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Inside track: Local Government

29 January 2019

#Local Government, #Government

Inside track: Local Government

In the media

Meet Australia’s data-powered suburbs
Governments are leveraging data insights from social media to quantify the urban life of suburbs, improve planning and boost tourism (17 January 2019).  More...

Newer forms of engagement on the rise
Two thirds of local government use public meetings and submissions, advisory groups, drop-in sessions and online surveys to inform their decision-making, according to new research from the Institute for Public Policy and Governance at the University of Technology, Sydney (17 January 2019).  More...

Feds' coercive approach to Australia Day citizenship ceremonies heavy-handed
The announcement by the Federal Government to force councils to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day as a response to the debate to change the date of this national holiday is heavy-handed and odd, according to the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), the peak body representing local government and councils Australia-wide (13 January 2019).  More...

'People want Australia Day to be Australia Day': Fixed date proposed for all citizenship ceremonies
Several councils around the country - including Melbourne's Yarra and Darebin - have already been stripped of their power to host citizenship events after voting to move the ceremonies to a less contentious day (12 January 2019).  More... 

A year on from Australia's recycling crisis, what's changed?
A year after the scale of Australia's recycling crisis became apparent, governments are still scrambling for an answer and the waste industry says time is running out (11 January 2019).  More... 

Commonwealth bridges renewal program opens
Round Four of the Bridges Renewal program has opened, and the turnaround for councils to apply is tight. Applications for the $80 million national funding pool close at midnight February 5th, AEST (10 January 2019).  More... 

Your personal data is not safe: Emergency text service hacked
A hacker sends malicious messages via text, email, and landline to tens of thousands of people across Australia after an emergency warning alert service, used by councils, is hacked (07 January 2019).  More... 


PCA: Developer donation ban update
The Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) has issued fresh advice to property developers, following the passage of Commonwealth legislation aimed at preventing state-based campaign donation laws from impacting on federal elections. Property developers continue to be prohibited from making donations for state or local electoral purposes (17 January 2019).  More...

PCA: Land Supply and Development Monitoring Report released
The Queensland Government has released the Land Supply and Development Monitoring (LSDM) Report, one of the implementation actions contained in the ShapingSEQ South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017. The results are based on data provided by local governments and utility providers (17 January 2019).  More...

There's a new guide to assist councils with liquor licensing
Information, examples and decisions of note have been collated to help councils provide comments on liquor licence applications (15 January 2019).  More... 

$58 million in council infrastructure grants and subsidies up for grabs
Queensland’s 77 councils are set to share in $58 million worth of local government grants and subsidies from the Palaszczuk Government, with applications opening on Monday 14 January (11 January 2019).  More...

Plans push ahead for beefed-up Clermont Showgrounds and Saleyards
As part of its Year of Outback Tourism celebrations, the Palaszczuk Government has announced the implementation plan for its $1 million revitalisation project for Clermont Showgrounds and Saleyards precinct (11 January 2019).  More...

Emergency safety system funded for Central Highlands
The Palaszczuk Government has committed $177,000 for Central Highlands Regional Council to install an innovative emergency notification system that will increase the region’s resilience to disasters (4 January 2019).  More...

Funding to improve flood safety in Gladstone
The Palaszczuk Government has committed more than $190,000 for Gladstone Regional Council to upgrade a causeway on Bells Road at Rodds Bay to help increase the region’s resilience to flooding (4 January 2019).  More...

$1.8 million to build resilience in Rockhampton region
The Palaszczuk Government has committed more than $1.8 million to Rockhampton Regional Council towards additional drainage infrastructure to increase the region’s resilience to flooding (4 January 2019).  More...

New floodway funded for Fraser Coast
The Palaszczuk Government has committed more than $270,000 for Fraser Coast Regional Council to construct a concrete floodway on Bakers Road at Bauple to help increase the region’s resilience to flooding (3 January 2019).  More...

State funds to strengthen Scenic Rim road network
The Palaszczuk Government has committed more than $82,000 to Scenic Rim Regional Council to safeguard Sarabah Road and ensure greater resilience and functionality during heavy rainfall (3 January 2019).  More...


Council now powered by 100 per cent renewable energy
Fourteen members of Melbourne’s leading universities, cultural institutions, corporations and councils combined their purchasing power to support the construction of the 80 MW wind farm at Crowlands, near Ararat (17 January 2019).  More...

Supporting regional Victoria to address climate change
The Andrews Labor Government is empowering regional Victorians to prepare for and adapt to the real impacts of climate change through a new community grants program. Eligible projects must either be led by, or implemented in partnership with, a local council, Traditional Owner corporation, community group or not-for-profit organisation (17 January 2019).  More...

IBAC charges a former Frankston City Council manager and a council service provider with multiple offences
Victoria's IBAC, has charged a former Frankston City Council manager with 79 charges including obtaining property by deception, making false documents, using false documents and misconduct in public office. IBAC also charged a supplier of services to Frankston City Council (14 January 2019).  More...

