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Local government

We have developed a strong reputation for delivering excellent results for local government.

Local Government

Our highly experienced team places a strong focus on excellent service and value for money for city-based and regional councils alike. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities that councils are presented with and recognise that, in order to balance the needs of residents and stakeholders with the priorities and legal requirements of local government, a high degree of expertise and engagement is required.

Expertise

Planning law

  • clients benefit from our team’s hands-on experience gained working both with and within local authorities. We act for local government, developers, institutions and others involved in the development, management and regulation of property, natural resources and infrastructure projects
  • in addition to providing advice on planning laws, we have a strong reputation in connection with transactional issues, advocacy and mediation.

Environmental law

  • our environmental specialists act for local government, developers, institutions and others involved in the development, management and regulation of property, natural resources and infrastructure projects. In addition to providing advice on environmental laws, we have a strong reputation in connection with transactional issues, advocacy and mediation.

Statutory interpretation of Acts, regulations, rules and legislative enactments which impact on council activities, powers and functions

  • through our work for government departments and statutory authorities, we have been involved in advising on matters relating to various Acts, regulations and rules, including how they should be interpreted and applied to local governments.

Administrative law advice

We offer the expertise of lawyers who have not only acted for government as legal advisors, but who have also worked within government in the following areas:

  • drafting of by-laws, local laws, delegations and other instruments 
  • judicial review (Federal Court and Supreme Court)
  • prerogative relief in the High Court of Australia
  • merits review 
  • statutory interpretation
  • Royal Commissions and other public inquiries.

Property law issues including conveyancing, leases, licences, Crown Land (Reserves) Act, road discontinuances, land tax and other property related matters

  • all aspects of property acquisition, disposals, leasing and licensing
  • all aspects of landlord and tenant issues
  • conveyancing
  • matters relating to Crown and reserve land management, leases and licences matters relating to acquisition of land, including compulsory acquisition. 

Native title and cultural heritage issues

  • advice on land dealings and infrastructure projects that affect native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • representing local governments as respondent parties in native title proceedings in the Federal Court
  • negotiating indigenous land use agreements and Aboriginal cultural heritage management plans and agreement.

Experience

Our team has extensive local government experience, having acted for a range of local councils across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

Stephen Natoli

Stephen Natoli

Partner

Melbourne

More info
Nick Sissons

Nick Sissons

Senior Associate

Melbourne

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Peter Holt

Peter Holt

Special Counsel

Sydney

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Troy Lewis

Troy Lewis

Partner

Brisbane

More info
Gerard Timbs

Gerard Timbs

Partner

Brisbane

More info

Recent Posts

05 November 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

After a year of to-ing and fro-ing, the Queensland Government has now passed the second wave of local government reforms following from the Crime and Corruption Commission’s Belcarra Inquiry and the Soorley Inquiry.

24 September 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

Are Aboriginal objects on land potentially a defect in title? This question was discussed by the NSW Court of Appeal in Mehmet v Carter. And the short answer is: Yes, Aboriginal objects on land may be a defect in title where they are protected from disturbance under a law.

09 September 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

In Barrak v City of Parramatta Council [2019] NSWCA 213, a councillor was expelled by the City of Parramatta Council’s Mayor for acts of disorder consisting of calling the mayor a “clown” and alleging that the Council’s solicitor had misled the Supreme Court in proceedings brought by its then Chief Executive Officer, to restrain the Council from dismissing him.

13 August 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

Technology enabling facial, fingerprint and iris scans offers employers an efficient and accurate means to secure their workplaces, monitor and record their employees’ time and attendance.

09 August 2019 - Knowledge

Biometric scanning in the workplace: Can employees refuse consent?

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #Local Government

Technology enabling facial, fingerprint and iris scans offers employers an efficient and accurate means to secure their workplaces, monitor and record their employees’ time and attendance.

16 July 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

Police charge seven people over an alleged "professional begging" operation in which people are flown from China to Melbourne on tourist visas to target passers-by in the CBD

18 June 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

Changing planning strategies to build more new homes in sought-after areas of major cities would have a bigger impact on affordability than introducing a national housing strategy, according to Grattan Institute fellow Brendan Coates.