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Inside track: Local Government

23 August 2021

#Local Government

Inside track: Local Government

In the media

Commonwealth

LGEA: Failure to act on Respect@Work Report
Professionals Australia continues to call on the Coalition Government to amend its Bill and adopt critical recommendations in the landmark Respect@Work Report and to include at least 10 days of paid domestic violence leave in the Fair Work Act (13 August 2021).  More...

Climate change: Collective action a counterpoint to Australian government inaction
About one in five (104) councils have declared a climate emergency, and a recent report found that just 60 local council emission reduction projects have the potential to cover off 90 per cent of our federal 2030 Paris targets (13 August 2021).  More...

Covid’s impacts – and upsides – revealed in council CEO survey
Nearly six in 10 local government CEOs say the financial sustainability of their councils was negatively impacted by Covid-19, a new survey shows. However, the survey also shows the pandemic has provided the impetus for many councils to “think outside of the box” about how to maximise revenue, keep costs down (06 August 2021).  More...

ALGA/ICLEI join forces to support council resilience-building
The Australian Local Government Association is partnering with ICLEI Oceania to help councils tackle global warming and plan for a sustainable future. A memorandum of understanding signed this week commits ALGA and ICLEI Oceania to work at boosting information and tools available to local governments (06 August 2021).  More...

Design of cth peri-urban mobile program up for discussion
Feedback on the federal government’s Peri-Urban Mobile Program is being sought from community representatives and industry. The $16.4 million program will fund improve mobile connectivity in bushfire-prone areas on the peri-urban fringe, where suburbs encroach into bushland, potentially creating bushfire risks (06 August 2021).  More...

Suspension of mutual obligation requirements for job seekers and participants in Victoria and NSW Hunter and Upper Hunter Regions
The Australian Government has suspended mutual obligation requirements for job seekers and participants in the state of Victoria and the Hunter and Upper Hunter Regions of New South Wales after the announcements of a seven-day COVID-19 lockdown in those areas (05 August 2021).  More...

Recovering communities not forgotten
Coordinator-General the Hon Shane L Stone, AC QC, said almost two years on, communities affected by the 2019-20 Black Summer Bushfires continue to receive Australian Government assistance suited to their local recovery needs. Projects in 110 local government areas disaster declared because of the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires are eligible for funding (02 August 2021).  More...

Victoria

Plans to guide Greater Bendigo into future to be considered
Important strategic planning work that seeks to set Greater Bendigo up for future success will be considered at the August Council meeting. The vision is also underpinned by five values – transparency, sustainability, inclusion, innovation and equity (11 August 2021).  More...

Funding boost for councils to respond to emergencies
An extra $1 million will be invested in the Municipal Emergency Resourcing Program, taking the total funding for Victoria’s 64 rural, regional and outer-metropolitan councils this financial year to $5.9 million. The program pays for planning, communication and co-ordination work to make sure communities are well prepared and resilient (02 August 2021).  More...

Queensland

Central Queensland councils work together for renewable future
The Clean Economy Opportunities for the CQ Region forum will bring together representatives from regions including Whitsunday, Barcaldine and Gladstone, in an open-forum discussion aimed at creating a positive renewable future for Central Queensland (12 August 2021).  More...

Making renewables work for Queensland workers, families and communities
Queensland communities will be the first in the nation to be asked how they want the multi-billion dollar renewable energy sector to benefit their families, jobs and regions, with the launch of public consultation to collect community feedback on Queensland’s renewable energy zones (10 August 2021).  More...

New push for better Local Government
In a new push to bring greater integrity to the workings of Local Government, the Office of the Independent Assessor is to receive extra funding to better investigate and access complaints against Councillors after a recent analysis of the operations of the new Councillor Complaints Framework to make sure it is working smoothly and effectively (03 August 2021).  More...

