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Inside track: Local Government

06 October 2020

#Local Government

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Inside track: Local Government

Challenge to Queensland’s mayoral election result thrown out: Lessons for candidates

Queensland’s quadrennial local government elections were held on 28 March, just when the COVID-19 pandemic had taken hold. Mark Jamieson, Mayor of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council since 2012, was easily re-elected to office with over 49 per cent of the first preference votes, and 57 per cent after preferences. But the fourth-placed candidate – Donald Innes, who polled 6.6 per cent of the vote – thought differently, and challenged the result in the Court of Dispute Returns.

Holding Redlich acted for Mr Jamieson and, after six months of to and fro, the court has comprehensively rejected Mr Innes’ challenge to the Sunshine Coast Mayoral contest and his broader claims of impropriety across the entire Queensland local government election.

Mr Innes’ primary gripe was that the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) had bungled postal voting and other forms of non-attendance voting, disenfranchising thousands of electors who otherwise could have voted and, he even claimed, would have voted for him.

Does this sound familiar to claims coming out of Washington recently?

At the heart of his complaint was Mr Innes’ belief that the whole local government election should have been postponed because of the health risks of attendance voting. He also aimed specifically at Mr Jamieson, alleging he was not properly nominated, had “leveraged the COVID crisis” to his own advantage and was involved in a cover-up after the election.

Mr Innes also claimed the Chief Health Officer had improperly involved herself in the election and influenced voters to Mr Innes’ disadvantage.

Unfortunately for Mr Innes, the Court took the (hardly surprising) view that the first step necessary to overturn an election result was to have evidence of some breach of the electoral laws. Bald assertions of unfairness and Facebook scuttlebutt were not proof, and Mr Innes could not get his claims over the line simply by alleging that everyone else involved in the election process had got it wrong.

The court found no evidence of the postal voting process being “all over the shop” as he claimed, no impropriety by Mr Jamieson before or during or after polling day, and no improper conduct by the Chief Health Officer or any other government agencies involved in the election.

Takeaways

A couple of things stand out from this protracted litigation.

For councillors, the raft of allegations about Mark Jamieson’s conduct highlights how rocky the path to becoming an elected representative in local government is and how easy it would be to trip on one of them without careful planning. Mr Innes made allegations about the accuracy of the Mayor’s register of interests, his nomination documents, his role in decision making during the caretaker period process, his family’s role in his campaign, about receiving prohibited donations, and even a claim that the Mayor was prohibited from standing for office because he was a property developer.

All of those issues (and more) are potential tripwires that aspiring and successful candidates have to be aware of before, during and after their campaigns to ensure you comply with the range of regulatory obligations surrounding local government election processes and your on-going disclosure obligations.

Fortunately for Mark Jamieson, he had all his ducks in a row, so that even a glitch in the ECQ computerised nomination process could not put a dent in his compliance arrangements, and the court had no trouble rejecting all the allegations levelled against him as incorrect or irrelevant.

Not only were all those claims thrown out, but in doing so the court also confirmed that it will take a narrow approach to attempts to overturn election results under the local government election statutes. The only way to overturn an allegation is to prove specific breaches of the legislation or widespread corruption – a shotgun approach of making broad allegations of unfairness will not get a challenger anywhere other than facing a costs order for engaging in unjustified litigation.

That judicial conservatism provides a level of certainty to councillors in their election results, so they can be confident that even close election victories cannot be attacked by frivolous allegations.

Finally, the 2020 local government elections were the first in Australia to be conducted in the midst of the international pandemic. They have demonstrated that elections can be conducted in different, and potentially better ways, by the electoral authorities in the new world we are all facing.

Probably more importantly, the voting pattern in the election – only a small fall in overall participation but a massive increase in demand for postal, telephone and pre-poll voting – demonstrated how Australian electors will choose to exercise their precious democratic right when given the choice in the era of social distancing.

