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Inside track: Local Government

06 April 2020

#Local Government

Published by:

Andrew Magoffin

Inside track: Local Government

Deadline for declaring water and sewerage service areas

In May 2019, a new section 161 of the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (Qld) (Act) commenced which requires local governments in Queensland that supply a reticulated water service or sewerage service (Services) in all or part of its local government area (Relevant Councils) to declare service areas for those Services.[1]

For Relevant Councils that had not declared service areas for the Services under the former 161(1) of the Act, they are required to, by resolution, make a certain declaration in relation to those Services by 24 May 2020.

By 24 May 2020, those Relevant Councils must, by resolution, declare:

  • the relevant area to be a service area for the reticulated water service or the sewerage service
  • [the Relevant Council] … to be the service provider for the service in the service area.[2]

For the purposes of this declaration requirement, the “relevant area” is, by definition, that part of a Relevant Council’s local government area (LGA) to which it supplies a reticulated water service or sewerage service.[3] So, at the time of declaring service areas for the Services:

  • each and every property within a Relevant Council’s LGA that is supplied with a reticulated water service must be included in that Relevant Council’s service area for the reticulated water service (Water Service Area)
  • each and every property within a Relevant Council’s LGA that is supplied a sewerage service must be included in that Relevant Council’s service area for the sewerage service (Sewerage Service Area).

Knowing that most, if not all, Relevant Councils will supply some properties with a reticulated water service but not with a sewerage service (and perhaps vice versa), it is recommended that those Relevant Councils resolve to declare two distinct service areas – a Water Service Area and a Sewerage Service Area.

In addition to having to declare service areas pursuant to section 161 of the Act, Relevant Councils will also have to:

  • publish a notice of each declaration
  • make that notice available for inspection and purchase under the Local Government Act 2009 (Qld)
  • give a copy of the notice to the chief executive administering the Act.[4]

Relevant Councils will also be required to:

  • publish and keep a map showing the limits of each service area and the location of the Relevant Council’s infrastructure for each Service
  • update each map at least annually.[5]

Author: Andrew Magoffin

[1] For a list of the Councils to which the requirement applies refer to ‘List of Registered Water Supply and Sewerage Service Providers as at 2 January 2020’ at the following web address here. Note that other legislation applies in South East Queensland (SEQ) and the commentary herein may not be applicable to SEQ Councils.
[2] Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (Qld), s 161(2).
[3] Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (Qld), s 161(1).
[4] Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (Qld), s 162.
[5] Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 (Qld), s 163.

In the media

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2020-21 Financial Assistance Grants
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NSW, Qld diverge on council elections
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Australian councils chase law changes to be able to meet online
The NSW Government has cleared a path for council meetings to be held online, with the Victorian Government now facing similar pressure to act (24 March 2020).  More...

Empty Supermarket Shelves - It’s Not Council Curfews
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ALGA: Councils offer conduit for fast, targeted stimulus with long term benefits
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Council curfews accused of fueling , panic buying
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Local government thrust into COVID19 front line
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Delivery curfews are not impacting supermarket stock
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City of Melbourne approves $10m coronavirus stimulus
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Victorian local government reforms pass
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NSW planning changes let supermarkets operate 24/7
The legislative changes also mean the planning minister can now make an order for any development that protects the health, welfare and safety of the community during the pandemic to proceed without the normal development approvals. It also removes the requirement for councils to display physical copies of planning documents (25 March 2020).  More...

e-Planning to become mandatory from July
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Instructions to councils and other planning authorities on the COVID-19 pandemic
With the impacts of COVID-19 continuing to impact our usual day-to-day functions, it is vital that we work together to do everything we can to support our communities over the weeks and months ahead (19 March 2020).  More...

In practice and courts

Border Control – What does it mean for freight
At the TIC meeting recent border control arrangements and the critical role the freight sector plays in providing essential food supplies of food and medicine. All jurisdictions where restrictions are in place have provided exemptions to these measures to ensure Australia’s supply chains are maintained (27 March 2020).  More... 


