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Inside track: Local Government

09 April 2019

#Local Government, #Government

Inside track: Local Government

In the media

Inclusionary Zoning For Affordable Housing
National Shelter has released its latest report on Inclusionary Zoning. The report scanned recent literature, current inclusionary zoning arrangements in each state and territory, and conducted a survey of over 350 respondents (28 March 2019). More...

Road safety funding boost
The government has announced a boost to road safety funding for local governments. In total, the Morrison Government will deliver an additional $2.2 billion for road safety over the coming ten years. The announcement will include: An additional $1.1 billion in funding for local governments under the Roads (28 March 2019). More...

Fifteen added to Drought Communities Program
A $15 million extension has been added to the Drought Communities Program, with 15 additional councils now eligible to apply for funding under the program. Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation Bridget McKenzie said the extension brought the total funding for drought relief projects in the worst-affected local government areas (28 March 2019). More...

Scott Morrison rolls out $2bn High Speed Rail Proposal
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has thrown federal support behind two major fast rail proposals, committing $40 million in funding for five new business cases as part of its wider plan to connect Australia’s capitals to regional centres (22 March 2019). More...

Infrastructure funding at local level needed in planning for population growth
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has welcomed the release by the Prime Minister's approach to planning for Australia’s future population, noting that the document is an important step towards a better way of managing the nation’s population growth but that there needs to be a matching commitment to funding local infrastructure (21 March 2019). More...

A plan for Australia's future population
The government’s population policy includes investing $75 billion in road, rail and air infrastructure across the country and more in congestion-busting infrastructure through the $1 billion Urban Congestion Fund. The government’s population policy includes population management as a fixture of future COAG discussions with the adoption of a bottom-up approach (20 March 2019). More...


NSW council a climate change crash test dummy
A sea-battered NSW council area has set a climate change precedent for state and local government , with the Northern Beaches Council is the first in NSW to subsidise residents for seawalls to protect their waterfront properties (30 March 2019). More... 

Sydney councils accused of using heritage orders to halt development
Sydney councils are increasingly resorting to interim heritage orders as they aim to balance the city's development rush with protecting older precincts (22 March 2019). More...


MAV Technology awards councils for innovation
As part of the Municipal Association of Victoria’s (MAV) ‘Riding the Wave’ Technology Conference in Geelong, councils were recognised for their innovation at the Technology Awards for Excellence (27 March 2019). More...

Council refuses permits for supersized advertising
The City of Melbourne has refused 81 applications by JCDecaux for planning permits to display commercial advertising on public phone booths across central Melbourne (25 March 2019). More...

Moonee Ponds Creek could be getting a major revitalisation
The City of Melbourne has announced plans to revitalise the southern part of Moonee Ponds Creek with the possibility of additional parklands, wetlands and new open spaces. Described as one of Melbourne’s "worst planning disasters" by the Planning Institute of Australia in 2011, Moonee Ponds Creek has been struggling with its lifeless waterways and extremely polluted water (21 March 2019). More...

In Practice and Courts

Princes Highway Strategy
The Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities has engaged GHD Advisory to develop a whole-of-corridor strategy for the Princes Highway – a vital part of the national road network linking local and regional communities. Part of Australia’s Highway 1 network, the 1,941 km route extends through NSW, Victoria and South Australia, connecting Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne, Geelong and Adelaide. Councils are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft strategy Consultation is expected to continue through until the end of April 2019. More...

ALGA: Australia’s future population policy
The Federal Government has released a report on ‘Planning for Australia’s Future Population Policy’ that includes three key recommendations for ways that Australia should plan for future population challenges relating to migration, infrastructure and education.

Australian government response to the 2018 Regional Telecommunications Independent Committee report: Department of Communications and the Arts (Australia)
The 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review examined how people use telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia and how regional communities can maximise the economic, social and future opportunities enabled by digital technologies and services (20 March 2019). More...

Spotlight on: Our Region, Our Rivers infrastructure project
The Federal Government has announced a $16.8 million contribution to Our Region, Our Rivers – a joint infrastructure project of seven local councils spanning the Swan Hill region. The seven councils across Victoria and New South Wales – Swan Hill, Gannawarra, Buloke, Loddon, Balranald, Murray River and Edward River – worked on the joint funding application to the Federal Regional Growth Fund. 16 communities will benefit from an array of projects being funded. More...