The Queensland State election poll is scheduled for 31 October, but it may well be that it will be the first election that is largely conducted, and even decided, well before that poll date as COVID-19 drives an explosion in convenience voting.

Author: David Quinn

In the media

Government placed losing bet on copper network, says former NBN boss
The federal government’s announcement of a plan to deliver super fast internet by fibre to millions of homes and businesses is an admission it got it wrong the first time round, the former NBN boss says (24 September 2020).  More...

Victoria

Register your pool now to help save lives
The Government introduced new regulations in December last year to make swimming pools and spas safer and prevent young children from drowning. The regulations include new requirements for owners to register their swimming pools and spas with their local council by 1 November 2020 with a one-off fee of up to $79 (28 September 2020).  More...

Database links government with startups
Victoria’s startup agency LaunchVic has unveiled a free, open-source database of Victorian startups. The new database is designed as a dedicated source of real time information for founders, investors, corporates and government (24 September 2020).  More...

Lack of candidates renders voting redundant in some Victorian councils
Ratepayers across Victoria will be voting in council elections next month, but not those living in the Western Victoria shire of Northern Grampians (24 September 2020).  More...

A makeover for Melbourne’s laneways
The Victorian Government is backing revitalisation works in Melbourne’s iconic laneways, creating scores of new jobs and ensuring the city will be at its best when crowds return to the heart of the capital (22 September 2020).  More...

Councillors cry poor over allowances
A survey by Victoria's Local Government Inspectorate has found that while councillors are fairly happy with the resources and facilities provided to them, it's a different story when it comes to allowances. The findings are contained in a new report on councillor expenses and allowances released by Victoria’s Local Government Inspectorate (21 September 2020).  More...

Fired CEO takes council to court, accusing shire of bias
Peter Schneider is suing Warrnambool City Council for unfair dismissal after he was fired as its chief executive just 18 months into the job (17 September 2020).  More...

Melbourne council to refund ‘unfair’ parking fines
Melbourne council to refund more than 1,000 'unfair' parking fines after drivers confuse letter O with zero Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp admits there needs to be "more fairness and common sense" in the parking fine system and agrees to more than 1,000 fines, following an investigation by the Victorian Ombudsman (16 September 2020).  More...

Better buildings for a more sustainable city
City of Melbourne Councillors will consider proposed changes to the planning scheme to deliver more sustainable buildings, which will lead to lower energy and water bills and a more sustainable and resilient city (14 September 2020).  More...

Queensland

Howard Smith Wharves takes out two national planning awards
The wharves, under the Story Bridge, have become a go-to destination for Brisbane residents. Howard Smith Wharves chief executive Luke Evans said the transformation of the disused site was a "city-shaping project" that had promoted Brisbane on a national and international stage (24 September 2020).  More...

Council launches new green buildings infrastructure incentive
Brisbane City Council has launched a new green buildings incentive policy to support and encourage development of greener and more energy efficient buildings across Brisbane. Tthe Brisbane Green Buildings Incentive Policy will offer eligible applicants a 50 per cent rebate on infrastructure charges paid for Council networks (23 September 2020).  More...

In Practice and Courts

ALGA National State of the Assets 2021
Councils providing data for the NSoA report can download an asset performance report. It's a quick win for LGs wanting to reinforce the important asset stewardship role they perform on behalf of their communities (25 September 2020).  More...

Call for data for the 2021 National State of Assets report
ALGA is calling for councils to be part of the 2021 National State of the Assets report update. ALGA and the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia have begun work on updating the National State of the Assets (NSoA) report and are asking councils from across Australia to volunteer their asset performance data. A high participation rate will enhance NSoA’s value as an advocacy tool for the local government sector at a national level (September 2020).