Victoria Parliament Tabled Documents
17/03/2020 Municipal Monitor's Report on the Governance and Operations of the Whittlesea City Council  

MAV Submissions
March 2020 Submission to RIS Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations

Local Government Bill
The Victorian Parliament passed the Local Government Bill 2019 on 17 March which affects all 79 councils in Victoria. The Local Government Act 2020 received royal assent on 24 March 2020 and will commence in four stages. Further information on the Local Government Act 2020 is available on the Local Government Victoria website.

Draft Yarra Strategic Plan and Land Use Framework
The Victorian Government is seeking feedback on the draft Yarra Strategic Plan prepared under the Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act 2017. Following a panel process (to commence in April-May 2020) the Yarra Strategic Plan and Land Use Framework will be finalised and given effect in relevant state planning policy and local planning schemes. The draft Plan will now go to a Panel Directions Hearing, followed by public hearings later in the year.  More... 

Coastcare Community Grants now open
Grants of up to $30,000 are available for eligible projects to conserve, restore and rehabilitate Victoria’s coastal and marine environments. Two streams of funding are available to target ecosystem resilience and climate change. Applications close 7 May

Victorian Marine and Coastal Policy released
In partnership with the Association of Bayside Municipalities (ABM), MAV provided a submission on behalf of the 22 coastal councils in August 2019. Work is now underway for a Marine and Coastal Strategy which will be available in March 2021. MAV and the ABM will continue advocating for timely and effective engagement with local government in developing the strategy (27 March 2020).  More...
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning: Local Government Rating System Review
An independent panel is now reviewing all aspects of Victoria’s local government rating system. Their report will be submitted to the Minister for Local Government by 31 March 2020.  More...

Significant Sporting Events Program
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s.186 exemption for council recycling contracts
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E-Waste Grants
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Physical copies of planning documents no longer required
The COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 removed the requirement for planning decision makers (such as councils) to display physical copies of some documents. These documents will now be available online via the NSW Planning Portal. Digital documents include development applications, Environmental Impact Statements on exhibition, registers of development consents, complying development certificates and construction certificates. Current exhibition periods will be unaffected

Business continuity and pandemic plans
Having a current and well-understood business continuity plan is important, especially if absenteeism rates climb in the coming months. Councils can now access template emergency plans to help them manage COVID-19. The following templates have been provided by the City of Sydney for use by all councils:
Pandemic Sub Plan
Business Continuity Plan
Cleansing and Waste Business Continuity Plan
Business Continuity Recovery Team Plan  

(27 March 2020)

Councils and the Coronavirus (COVID‑19)
LGNSW has prepared the following advice on the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus and the role of local government in helping to ensure the safety of our communities (March 2020).  More...

Koala Habitat Protection
The draft Koala Habitat Protection Guideline, developed to support the Koala Habitat Protection SEPP which commenced on 1 March 2020. It aims to guide councils on how to prepare Koala Plans of Management and standardise the process that applicants are to follow, and consent authorities are to implement, when preparing and assessing development applications. The draft Koala Habitat Protection Guideline has been released and is on exhibition until 30 March 2020.  More...

NSW Local Strategic Planning Statements
Edward River Local Strategic Planning Statement 2020
Georges River Local Strategic Planning Statement 2020
The Hills Local Strategic Planning Statement 2020

Office of Local Government Circulars
25 March 2020 20-09 Compliance with social distancing requirements to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus at council and committee meetings

NSW Government Inquiries
The NSW Government’s independent expert inquiry will report on the 2019-20 bushfire season to provide input to NSW ahead of the next bushfire season. The NSW Inquiry will also be travelling to bushfire affected communities. Visit the Inquiry page for the Terms of Reference.  Submissions closed 27 March 2020.



Iaccarino v Hobsons Bay CC [2020] VCAT 385
Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Heritage Overlay HO13, Hannan’s Farm Heritage Precinct; extension to existing dwelling.

Globird Energy Pty Ltd v Campaspe SC [2020] VCAT 343
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Campaspe Planning Scheme; Renewable Energy Facility (Solar Energy Facility); Impact on Irrigated Farmland; Off-Site Amenity Effects; Highway Access.