ALGA: New Agricultural Notice
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has commenced a process seeking consent to a new National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice. Councils should have received an email outlining the consent process along with an information pack. Due to this being a formal consent process, a 28 day period exits for consent, ending on 5 April 2019. Further info can be found here.


Community participation plan updated FAQs
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 has been updated to make community participation central to the planning system. Supporting this objective is a new measure requiring all public authorities that have planning functions under the EP&A Act, including councils, to develop community participation plan (CPP). CPPs must be finalised and published on the ePlanning portal by 1 December 2019. More...

Local character & place guideline
The Department of Planning and Environment has recently released additional resources for Local Character which is aimed at providing support and assistance to communities, governments and the property industry by providing tools to enhance the local character of neighbourhoods, including a guideline and discussion paper. The Discussion Paper being released for public comment is open until 20 April 2019. More...

Changes to housing SEPPs
Seniors Housing State Environmental Planning Policy – the SEPP will not apply in heritage conservation areas in Greater Sydney until 1 July 2020. More...

Reminder: Environmental Planning & Assessment Act updates
Councils, certifiers and other industry practitioners have more time to implement some of the recent EP&A Act updates. Changes affect new provisions for building and subdivision certification, Local Strategic Planning Statements for councils in the Greater Sydney Region and Community Participation Plans. While most of the changes will commence on 1 March 2018, there will be a number of other changes that will involve further design and consultation from mid to late 2018 outlined here.


Land Court: pilot case management directions for land valuation appeals
The Land Court has released new ‘Case management directions for land valuation appeals’ taking effect from 18 March 2019. The court’s management of land valuation appeals will now coincide with the new case management directions. The pilot will be evaluated one year after commencement. More...

Queensland's new waste management and resource recovery strategy
A Community Summary has been developed to provide simple actions to help Queenslanders reduce their own waste, boost recycling and reduce the impact of rubbish in our natural environment. The draft Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy (PDF, 4.33MB) and the Community Summary (PDF, 3.01MB) are open for public submissions which are due by 5 April 2019. More...

Cladding reminder
Friday 29 March 2019 was the final day for applicable building owners to complete the first stage of the Queensland Government's mandatory ‘combustible cladding checklist’. The regulation is applicable to buildings that are: Privately or local government owned, class 2 – 9, of a type A or B construction. If further assessment is required under part 2, this must be completed by 29 May 2019. More... 

PCA: Information for Townsville property owners
While the Townsville local government area was not revalued as part of the 2019 Annual Valuation Program, there is a provision within the legislation (section 90, Land Valuation Act 2010) which provides the opportunity for property owners to have their valuation amended if flooding events have affected a property’s value. Land tax payers also have an extended payment option. Further information on OSR’s disaster response procedures is available here. (28 March 2019). More... 

LGAQ reminder: Have your say - Energy pricing proposals
Have your say on regulatory proposals submitted by Ergon energy and Energex. The AER invites interested parties to make submissions on Energex's regulatory proposal by the close of business on 16 May 2019. Go here for more information on how to do this. More... 

Environmental Offsets Framework Discussion Paper released
A discussion paper on Queensland’s environmental offsets framework has been released by the State Government, aimed at seeking community and industry feedback on the policy’s effectiveness. Consultation on the discussion paper closes on 15 April 2019. More... 

The Premier’s Outback Events Program: Funding rounds 2019
Each application must be for unique submissions and events must be delivered on or before 31 December 2020. The deadline for round one applications is 1 April 2019, with applicants notified in May 2019. For more information on the Premier’s Outback Events Program and to apply for funding, please click here.



Mangoola Coal Operations Pty Ltd v Muswellbrook Shire Council [2019] NSWLEC 28
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE: Notices of Motion by each party against the other seeking to set aside “disclosure documents” – application for leave to “narrow” some of the categories of documents sought – principles to be applied. Civil Procedure Act 2005; Fisheries Management Act 1994; Land and Environment Court Act 1979; Local Government Act 1993; Local Land Services Act 2013.

Sandy v Kiama Municipal Council [2019] NSWCATAD 49
The decision under review is affirmed. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – government information – form of access – whether reproducing information would infringe copyright. Copyright Act 1968 (Cth); Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW); Government Information (Public Access) Act 2013 (NSW); Local Government Act 1993 (NSW).