In Practice and Courts

Peri-urban mobile program (PUMP)
Announced as part of the 2021–22 federal Budget, the $16.4 million program will fund improve mobile connectivity in bushfire-prone areas on the peri-urban fringe. Draft guidelines outlining the eligibility criteria for participants and activities under PUMP, the proposed assessment criteria, and the process for prospective applications can be found here. The consultation period ends on 27 August.

2021 Regional Telecommunications Review
Published as a prelude to the 2021 Regional Telecommunications Review, the paper canvasses issues around adequacy, opportunity, and awareness of telco services in both rural, regional and remote areas of Australia. The issues paper, consultation dates, and details on how to make a submission can be found here. Written submissions should be lodged by, 30 September 2021.

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 will be open for submission closing on 2 September 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 visit here.

Victoria

MAV submissions
August 2021 Submission to Victorian Government waste to energy framework – August
our support for waste to energy (WtE) as an alternative to landfill, noting that WtE must be considered in the context of the waste hierarchy, and not compromise waste avoidance or higher order reuse and recycling opportunities (August 2021).  More...

Reporting on shelters and pounds
To enable data collection and reporting, Section 4 of the Code of Practice for the Management of Dogs and Cats in Shelters and Pounds (the Code) will need to be amended to require shelters and pounds to provide necessary data to the Victorian Government. Animal Welfare Victoria is inviting all stakeholders to complete an Engage Victoria survey to help shape amendments to the Code’s data collection and reporting requirements, which closes 3 September 2021. 

Bellarine Peninsula distinctive area and landscape: Draft Statement of planning policy
DELWP invites written submissions on the Draft Bellarine Peninsula Statement of Planning Policy. The draft SPP has been prepared by DELWP in collaboration with Traditional Owners the Wadawurrung, the Borough of Queenscliffe, the City of Greater Geelong and relevant government agencies. The draft SPP will guide the future of land use and development on the Bellarine Peninsula for the next 50 years. For further information visit Engage Victoria. Submissions close 20 August 2021.

Determination of allowances for Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Councillors
The Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal would like to hear your views about allowances payable to Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Councillors and allowance categories. The Determination will take effect from 18 December 2021. Make a written submission to the Tribunal by email the Tribunal Secretariat at localgovernment@remunerationtribunal.vic.gov.au before 16 August 2021.  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 due to open on 16 June. Information and guidelines for the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund can be found at rdv.vic.gov.au/rjif.

Gender impact assessments
It is important that councils are already thinking about and preparing to meet their obligations under The Gender Equality Act 2020 which come into effect from 31 March 2021. Other key dates in 2021 are 30 June when councils must conduct a workplace gender audit, and 31 October when councils must submit a Gender Equality Action Plan, based on the findings from their workplace gender audit.

City of Melbourne: View all current tenders
See Tenders for more information on the tendering process and procurement policy, closed and awarded tenders.  More...

Container deposit scheme
The MAV has welcomed the release of the Victorian Government’s consultation paper on the design of the container deposit scheme. Following significant advocacy from the MAV, councils, environment groups and others, the State committed to introducing a CDS by 2023 as part of its Recycling Victoria policy.

Extension to the declaration of Surf Coast, Bellarine Peninsula and Bass Coast as distinctive areas and landscapes
The Governor in Council, under section 46AT(3) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, has approved the extension of time required to prepare Statements of Planning Policy for Surf Coast, Bellarine Peninsula and Bass Coast for a further 12 month period

Queensland

Public consultation: Queensland’s renewable energy zones (QREZs)
Public consultation would be followed by a technical paper later in the year, for feedback from industry and other energy stakeholders on the framework for QREZ design and access. The online survey is open until 30 September 2021.  More...

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.

Planning (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020
This temporary regulation establishes requirements for keeping documents physically available for inspection and purchase in recognition of health and safety restrictions. This enables local governments to continue to meet their statutory obligations. The regulation is in effect to 30 September 2021.  More...