Plakkit Pty Ltd v Melbourne CC [2020] VCAT 355
Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987; Melbourne Planning Scheme; Signage – Heritage Impact 

B Squared Property Service Pty Ltd v Kingston CC [2020] VCAT 362
Section 80 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Review the conditions contained in the permit; Kingston Planning Scheme; Two dwellings on a lot; Construction of a laneway; Need, nexus, equity, and accountability.

Fourlis v Mornington Peninsula SC [2020] VCAT 361
Construction of two, two storey dwellings. Application under section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 – to review the refusal to grant a permit.

Planning and Design Pty Ltd v Darebin CC [2020] VCAT 376
S77 Planning and Environment Act 1987 – Darebin Planning Scheme – General Residential Zone – construct three dwellings on a lot – neighbourhood character – streetscape.

A Better Design v Maroondah CC [2020] VCAT 359
Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987; Maroondah Planning Scheme; Two dwellings: Built form & landscape outcomes (NRZ3 & SLO3)

O'Connell v Stonnington CC [2020] VCAT 367
Section 80 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Stonnington Planning Scheme; building height; visual bulk; overshadowing 

Caratti v Monash CC [2020] VCAT 371
Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Monash Planning Scheme, General Residential Zone Schedule 3, Impact on trees, Visual bulk, Neighbourhood Character.

Roy v Surf Coast SC [2020] VCAT 349
Sections 80 and 82 Planning and Environment Act 1987, Funeral parlour, General Residential Zone, amenity, hours of operation, reduction in car parking requirements, advertising signs, floodlit.

Quin v East Gippsland SC [2020] VCAT 369
Sections 82 and 80 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Industrial 1 Zone; Proposed use of a gym, and associated works to upgrade existing building; Separate permit application for development to upgrade existing building irrespective of use; Noise, traffic and car parking impacts associated with gym; Drainage impact of general works 

Freddon Pty Ltd v Manningham CC [2020] VCAT 351
4-5 storey apartment building; Need for consolidated lots; Side setbacks and landscaping opportunities; External amenity impact of overlooking; Internal amenity; Reducing visitor car parking. No permit

Lau v Knox CC [2020] VCAT 347
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Knox Planning Scheme, General Residential Zone (GRZ2), no overlay; design response to neighbourhood character and character policy.

Divitkos v Darebin CC [2020] VCAT 373
Application under Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987 to review refusal to grant a permit; Darebin Planning Scheme; Commercial 1 Zone; Design and Development Overlay Schedule 17; five storey building for a shop and four apartments; design response; setbacks and car parking

Tossol v Murrindindi SC [2020] VCAT 346
Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1982 Review, Murrindindi Planning Scheme; Township Zone; proposed service station on an old service station site; policy support, and amenity impact.

Dennis Family Corporation Ashbury Pty Ltd v Greater Geelong CC [2020] VCAT 338
Greater Geelong Planning Scheme; section 80 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; dispute regarding site in an urban growth area on the edge of Geelong; contentious permit condition 30(d); challenge as to whether this condition is unlawful or unreasonable; Tribunal review 

Stonnington CC v Xu [2020] VCAT 366
Section 114 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Stonnington Planning Scheme; Neighbourhood Residential Zone - Schedule 2; Use of the land for group accommodation or rooming house; Whether there is a contravention; Characterisation of the use; Clause 52.23 (Rooming houses); Certificate of Registration – Prescribed Accommodation pursuant to Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008; Application for costs and reimbursement of fees

Swarminatha v Monash CC [2020] VCAT 357
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Monash Planning Scheme; General Residential Zone; Construction of two dwellings; Subdivision into two lots; Policy; ResCode; Car parking design standards

ZODI 2 Pty Ltd v Darebin CC [2020] VCAT 350
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Darebin Planning Scheme. Residential Growth Zone. Design and Development Overlay. Reservoir Structure Plan. Six dwellings (five triple storey and one double storey). Building typology. Off-site amenity 

Chadwick v Greater Dandenong CC [2020] VCAT 319
Section 82 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme; Mixed Use Zone; Restricted Recreation Facility; Music Noise; Traffic and Car Parking; Amenity Impacts.