Crumb rubber road funding
Tyre Stewardship Australia is calling for expressions of interest from councils and organisations interested in funding support to utilise crumb rubber in low traffic asphalt roads across Australia.. $250,000 is available and applications close 30 September. For more information about the TSA funding opportunity visit the TSA website

$13 million pest and weed control grants
The Australian Government has announced the opening of the $13 million Advancing Pest Animal and Weed Control Solutions competitive grant round. Applications close 25 September. Project applications must target invasive species that are not endemic to Australia or a particular part of Australia. Visit the Community Grants Hub WebsiteGrantConnect website or the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment's website for more information.

Regional Connectivity Program: Funding applications
Examples of projects that could be funded under the Program include upgrades to mobile infrastructure to improve community access to telehealth, remote education and retail internet and phone services, or the development of enterprise-grade broadband networks. Register potential projects on the noticeboard. Applications close on 20 October 2020. Go to the Commonwealth’s central grants website for guidelines.

National heavy vehicle regulation impact statement
A summary of these changes on pages 18-21 of the RIS Guide and read about the full details in the RIS itself. We are keen to understand council views on these proposals to ensure that councils rights as road managers are not overridden in any way. Submissions close in December 2020.  More...

TIC and the Department of Infrastructure Consultation: Proposed changes to the way heavy vehicle charges are set and invested
A Consultation Paper issued examines the way heavy vehicle charges are currently set and looking to ensure they better reflect the levels of service delivered by government to the industry. This will have long-term potential impacts on how council managed road networks are funded into the future. Consultation or for written submission swill be open until at least the end of September 2020.  More... 

Victoria

Smart planning PPF translation update
Smart Planning continues to work with councils on their Planning Policy Framework (PPF) translations. To date, PPF translations have been gazetted for Murrindindi, French Island and Sandstone Island, Glenelg, Moonee Valley, Golden Plains, Southern Grampians and Colac-Otway. The PPF translation project is time bound and all planning schemes must be translated by 30 June 2021. Information on preparing for your PPF translation is available on the Smart Planning website.

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.(24 September 2020).

Last chance to stand for council
The City of Melbourne (Electoral) and Local Government (Electoral) Amendments Regulations 2020 came into operation on 2 September 2020 and end on 26 April 2021. The amendments to the Electoral Regulations apply to candidate nomination and scrutineer provisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local Government elections
The Victorian Government has released its mandatory Local Government Candidate Training course. The Local Government Act 2020 requires prospective candidates to complete the course in order to be eligible to nominate with the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC). This requirement also applies to all serving or former councillors intending to nominate.
The MAV is also continuing to deliver our Stand for Council Community and Candidate Information Sessions for prospective candidates and community members. Forty-four sessions have been delivered to date, with around 700 participants.
The VEC has published its COVIDSafe Election Plan, describing how it will ensure council elections will be safe and accessible for all participants. The Plan identifies a range of issues, including that the Electoral Commissioner has sought authority to vary the requirement for a candidate to sign the declaration on their nomination form in the presence of the Election Manager where a candidate is displaying symptoms indicating they may be unwell or is required to self-isolate. The VEC will post ballot packs to enrolled voters in early October.

COVID-19 update
On 2 August, the Premier announced Victoria is in a State of Disaster and Stage 4 restrictions are in place for metropolitan Melbourne and Stage 3 restrictions are in place for regional Victoria until at least 13 September.
The Metropolitan councils have worked quickly over the last week to identify the essential services they deliver which require staff to travel or attend on-site workplaces, and develop and implement COVID-19 Safe Plans. Staff have also been issued with permitted worker permits where travel and on-site work attendance is required. Rural and regional councils have had to implement Stage 3 restrictions, including mandatory wearing of face-coverings in public and closure of libraries and other community services.

Reimagining Health Grants
The new VicHealth Reimagining Health Grants will open on 16 September and aim to inspire application ideas that reimagine health and wellbeing in 2020 and 2021. VicHealth is encouraging applicants to submit on or as close to 16 September to have the opportunity to get assessed and notified early. Then funds could be provided more than two months ahead of those who wait until the closing date.

Community sport sector short-term survival package
Applications are now open for round two of the $40 million Community Sport Sector Short-term Survival Package. The grants are available to help community sporting clubs and associations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications close 16 October.