Webb v Port Stephens Council [2019] NSWCATAD 47
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW- freedom of information- government information public access-public interest considerations-open access information s6 Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW)

Tamworth Regional Council v Johnson (No 2) [2019] NSWLEC 34
INJUNCTION: application for an extension of interim injunctive relief – legal principles to be applied – serious question to be tried – potential for real harm to the environment and human health – usual undertaking as to damages given – balance of convenience favours the granting of further interim relief.

ALDI Foods Pty Ltd v Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority [2019] NSWCATAD 43
(1) The decision under review is set aside.
LICENSING-liquor licence removal-overall social impact-balancing process- state of definite satisfaction of decision maker-role of licensing authority- s48(5) Liquor Act - consideration of places within the local government areas.

Tamworth Regional Council v Johnson [2019] NSWLEC 32
INJUNCTION: urgent ex parte application for interim injunctive relief – legal principles to be applied – appropriate to proceed on an ex parte basis – serious question to be tried – potential for real harm to the environment and human health – usual undertaking as to damages given – balance of convenience favours granting of interim injunction for limited period of duration.

Woods v Ku-ring-gai Council [2019] NSWLEC 1122
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: demolition of existing dwelling and construction of a new dwelling, swimming pool and tennis court – whether the demolition of the existing dwelling will adversely impact upon the heritage significance of the heritage conservation area – whether the new dwelling will adversely impact upon the heritage significance of the heritage conservation area.

Bailey v Ku-ring-gai Council [2019] NSWLEC 35
JUDICIAL REVIEW – planning proposal to make local environmental plan – amendment to plan to remove properties as listed heritage items – variation of planning proposal to retain and not remove a listed heritage item – whether denial of procedural fairness – whether failure to consider relevant matter – whether manifest unreasonableness. 

Fregnan v Wollongong City Council [2019] NSWDC 81
Torts – negligence - approval by defendant Council of a development application for a development adjacent to the plaintiffs’ property – whether development approval was granted on an incorrect basis – whether duty of care owed to the plaintiffs – whether breach of duty of care – whether any loss suffered – pure economic loss alleged.

Al Ali v Canterbury-Bankstown Council [2019] NSWLEC 1115
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: boarding house – weight to proposed environmental planning instrument – character compatibility – amenity – parking – landscaping – noise nuisance condition – costs thrown away.

Picciau v Georges River Council [2019] NSWLEC 1114
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: Attached dual occupancy development – variation to minimum lot width control – whether the development is a reasonable alternative solution that achieves the objects of the standard – appeal upheld.

Binetter v Woollahra Municipal Council [2019] NSWLEC 1116
APPEAL – development application – seniors living – breach of development standards – impact on neighbours. 

Vigor Master Pty Ltd v Hornsby Shire Council [2019] NSWLEC 1110
APPEALS: approved affordable rental housing dwellings – unauthorised works to dwellings sought to be regularised – modification application to amend existing consent to retain some unauthorised works – approved use now prohibited but has existing use rights – whether modifications result in substantially the same development – whether compatible with character of local area – compliance with the National Construction Code – capacity to be used as additional dwellings – amenity impacts – building information certificate to issue to reflect approved modification – neighbour objections.

Madss Properties No 2 Pty Ltd ATF Newtown Property Trust v Blacktown City Council [2019] NSWLEC 1108
APPEAL: boarding house; character of local area; design excellence.


Geldard v Western Downs Regional Council [2019] QLC 17
1. The appeal is allowed. REAL PROPERTY – RATES AND CHARGES – RATING OF LAND – CATEGORIES OF LAND – where local government has implemented differential general rates – where land owner appeals against decision of local authority on the land owners objection to a rating category for the land – where statutory provisions contemplate categories may be changed from time to time – where respondent uses its own policy to categorise land – where the subject land is used for grazing purposes and burdened by petroleum leases. Local Government Regulation 2012 , s 92.

Geldard v Western Downs Regional Council [2019] QLC 17
REAL PROPERTY – RATES AND CHARGES – RATING OF LAND – CATEGORIES OF LAND – where local government has implemented differential general rates – where land owner appeals against decision of local authority on the land owners objection to a rating category for the land – where statutory provisions contemplate categories may be changed from time to time – where respondent uses its own policy to categorise land – where the subject land is used for grazing purposes and burdened by petroleum leases.



Subordinate legislation as made
No 32 Queensland Heritage Amendment Regulation 2019 – 22/03/2019
No 33 Waste Reduction and Recycling (Waste Levy) Amendment Regulation 2019 – 22/03/2019
No 39 Local Government Legislation Amendment Regulation 2019 – 29/03/2019

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

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