Lerer v Monash CC [2020] VCAT 315
Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987; Monash Planning Scheme; Three dwellings: Neighbourhood character (GRZ2; Clause 22.01) 

Renoco Homes Pty Ltd v Whitehorse CC [2020] VCAT 280
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Whitehorse Planning Scheme, Significant Landscape Overlay Schedule 9, Neighbourhood Character, Bush Suburban Character Area

Counting House Mornington Pty Ltd v Mornington Peninsula SC [2020] VCAT 152
Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme; section 80 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; existing planning permit for liquor licence; proposed changes to permit including extension of hours to serve liquor outdoors; Tribunal hearing and inspection 

Chapple v Casey CC [2020] VCAT 337
Development and construction of a second detached double storey dwelling on a lot and alterations to the existing single storey dwelling including a carport and tandem car space. Application under section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 – to review the decision to grant a permit

Arici v Moreland CC [2020] VCAT 327
Development of a double storey dwelling to the rear of the existing dwelling. Application under section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 – to review the decision to grant a permit.

O'Toole v Yarra Ranges SC [2020] VCAT 335
The application for a stay under section 149 of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Act 1998 is refused.
The applicant had applied for a planning permit for a dwelling and associated works on land at McMahons Creek.

Ostojic v Greater Geelong CC [2020] VCAT 333
Greater Geelong Planning Scheme; section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; proposal for redevelopment of existing commercial/office site; Council supports proposal but objections made and northern neighbour has brought the project on review to the Tribunal; two Tribunal hearings needed; site inspection; Tribunal dealt with the issue of ‘garden area’ as a oral decision on this issue at the end of the second hearing day; planning merit issues remaining

Fourniotis v Latrobe CC [2020] VCAT 329
Application under Section 82 of Planning and Environment Act 1987. Latrobe Planning Scheme. Commercial 2 Zone. Addition to existing building for use as restricted retail premises. Car parking. Site layout and built form.

Pisevski v Banyule CC [2020] VCAT 328
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, replace existing bungalow dwelling with two storey dwelling to rear of existing retained dwelling, neighbourhood character, car parking and access, offsite amenity impacts

Merry v Knox CC [2020] VCAT 323
Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Knox Planning Scheme, Rural Conservation Zone; proposed restaurant; amenity impact on nearby dwelling

13 Mountain Street Pty Ltd v Port Phillip [2020] VCAT 321
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Port Phillip Planning Scheme; Neighbourhood Residential Zone Schedule 1; Heritage Overlay 442; extension to existing dwelling; neighbourhood character; heritage; amenity impacts 

Grinstead-Jones v Latrobe CC [2020] VCAT 340
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; LatrobePlanning Scheme; Farming Zone; Environmental Significance Overlay - urban buffer (coal resource); land size; dwelling; determination of agricultural land use.

Owners Corporation Pf412778j v Melbourne CC [2020] VCAT 309
Melbourne Planning Scheme; Shrine Vista built form controls; Schedule 19 to the Design and Development Overlay; interface of development to Fawkner Park; attractiveness and visual amenity of Fawkner Park; shadowing of Fawkner Park. 

Zhang v Yarra Ranges SC [2020] VCAT 300
The permit allows: Use of the land for the sale of packaged liquor.

Application under Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 – to review the refusal to grant a permit.

Remington v Hume CC [2020] VCAT 283
Section 82 Planning and Environment Act 1987, Hume Planning Scheme, Hume Growth Corridor, Farming Zone, Place of Worship, future urban use of land, land within the urban growth boundary, traffic, car parking, provision for on-site wastewater disposal, landscaping, character, noise, amenity, light glare.