Streamlining for Growth Program
The Victorian Government has renewed the Streamlining for Growth program for the 2020/21 Financial Year. Continuing programs like this was a major focus of our advocacy to the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce and will assist councils in progressing vital strategic work. This round of funding will focus on projects to help stimulate investment and economic growth in response to COVID-19 and bushfires. Applications close 9 October.

Sustainable infrastructure fund grants
Grants of up to $300,000 are open to local councils and alpine resort management boards to use recycled materials such as glass, paper, cardboard, plastics and rubber to build new infrastructure including roads, footpaths, outdoor park equipment, drainages and cycleways. For more information and to apply for the grants visit here. Applications close 8 October.

Minister’s good practice guideline MGPG-1: Virtual meetings
Issued by the Minister for Local Government pursuant to section 87 of the Local Government Act 2020.
The Victorian Government’s COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 has introduced into the Local Government Act 2020(the Act) new mechanisms that allows for virtual council meetings – to ensure local government decision-making can continue during the coronavirus pandemic. These new measures will be in force from 1 May 2020 until 1 November 2020.  More...

City of Melbourne
View all current tenders
See Tenders for more information on the tendering process and procurement policy, closed and awarded tenders (August – September 2020).

s.186 exemption for council recycling contracts
The Victorian Local Government Minister has announced a state-wide s.186 exemption for local councils to extend their recycling collection contracts to 30 June 2021. Here is a copy of the letter sent to all councils co-signed by Minister Somyurek and the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP.

SRO: Register interest for HomeBuilder
Victoria has signed up to the National Partnership Agreement that facilitates the HomeBuilder scheme. Eligible recipients will be able to access grants of up to $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. We encourage you to register for our HomeBuilder email subscription service so that you can receive progress updates. For more information visit the Australian Government's HomeBuilder website.

Approvals
Bayside C126bays implements the recommendations of the Bayside Small Activity Centres Strategy (2014) by making consequential changes to the Municipal Strategic Statement, introducing new schedules to the Design and Development Overlay for 32 neighbourhood activity centres and amending the schedule to Clause 52.28 (Gaming).
Boroondara C321boro facilitates the redevelopment of the Markham Housing Estate at 10 Markham Avenue, Ashburton by applying the Specific Controls Overlay – Schedule 5 to the site and introducing the associated Markham Housing Estate Incorporated Document, May 2020; amending the Schedule to Clause 72.01 – Responsible Authority for this Planning Scheme to make the Minister for Planning the Responsible Authority for the site; amending the Schedule to Clause 72.03 – What does this planning scheme consist of? to insert Map 19SCO; and amending the Schedule to Clause 72.04 – Documents Incorporated in this Planning Scheme to introduce the Incorporated Document Markham Housing Estate Incorporated Document, May 2020.
Casey C277case applies the Specific Controls Overlay 10 to additional project land in Lynbrook required for the Cranbourne Line Upgrade project, to allow the use and development of the land in accordance with the Cranbourne Line Upgrade Incorporated Document, February 2020.
Melbourne C368melb amends Schedule 1 to the Special Use Zone to move ‘Telecommunication facility’ from ‘Section 3 – Prohibited’ to ‘Section 2 – Permit required’ in the Table of uses.
Moonee Valley C214moon extends interim mandatory maximum building height controls for the Moonee Ponds Activity Centre (Precincts 1-8) until 31 May 2021 by amending Schedule 1 to the Activity Centre Zone.
Moyne C66moyn makes corrections to remove inconsistencies and technical errors in local schedules of the Moyne Planning Scheme to ensure compliance with the Victoria Planning Provisions and the Ministerial Direction on the Form and Content of Planning Schemes as part of the Smart Planning Program administered by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Warrnambool C206warr applies a Specific Controls Overlay to 69-75 Mortlake Road, Warrnambool to facilitate the development of 68 dwellings and associated facilities, use and development of a medical centre, food and drink premises, takeaway food premises and construction of an access to a Road Zone Category 1; amends the Schedule to Clause 72.03, the Schedule to Clause 72.04 to insert incorporated document, “69-75 Mortlake Road, Warrnambool, Incorporated Document August 2020” and inserts Planning Scheme Map No. 9SCO to apply SCO6 to the subject land.
Ballarat C216ballpt2 rezones land at 15 Lake View Court, Ballarat North, from Public Park and Recreation Zone to Schedule 1 to the General Residential Zone.
Cardinia C241card applies the Public Acquisition Overlay 3 to five parcels of land to facilitate intersection development in accordance with the Officer Precinct Structure Plan and Officer Development Contributions Plan.
Corangamite C52cora replaces the Local Planning Policy Framework of the Corangamite Planning Scheme with a new Municipal Planning Strategy at Clause 02, a modified Planning Policy Framework at Clauses 11-19, and a selected number of local schedules of overlays, particular provisions and operational provisions in a manner consistent with changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions introduced by Amendment VC148.
Greater Dandenong C226gdan applies a Specific Controls Overlay (SCO11) to 27 Wilma Avenue, Dandenong to facilitate the development of a three-storey residential building consisting 10 dwellings for low-income Aboriginal people in Victoria, and makes associated changes to the planning scheme.
Greater Geelong C420ggee applies an interim Heritage Overlay to the land at 12-16 Kinsmead Street, Waurn Ponds until 31 December 2021.
Moreland C206more rezones land at 49 Sages Road, Glenroy from Industrial 1 Zone to Public Use Zone Schedule 5 and modifies the schedule to the Public Use Zone to apply conditions to development of the site, to facilitate its use for cemetery.
Mount Alexander C93malx alters the planning scheme maps and the Schedule to the Heritage Overlay so that the Mount Alexander Planning Scheme is consistent with the Victorian Heritage Register.

