring that it be “fair and reasonable” to make costs order in favour of successful party - not fair and reasonable to make costs order in favour of successful applicant for joinder - costs application dismissed COSTS - costs of Notice of Motion seeking costs orders - costs’ proceedings not subject to “fair and reasonable” test in Land and Environment Court Rules 2007 - costs of costs applications usually dealt with on the basis that costs follow the event - no basis to depart from that position in these proceedings - applicant for joinder ordered to pay costs as agreed or assessed of the Applicant and of the First Respondent of the costs Notice of Motion


Iveson v Scenic Rim Regional Council & Anor (No 2) [2019] QCAT 324
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS – COSTS – INDEMNITY COSTS – PARTICULAR CASES – where the applicant’s claim struck out on the basis it was misconceived, lacking in substance or otherwise an abuse of process – where the second respondent sought costs of the application to dismiss on an indemnity basis – where applicant not legally represented on commencement of proceedings – where second respondent pursued an erroneous procedural defence in part – where appropriate order was that the applicant pay costs from date of filing of material clearly showing the case against the second respondent was without prospects – whether costs on an indemnity basis appropriate
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 Qld s 47, s 100

Orb Holdings Pty Ltd v WCL (QLD) Albert Street Pty Ltd [2019] QSC 265
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – ENDING PROCEEDINGS EARLY – SUMMARY DISPOSAL – SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR PLAINTIFF OR APPLICANT – where the applicant seeks a declaration against the respondent that certain land has been dedicated as, and is, a public highway or public road – where the respondent applied for judgment in the application – whether the respondent as registered proprietor in fee simple of the land, is not subject to any unregistered interest created by or as a result of a common law dedication of a road
REAL PROPERTY – TORRENS TITLE – INDEFEASIBILITY OF TITLE – EXCEPTIONS TO INDEFEASIBILITY – RIGHTS OF HIGHWAY – where the applicant submitted that land had been dedicated as a public road and that that dedication was not affected by the transfer of the land to the respondent and registration of the respondent as proprietor in fee simple – whether the respondent has indefeasible title to the land – whether common law public rights of passage over land take priority over registered interest
City of Brisbane Act 2010 Qld s 3, s 5, s 63, s 65, s 65(2)(a), s 65(2)(b), s 66, s 81



Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment (Waste Contributions Exemption) Regulation 2019
(2019-526) — published LW 1 November 2019
Service NSW (One-stop Access to Government Services) Amendment (Delegation) Regulation 2019
(2019-527) — published LW 1 November 2019

Environmental Planning Instruments
State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Data Storage) 2019
(2019-537) — published LW 8 November 2019



Criminal Code (Trespass Offences) Amendment Bill 2019
Stage reached: 2nd reading to be moved on 1/11/2019

Electoral and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
Assent Date: 30/10/2019 Act No: 31 of 2019 Commences: by Proclamation
The Bill implements important reforms to improve the integrity, transparency and public accountability of the state's electoral system.

Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 2 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
Assent Date: 30/10/2019 Act No: 30 of 2019 Commences: see Act for details
The Bill aims to improve transparency and public accountability of local government elections in line with State and Commonwealth electoral and governance frameworks 

Subordinate legislation as made - Reminder
No 196 Environmental Protection (Rehabilitation Reform) Amendment Regulation 2019
This Regulation amends the Environmental Protection Regulation 2019 to implement the rehabilitation reforms under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) to: support decisions under the EP Act in relation to Progressive Rehabilitation and Closure Plan (PRCP) schedules; support the implementation of Public Interest Evaluations; and set the date for commencement of the PRCP framework as 1 November 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.

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