Willis v Stonnington CC [2020] VCAT 260
Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Stonnington Planning Scheme; Neighbourhood Residential Zone; Neighbourhood Character Overlay; Dwellings; Neighbourhood character. No permit


Mohammed Abed v Canterbury-Bankstown Council [2020] NSWDC 55
NEGLIGENCE – contributory negligence – plaintiff fell into pothole when stepping off pathway – whether contributory negligence is made out in plaintiff’s failure to take precautions and look down before stepping off pathway
DAMAGES – assessment of damages – personal injury – non-economic loss – past and future out of pocket expenses – future domestic assistance

Warnervale Employment Zone Pty Ltd v Central Coast Council [2020] NSWLEC 1139
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – construction of a two storey warehouse including landscaping works and at-grade parking for 96 cars and use as a distribution centre – no expert evidence filed by applicant – no owners consent for works to provide vehicular access to the site on adjoining property – the proposal is designated development – insufficient information to determine whether the land is contaminated – leave refused to amend the application 

Sybele Christopher v Mosman Council [2020] NSWLEC 1140
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – dwelling house – clause 4.6 variations for wall height and minimum lot size – view impacts – minor boundary adjustment (subdivision) – objections

Celesteem Rouse Hill Development v Blacktown City Council [2020] NSWLEC 1137
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION ¬– subdivision into 3 lots to reflect uses in different zones – further subdivision of residential land for attached dwellings on Torrens title lots – required road reserve width – impacts of roads, paths and temporary basin in RE1 (recreational) land – requirement for turning circles on incomplete roads – treatment of interface lots

Lake Macquarie City Council v SCE Resources Pty Ltd trading as Steelstone [2020] NSWSC 279
PROCEDURE – Application to amend List Statement – Where substantial delay in seeking amendment – Where no real explanation for the delay – Whether no prejudice arises from delay – Question whether limitation period for cause of action with damages as essential component has expired – Question whether claim as sought to be made satisfies Civil Procedure Act 2005, s 65(2)(c) – Question whether Court should otherwise order under s 65(3) – Questions not to be decided on an interlocutory basis.




Local Government Act 2020
Act Number: 9/2020 Date of assent: 24 March 2020
The purpose of this Act is to give effect to section74A(1) of the Constitution Act 1975which provides that local government is a distinct and essential tier of government consisting of democratically elected Councils having the functions and powers that the Parliament considers are necessary to ensure the peace, order and good government of each municipal district.

Local Government (Whittlesea City Council) Act 2020
Act Number: 7/2020 Date of assent 20 March 2020


Local Government (Whittlesea City Council) Bill 2020
Date of second reading speech: 17 March 2020
Victorian legislation can be accessed here


Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Public Health Amendment (Penalty Notices) Regulation 2020 (2020-109) — published LW 25 March 2020

Environmental Planning Instruments
State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) Amendment (State Significant Development) 2020 (2020-94) — published LW 16 March 2020

Proclamations commencing Acts
Better Regulation Legislation Amendment Act 2019 No 23 (2020-85) — Proclamation is to commence an amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 that excludes the application of that Act to certain short-term rental accommodation arrangements unless the person given the right to occupy the premises under the arrangement, commencing 23 March 2020

Bills introduced Government

COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020
Local Government Act 1993 No 30Schedule 2.12[1] and [2] enable the Minister for Local Government to postpone the requirements relating to the holding of ordinary council elections and by-elections if the Minister believes that it is reasonable to do so. The provisions are repealed after 12 months. Schedule 2.12[3] removes the need for persons to attend council meetings. The meetings may be held remotely by audio visual link or in any other manner approved by the Minister for Local Government. Members of the public are to be given access to the meeting by webcast or in any other manner approved by the Minister. The provision applies for a minimum period of 6 months and may apply for a total of 12 months if the regulations prescribe a longer period. Schedule2.12[3] also contains a power for regulations under the Local Government Act 1993 to modify the application of that Act for the purposes of responding to the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

Treasury Legislation Amendment (COVID-19) Bill 2020

Bills revised following amendment in Committee
COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament
Better Regulation and Customer Service Legislation Amendment (Bushfire Relief) Bill 2020
COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020
Treasury Legislation Amendment (COVID-19) Bill 2020

Bills assented to
COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 No 1 — Assented to 25 March 2020
Treasury Legislation Amendment (COVID-19) Act 2020 No 2 — Assented to 25 March 2020
Better Regulation and Customer Service Legislation Amendment (Bushfire Relief) Act 2020 No 3 — Assented to 25 March 2020

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:

Andrew Magoffin

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