Exhibitions
Baw Baw C139bawb proposes to translate the Baw Baw Planning Scheme into the new Planning Policy Framework at Clauses 10-19 and Municipal Planning Strategy at Clause 2 introduced to the Victoria Planning Provisions by Amendment VC148. It also updates local schedules throughout the planning scheme to conform to the current form and content requirements. A limited policy change is proposed, mainly to correct errors and inadequacies of the existing local provisions.

Queensland

Walkable Neighbourhoods
The Queensland Government has introduced the Mandatory Planning (Walkable Neighbourhoods) Amendment Regulation 2020. The new benchmarks may be overridden by local government planning schemes that enforce a stricter criteria. The benchmarks will apply to any subdivisions that:
- Are in a residential (excluding rural residential or similar zone) tourism accommodation, emerging community or mixed-use zone
- Have a single lot dedicated for residential purposes
- Include the creation of roads or extension to existing roads
The regulation will apply to all Development Applications lodged after September 28 2020. To find out more about the Mandatory Planning (Walkable Neighbourhoods) Amendment Regulation 2020 and the supporting technical documents, please click here. (September 2020).

Queensland planning legislation
Urgent amendments to the Planning legislation are in effect to address concerns raised by a range of stakeholders, including local government and industry, in response to the COVID-19. The Minister for Planning has extended the COVID-19 emergency applicable event to 31 October 2020.  More...

Cases

Kimon Stamoglou v Banyule City Council [2020] FWC 4722
Fair Work Act 2009 s.394—Unfair dismissal
Application for an unfair dismissal remedy dismissed.

Victoria

Anderson v Stonnington City Council [No 2] [2020] VSCA 238
COSTS – Unsuccessful appeal – Applicability of planning scheme amendment to development works in progress – Appeal raised issues of general significance to planning law – Whether departure from ordinary rule as to costs warranted by public interest considerations – Mere presence of public interest considerations does not compel costs result – Any public interest tangential to appellants’ primary purpose of private gain – Legal issues raised resolved by application of well-established principles – Any public benefit diminished on appeal – No departure from ordinary rule warranted – Oshlack v Richmond River Council [1998] HCA 11; (1998) 193 CLR 72, considered. 