Protecting the Great Ocean Road from over development
At the request of the Colac Otway Shire Council, Mr Wynne called in the proposal in 2017 and appointed an independent planning panel to assess the merits of the development. Mr Wynne has considered the panel’s recommendations and decided the proposal should be rejected due to its excessive scale and its impact on the landscape and environment (7 January 2019).  More...

New South Wales 

Mapping liveable cities of the future
Governments are turning to 3D modelling to plan urban spaces as federal planners raise concerns about pressures on Australia’s infrastructure. Waverley Council is using 3D imaging to model development in areas like Bondi Junction (14 January 2019).  More...

New land values for New South Wales released
The NSW Valuer General has released the land values for every parcel of land across NSW. The land values are for the value of the land only, as at 1 July 2018 (8 January 2019).  More...

OLG NSW: Council misconduct tops complaint list
For the second year in a row, council misconduct allegations have topped the annual list of complaints by residents and ratepayers. Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton says this outcome underlies the need for the new codes of conduct released earlier this year (23 December 2018).  More...

In practice and courts

Business Case Program for Location-Specific Heavy Vehicle Charging Trials
The Australian Government's Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities is seeking applications for the second round of its Business Case Program for Location-Specific Heavy Vehicle Charging Trials. Councils, industry and stakeholders can apply for funding to develop a business case to test the willingness of heavy vehicle road users to pay an additional charge for a productivity benefit from a road upgrade. Visit the department’s website to download an application form. Submissions close 15 February 2019.

Council of Capital City Lord Mayors submission – Parliamentary Inquiry into Automated Mass Transit
The council welcomes the Federal Government’s initiative in commencing dialogue on the introduction of automated mass transit in Australia, we are confident that outcomes of this inquiry will contribute to the development of an appropriate environment that encourages and facilitates delivery and operation of automated of mass transit systems (9 January 2019).  More...

Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency review
The national ASEA is currently under review to consider how well it is performing in its function to prevent exposure to asbestos and eliminate asbestos-related disease in Australia.  More...

National General Assembly 2019 motions
ALGA seeks motions to be submitted for the National General Assembly taking place from 16 June 2019 on the theme ‘Future Focused’. A discussion paper is available with more details on the theme and submission guidelines (7 December 2018).


2019-21 round of the Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program (LGGSP)
The application period for project proposals opens on 14 January and closes on 8 February 2019. All 77 Queensland councils are eligible to apply for 2019-21 LGGSP funding, with projects expected to be completed by the end of June 2021.  More...

QDESIGN released
The Department of Housing and Public Works has released a new document to help guide urban design outcomes. QDESIGN is a blueprint for design practitioners, developers, community representatives and local councils, which aims to articulate examples of good urban design and provide consistency of design throughout Queensland. Further information on QDESIGN is available here (17 January 2019).  More...

Land Supply and Development Monitoring Report released
The inaugural Land Supply and Development Monitoring (LSDM) Report, one of the implementation actions contained in the ShapingSEQ South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017,  measures residential and industrial land supply and development activity, along with land and housing prices against benchmarks and employment planning baselines contained in ShapingSEQ (17 January 2019).  More...

LGAQ: New guide to assist councils with liquor licensing
Information, examples and decisions of note have been collated to help councils provide comments on liquor licence applications. A new guide has been released to assist councils in preparing these comments, which assist the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming in making decisions on applications. The new guide can be downloaded here, or accessed at the at the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation's website (15 January 2019).

Innovation and Improvement Fund 
State and local governments were working together to deliver better planning outcomes for Queensland through the fund. To learn more about the fund, including the full list of successful applications, visit Queensland’s Planning System website (11 January 2019).

A city for everyone: Brisbane Plan open for consultation
Brisbane City Council has released 'A City for Everyone: Draft Inclusive Brisbane Plan 2019-2029’ for public consultation. The draft plan proposes 67 possible actions under five themes: connect, work, live, enjoy and engage. An online survey can be completed here, and will close on 15 February 2019.  More...

Regulated waste amendment approved
The Environmental Protection (Regulated Waste) Amendment Regulation 2018 will commence on 4 February 2019. The regulation establishes the types of waste for regulated waste categories one and two.  More...

New South Wales 

Grace period for parking fines
The NSW Government will introduce a 10-minute grace period for paid parking from 31 January 2019. The grace period will apply to all New South Wales parking fine issuing authorities, including NSW Government agencies, councils and universities. All councils must comply with these new arrangements.  More... 

NSW Government response to Opal Tower incident
The NSW Minister for Better Regulation has announced a four-point strategy to improve the private certification industry in response to the Opal Tower incident (11 January 2019).  More...

Kaldas Review released
The NSW Government has accepted all 19 recommendations made by former NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas in his recently-published Review of Governance in the Planning System, including local planning panels. The full report is available here (9 January 2019).

New land values for New South Wales released
The land values reflect the property market at 1 July 2018. Land values do not include the value of a home or other structures. The latest land values for all properties in NSW are available on our website along with information on trends, medians and typical land values for each local government area (9 January 2019).  More... 

ICAC: Operation Dasha public inquiry adjourned to 29 January 2019
The Operation Dasha public inquiry into allegations concerning the former Canterbury City Council is adjourned to Tuesday 29 January 2019.  More...