Extension of COVID Bill
State Parliament has moved to extend the timeframe for several measures introduced to allow Government to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 through the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2021. These come into force throughout 2021.

Cases

Sunland Group Limited & Anor v Gold Coast City Council [2021] HCATrans 124
The appeal concerns, the effect to be given to a number of conditions of the planning approval. The conditions concerned the contributions to be paid to various forms of infrastructure, the services to be provided with the land
The various statutes, including the Integrated Planning Act, have provided for development approvals of two kinds
We draw support from the language of section 880 (3) which says despite the prohibition on imposing a new condition, the Council can cover the money under a lawfully imposed condition.

Mornington Peninsula Beach Box Association Inc & Anor v Mornington Peninsula Shire Council [2021] VSC 455
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – ;ocal government – Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) providing for ‘annual service charge’ to be declared on rateable land for ‘the collection and disposal of refuse’ – charge declared by defendant Council for ‘the collection and disposal of municipal refuse’ – charge designed to finance broad range of waste services for local community and its members – whether declaration valid – declaration need not be confined to recovery of costs of direct or ‘kerbside’ refuse collection services only – charge can validly apply to rateable land for which no direct or kerbside refuse collection service is available – challenge to validity of charge dismissed – Constitution Act 1975 (Vic) Pt IIA – Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 (Vic) s 17B – Environment Protection (Resource Recovery) Act 1992 (Vic) – Health Act 1958 (Vic) ss 60, 61 – Health (Amendment) Act 1977 (Vic) – Local Government Act 1919 (NSW) ss 168, 243, 615 – Local Government Act 1958 (Vic) s 267 – Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) ss 1A, 3C, 3E, 3F, 113, 125, 126, 127, 155, 156, 157, 158, 158A, 159, 160, 161, 161A, 162, 163, 163A, 163B, 173, 184, 208A, 208B, 208C, 208D, 221, 223 – Local Government Act 2020 (Vic) – Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 (Vic) Order 56.

W Everton Park Pty Ltd v Minister for Planning [2021] VSC 465
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial review – Plaintiffs own private land extending into the Public Conservation and Resource Zone – amendment VC115 to Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes in Victoria, amending planning controls affecting private land in the Public Conservation and Resource Zone – Minister’s decision under s 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) to exempt himself from notification requirements of ss 17, 18 and 19 – Minister’s decision under s 4C to approve amendment – Plaintiffs claim declarations that Minister’s decisions are invalid and of no legal effect – whether in making exemption decision Minister had regard to irrelevant considerations or failed to consider relevant matters – whether Minister made decisions for improper purposes – whether amendment complied with Ministerial direction under s 7(5) as to form and content of planning schemes – whether amendment conferred absolute and unreviewable power on Secretary, repugnant to Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) – whether amendment amounted to acquisition by subterfuge – Minister’s decisions not invalid – proceeding dismissed – Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic), ss 4B, 4C, 4J, 6, 7, 8, 12, 20(4), 149
Before deciding on an application to use or subdivide land, construct a building or construct or carry out works, in addition to the decision guidelines in Clause 65, the responsible authority must consider, as appropriate: The State Planning Policy Framework and the Local Planning Policy Framework, including the Municipal Strategic Statement and local planning policies. Local Government Act 1989

City of Greater Geraldton [2021] FWCA 4751
Fair Work Act 2009 s.185 – Enterprise agreement City of Greater Geraldton
Application for approval of the City of Greater Geraldton Enterprise Agreement 2021 – 2023. Local Government Administration [3] Noting clause 1.7.2. of the Agreement, I am satisfied that the more beneficial entitlements of the National Employment Standards in the Act (NES) will prevail where there is an inconsistency between the Agreement and the NES.

Legislation

Victoria

Statutory Rules

No 92 Environment Protection Amendment (Wind Turbine Noise) Regulations 2021
27 July 2021. These Regulations come into operation on 1 August 2021.

Disclaimer
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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