Howard Finance Pty Ltd v Yarra City Council [2020] VSC 610
PROPERTY – Declarations sought that lane is not a public highway - Onus of proof - Whether presumption of dedication arose from long use by the public - Whether rebutted by evidence including as to installation of gate(s) - Alternatively whether lane was a road by reason of being a right of way under the Local Government Act 1989 (Vic) s 3 - No declarations made – Anderson v City of Stonnington [2017] VSCA 229; (2017) 227 LGERA 176 applied – Mayberry v Mornington Peninsula Shire Council (2019) 59 VR 383 cited – Road Management Act 2004 (Vic) s 3, sch 5 sub-cls 1(4), 1(5).

910 Donnybrook Road Pty Ltd v Whittlesea CC [2020] VCAT 1066
Whittlesea Planning Scheme; Application pursuant to Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987; Urban Growth Zone (UGZ); Shenstone Park PSP; Two lot subdivision; Lot boundary; Collector Road; Permit conditions.

Do v Greater Dandenong CC [2020] VCAT 1063
Develop and construct three double storey dwellings on land at 16 Callaghan Street Noble Park (the review site)
Application under section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 – to review the refusal to grant a permit.

A & V Holdings Pty Ltd v Stonnington CC [2020] VCAT 1048
Amendment to existing approved plans, additional storey to mixed use building, reduced car parking provision, visual bulk 

Caldeed Pty Ltd v Moreland CC [2020] VCAT 1058
Pursuant to section 149A of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, and in lieu of the declaration sought by the applicant, the Tribunal determines and declares that the works undertaken by the applicant on the land in the period prior to 4 November 2019, insofar as those works comprise the removal of underground storage tanks, and the excavation, stockpiling, removal and replacement of soil/fill, are not demolition works, but are properly characterised as ‘remediation works’.

Osky Properties Pty Ltd v Darebin CC [2020] VCAT 1052
Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987; Darebin Planning Scheme; Five dwellings – RGZ3, DDO18

Elbodon v Hobsons Bay CC [2020] VCAT 1049
Application under Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; review of refusal to grant a permit; Hobsons Bay Planning Scheme; General Residential Zone; Heritage Overlay; part demolition and alterations and extensions to the existing dwelling; neighbourhood character; heritage values and amenity

Coad v Whitehorse CC [2020] VCAT 1059
Application under section 79 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Review the failure to grant a permit within the prescribed time; Neighbourhood Residential Zone – Schedule 2 (NRZ2); Significant Landscape Overlay – Schedule 9 (SLO9); Neighbourhood character; Bush Suburban 1 precinct; Landscaping.

HSB Capital Pty Ltd v Melbourne CC [2020] VCAT 1021
Section 79 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Melbourne Planning Scheme; Mixed Use Zone; Heritage Overlay HO3; Mandatory Height Limit; Built Form; Response to Laneway Setting; Vehicle and Pedestrian Movement; Equitable Development Opportunities; Off-Site Amenity Impacts.

Bracha Investments (Lansell Road Land) Pty Ltd v Stonnington CC [2020] VCAT 1007
Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Stonnington Planning Scheme; General Residential Zone- Schedule 8; Apartments; Neighbourhood Character; Amenity.

Pezzimenti v Darebin CC [2020] VCAT 1006
To construct four, two storey dwellings. Application under section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 – to review the decision to grant a permit.

Sargeant v Manningham CC [2020] VCAT 879
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Manningham Planning Scheme; General Residential Zone; building bulk; building height; building setbacks; neighbourhood character; space for landscaping; partial reverse living configuration.