Inland Code commenced 1 January 2019
The NSW Government has released an inland code, allowing one and two storey homes, home renovations and some farm buildings to be treated as complying development. The inland code applies to 69 local government areas and commenced on 1 January 2019.  More...


New South Wales

Office of Local Government v Dwyer [2019] NSWCATOD 12
(1) A hearing be dispensed with pursuant to s 470 of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW).
(2) Grounds One of the application is established.
(3) The respondent is reprimanded.
TRADES AND OCCUPATIONS – Failure to declare pecuniary interest.
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Dispensing with a hearing pursuant to s 470 of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW).

HKArchidraft v Randwick City Council [2019] NSWLEC 1009
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Boarding house – traffic and parking – whether the character of the proposed development is compatible with the local area – whether sight lines for vehicles exiting the site are acceptable.

Falamaki v Council of the City of Ryde [2019] NSWLEC 1007
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Proposal to create dual occupancy (attached – affordable rental housing – whether inconsistency between provisions of Ryde Local Environmental Plan and State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 – compatibility with character of the local area). 

ACN 603 361 940 Pty Ltd v Northern Beaches Council [2019] NSWLEC 1012
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Boarding house – whether the character of the proposed development is compatible with the local area – whether Northern Beaches Hospital Precinct Structure Plan merits weight in evaluation of a development application – whether implementation of the Northern Beaches Hospital Precinct Structure Plan is certain and imminent. 

Longhurst v Randwick City Council [2019] NSWLEC 1011 

DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Strata subdivision – dual occupancy – existing dwellings – consistency with Masterplan – character – precedence.

Blacktown City Council v Everson [2019] NSWLEC 4
SENTENCE – Contempt of court – failure to comply with terms of consent orders to remove scrap materials from premises – plea of guilty – whether contempt wilful or contumacious – in circumstances of intentional and ongoing offending, disregard of Council, amenity impacts and health risk of offence, and contemnor’s deceptive behaviour to Court and counsel, contempt characterised as contumacious – custodial sentence appropriate but for the contemnor’s age and infirmity – ability to pay fine – fine imposed – additional monthly penalty until contempt purged – costs on an indemnity basis. 

Tahany Pty Ltd v Woollahra Municipal Council [2019] NSWLEC 1008
APPEAL – Development application – child care centre – whether unreasonable impact on traffic or parking – whether simulated outdoor play area acceptable – whether outdoor play areas adequate – restraints in utilising play areas in order to control acoustic impact - whether plan of management can be complied with. 

CMT Architects Australia Pty Ltd v Waverley Council [2019] NSWLEC 1001
JOINDER – Application for joinder – statutory tests – issues proposed to be raised by Applicants for Joinder – interests of justice – public interest –  application dismissed. 

Croghan v Blacktown City Council [2019] NSWLEC 2
VALUATION OF LAND – Valuation methodology – whether “piecemeal” or “before and after” approach is most appropriate – degree of flood affectation and effect on development potential – extent to which potential purchaser would seek advice on flood affectation – parameters of “public purpose for which the land was acquired” per s 56(1)(a) of the Valuation of Land (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 – whether statutory disregard in this instance requires that s 94 contributions plan, or SEPP or Council flood mapping, be disregarded – statutory disregard of public purpose applies only to the land that has been acquired – whether changed access arrangements constituted injurious affection – whether any betterment offset injurious affection. 

Hourigan v Howard [2018] NSWLEC 1686
TREES (DISPUTES BETWEEN NEIGHBOURS) – Hedge – obstruction of sunlight not severe. 

Aidop No. 2 Pty Ltd v North Sydney Council [2018] NSWLEC 1661
CONSENT ORDERS – Residential flat building – existing use rights – merits assessment – retention of affordable rental housing. 

McKenzie v Ku-ring-gai Council [2018] NSWLEC 1683
MODIFICATION APPLICATION AND DEVELOPMENT CONTROL ORDER – Change roof cladding material and colour – impact on heritage significance of the heritage conservation area. 

Varlow v Burgess [2018] NSWLEC 1687
TREES (DISPUTES BETWEEN NEIGHBOURS) – Hedge – tiger grass – obstruction of views. 

Chief Executive, Office of Environment and Heritage v Clarence Valley Council [2018] NSWLEC 205
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES – Sentence – knowingly harming an Aboriginal object – culturally modified scar tree – cutting down and removal of scar tree – restorative justice intervention in sentencing process – objective circumstances of the offence – undermining the statutory objects to conserve Aboriginal cultural heritage – significantly increased maximum penalty – substantial harm caused – practical measures to prevent harm – control over causes of offence – offence committed recklessly – medium objective seriousness – subjective circumstances of the offender – lack of prior convictions – early plea of guilty – remorse for the offence – assistance to authorities – unlikely to reoffend – retributive, preventative, reparative and restorative purposes of sentencing – monetary penalty directed to Aboriginal cultural heritage projects – publication and notification orders – order to establish training courses – payment of costs.
SENTENCING – Restorative justice conference – process for – agreement reached – use of conference and agreement in sentencing.

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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