Amanda and Claudia Pty Ltd v Darebin CC [2020] VCAT 1047
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Darebin Planning Scheme; General Residential Zone Schedule 2; Development Contributions Overlay Schedule 1; Construction of five dwellings; Planning Policy; Design Response; Impact on the amenity of adjoining owners.

Zha v Maroondah CC [2020] VCAT 1043
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic); Maroondah Planning Scheme; Neighbourhood Residential Zone, Schedule 3; Significant Landscape Overlay, Schedule 3; Neighbourhood Character; Landscaping; Overlooking.

Maynard v Monash CC [2020] VCAT 1045
Monash Planning Scheme; built form assessment on land within a higher order activity centre and a Residential Growth Zone; transition of built form at the interface between a Residential Growth Zone and a General Residential Zone; visual bulk impacts from a four storey apartment building.

Hill-Noble v Wangaratta RCC [2020] VCAT 1041
Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic); Wangaratta Planning Scheme; Farming Zone; Floodway Overlay; Land Subject to Inundation Overlay; Bushfire Management Overlay; Fertiliser storage, distribution and sales; Noise and dust impacts. 

Galdes v Melton CC [2020] VCAT 1044
Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Melton Planning Scheme; Residential Growth Zone; Construction of nine dwellings; Character; Visual Bulk; Landscaping; Substantial Change Area; Visitor Parking.

Kachami v Wyndham CC [2020] VCAT 1042
Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987; Wyndham Planning Scheme; Urban Growth Zone Schedule 4; Development Contributions Plan Overlay Schedule 11; Construction of two storey mixed use building; whether use is consistent with the PSP; planning policy; neighbourhood character; Internal Amenity; Parking arrangements

KM Construct Ashburton Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC [2020] VCAT 1034
Amend permit conditions 1 and all subsets, 3 and all subsets, 6 and all subsets, 14, 18, 19, 24 and 30.
Application under section 80 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Trajcevski v Melton SC [2020] VCAT 1033
Melton Planning Scheme; repeat appeal principles; construction of medium density housing in a Residential Growth Zone; relevance of existing character in a Residential Growth Zone; built form outcomes in the Residential Growth Zone under the Melton Planning Scheme. 

Joenz Property Consultants Pty Ltd v Yarra CC [2020] VCAT 1030
Section 87A of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Yarra Planning Scheme, Commercial 1 Zone, Heritage Overlay; amend permit to allow one additional storey; heritage and design considerations

Pomeleigh Farm Pty Ltd v Mornington Peninsula SC [2020] VCAT 1029
Application under section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Review the refusal to grant a permit; Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme; Green Wedge Zone – Schedule 3 (GWZ3); Environmental Significance Overlay – Schedule 3 (Central Peninsula) (ESO3) and Schedule 28 (Mornington Peninsula Bushland) (ESO28); Significant Landscape Overlay – Schedule 1 (Ridge and Escarpment Areas) (SLO1); Clause 52.21 Private Tennis Court; Padel court; Loss and fragmentation of agricultural land.

Oleczek v Boroondara CC [2020] VCAT 1028
Section 82 Planning and Environment Act 1987 – Heritage Overlay – demolition – replacement dwelling – integration with heritage streetscape – impact on adjoining ‘contributory’ building.

Great Southern Waste Technologies Pty Ltd v Greater Dandenong CC [2020] VCAT 1024
Section 79 Planning and Environment Act 1987 – Industrial 2 Zone – waste to energy facility – Works Approval required – appropriate location – impact on amenity of area.

Adams v Yarra CC [2020] VCAT 971
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Demolition, Overshadowing, Amenity impacts, car stacker, Overlooking, Clause 22.02, Clause 54. No permit.

Bull v Moonee Valley CC [2020] VCAT 1027
Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Moonee Valley Planning Scheme. General Residential Zone. Indoor recreation facility (escape room). Off-site amenity impacts. Car parking.

De Sanctis v Mornington Peninsula SC [2020] VCAT 1026
Construction of two double storey dwellings. Dwelling 1 to have street frontage to South Road and Dwelling 2 to face Wattle Road. Application under section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 – to review the refusal to grant a permit. 

Najee v Hepburn SC [2020] VCAT 1020
Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987; Hepburn Planning Scheme; Medium density housing: Neighbourhood character (DDO4 & NCO1) No permit.

Walshe v Boroondara CC [2020] VCAT 1016
Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, existing food and drink premises (café), extended operating hours, sale and consumption of liquor, amenity.

Davies v Mornington Peninsula SC [2020] VCAT 1012
Application under Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; review of refusal to amend a permit; Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme; alteration of access of front dwelling to a Road Zone Category 1; referral authority objection and traffic safety.

Gatt v Mornington Peninsula SC [2020] VCAT 1011
Application under Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; review of refusal to grant a permit; General Residential Zone; three double storey dwellings; Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme; Mornington Peninsula Localised Planning Statement; Housing and Settlement Strategy Refresh; neighbourhood character; overdevelopment and design response 

Burrows Street Pty Ltd v Bayside CC [2020] VCAT 1010
Application under Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987; review of refusal to grant a permit; Bayside Planning Scheme; General Residential Zone; three storey apartment building for six dwellings and front fence; moderate residential growth area; neighbourhood character; interface transition; visual amenity and tree protection.

View Holding Group Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC [2020] VCAT 1002
Amendment to permit – section 87A Planning and Environment Act 1987 - change from Dwellings to Student accommodation – impermissible transformation – characterisation of use – impacts on amenity – increase in building height under Design and Development Overlay (Schedule 17) – waiver of car parking.

Vicinity Centres Pty Ltd v Hobsons Bay CC [2020] VCAT 980
Section 79 Planning and Environment Act 1987, Commercial 1 Zone, Major Promotion Sign, Electronic Sign, sky sign, visual impact, clutter.

Deal (LG) Pty Ltd v Darebin CC [2020] VCAT 966
Section 149(1) Planning and Environment Act 1987, Amended Development Plan, building height, consistency with North East Corridor Strategic Plan, existing context, consideration of an adopted masterplan of a public authority. 

NJAI Pty Ltd v Stonnington CC [2020] VCAT 1003
Four-storey apartment building; Substantial Change Area; Residential Growth Zone Schedule 2; Neighbourhood Character; Amenity.

Farkas v Melbourne CC [2020] VCAT 996
Sections 77, 81(1) and 97P of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic); Application for extension of 15 year expiry of permit for a major promotion sign; Whether expiry condition can be extended by the Tribunal under section 85(1)(f) of the Act. 

Brady v Bayside CC [2020] VCAT 1022
Bayside Planning Scheme; Neighbourhood Residential Zone Schedule 3; Extension of a dwelling on a lot less than 500 square metres; Front fence exceeding 1.2 metres in height; Massing; Visual bulk; Neighbourhood character; Landscaping. 

Nepean Conservation Group Inc. v Mornington Peninsula SC [2020] VCAT 990
Application for review by an objector to the grant of a permit. Section 82 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987. Mornington Peninsula Shire planning scheme. Demolition and construction of jetty at Sorrento. Access along foreshore. Impact on coastal views. Private use of public infrastructure.

PCRDM Pty Ltd v Wyndham CC [2020] VCAT 987
Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Wyndham Planning Scheme; Truganina Employment Precinct Structure Plan; Urban Growth Zone; Industrial 3 Zone; Use of land for Restaurant.

Rodden v Melbourne CC [2020] VCAT 995
Application for review pursuant to section 79 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, heritage issues, proposed amendment C258 and C309, neighbourhood character.

Legislation

Victoria

Acts
COVID-19 Commercial and Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Extension) Act 2020 (Vic)
Date of assent: 22 September 2020 Act Number: 25/2020
Retail Leases Amendment Act 2020 (Vic)
Date of assent: 22 September 2020Act Number: 26/2020

Statutory Rules
No 95 Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Emergency Measures) Amendment Regulations 2020 - 22 September 2020

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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