In the media – National

Size no obstacle to innovation for water bodies: report
State and local government water utilities are turning to new technology and partnerships with private and community groups to meet supply challenges arising from population growth and climate change. That's according to an analysis of Australian water utilities by the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, which concludes that agencies are "taking proactive steps" to meet future challenges (20 April 2018). More...

RAI breaks down latest OECD report on regional development policy-making
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently published a report, Rethinking Regional Development Policy-making, which takes stock of discussions held between academics and country practitioners during a series of seminars organised in 2017 that focused on opportunities to improve the design and delivery of regional development policies (27 April 2018). More...

Pledge to make packaging 'reusable, combustible, or recyclable' by 2025
The Government strikes a deal with states and territories to address Australia's mounting waste burden, with Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg confident "important" progress has been made (27 April 2018). More...

Recycling 'not dead in the water' but rethink needed to stay afloat in wake of China ban
Last week, Ipswich City Council declared all its rubbish would go to landfill after the high rate of contaminated materials threatened to blow out the cost of recycling and also China's import ban on recycled waste. The council later reversed the decision, but the issue prompted a nationwide rethink of the viability of existing recycling schemes (26 April 2018). More...

Initiative to provide 'policy playbook' on regional Australia
Adapting to a changing local economy, ensuring jobs in the future and balancing urban and regional population growth are the three initial priorities of a new research program from Regional Australia Institute that has been endorsed by state and territory governments (24 April 2018). More...

In the media – Queensland

LGAQ: Queensland councils vote for zero waste to landfill by 2028
The Council supports the State Government's recent commitment to consider zero waste and waste to energy strategies (27 April 2018). More...

Burdekin scores funding to battle impacts of climate change
The Palaszczuk Government has is providing funding to help Burdekin Shire Council to prepare its coastal communities for the impact of climate change. Burdekin Shire Council joins 24 others that have already been awarded funding. It is available to all coastal councils (23 April 2018). More...

Bundaberg to get $451,000 to prepare for climate change
Bundaberg's coastal communities will be better prepared for the impacts of rising sea levels, storm tides and erosion as a result of a $451,000 grant from the Palaszczuk Government. This grant, which will fund the completion of the council's coastal hazard adaptation strategy, is drawn from a $12 million QCoast2100 fund established to prepare our coastal communities for emerging threats (23 April 2018). More...

Council backflips on recycling dump, wants fewer pizza boxes in yellow bins
The Mayor of Ipswich, west of Brisbane, says the Council will reverse its decision to send the city's recycling to the tip, but asks residents to pitch in by keeping unrecyclable waste out of their yellow-lid bins (21 April 2018). More...

'Outback opera house' or 'mud hut': New $22m Waltzing Matilda Centre opens
The outback Queensland town of Winton is rising from the ashes with its key tourist attraction, now rebuilt after going up in flames three years ago. But not everyone is happy with the unique design (20 April 2018). More...

'FIFO Mayor' of Ararat Glenda McLean resigns amid intense public pressure
A regional Victorian councillor has announced she will resign as Mayor and from the council after earlier proposing to continue in the roles while working full-time in western Queensland (19 April 2018). More...

Recycling centre employing people with disabilities fears for jobs amid import ban
A Bundaberg recycling centre that employs 27 people with disabilities says jobs are on the line because it cannot find a buyer for its product, including 100 tonnes of soft plastic that is now headed for landfill (19 April 2018). More...

Recycling will be dumped by councils nationwide as costs blow out: experts
Councils across Australia will follow the city of Ipswich in scrapping their recycling programs because ratepayers won't cop higher rates as the cost continues to rise, the Local Government Association of Queensland warns (19 April 2018). More...

Queensland to act now on waste
The Palaszczuk Government has announced that they will work together with councils and industry on a zero-waste future (19 April 2018). More...

Queensland city scraps kerbside recycling as China ban bites
The Ipswich City Council says China's import ban on recycling and the rising level of contaminated rubbish in yellow bins means it's too costly to recycle properly, so all its recycling will go straight to landfill (18 April 2018). More...

Industry responds to Sunshine Coast Local Government Infrastructure Plan
The Property Council has responded to a proposed amendment to the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014, to incorporate a new Local Government Infrastructure Plan. The Property Council outlined a desire to pursue other opportunities to incentivise or encourage urban infill where spare network capacity exists, similar to recent incentives put in place for Nambour and Caloundra (19 April 2018). More...

CCCC Prosecutions: Two people charged with Official Corruption
A 66-year-old Springfield man and a 51-year-old Springfield woman were each served today with a Notice to Appear in Court following an ongoing Crime and Corruption Commission investigation (18 April 2018). More...

Corruption watchdog hits former Ipswich council CEO and wife with more charges
Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission levels more charges against former Ipswich City Council CEO Carl Wulff and his wife Sharon Oxenbridge, alleging they received 20 corrupt payments in 2012 and 2013 (18 April 2018). More...

Locals invited to have their say on solar farm development guidelines
Bundaberg locals are invited to have their say on new guidelines that will guide the sustainable development of Queensland's solar farm boom. With 16 large-scale solar farms under construction across the state and another 40-plus potentials, specific planning guidelines would help the development, construction and approval process (17 April 2018). More...

Central Queensland community left powerless after mining road blast
A community is left powerless after a routine Anglo American mining blast leaves a 90-metre-deep crack in the road, now deemed unfixable (16 April 2018). More...

In the media – Victoria

Environment Ministers' statement must be backed with investment and action
The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has welcomed commitments from Commonwealth and State Environment Ministers to address the current recycling challenges. At the local level, the MAV anticipates many councils will have to increase their waste charges to cover a rise in recycling contract costs from 1 July (27 April 2018). More...

The MAV welcomes a Victorian Government announcement
As noted in our response to the `Managing e-waste in Victoria' policy impact assessment and subsequent advocacy, by delaying introduction of the ban the Government provides state agencies, industry and local government with the opportunity to put in place the infrastructure, market conditions and community education that is needed to give the ban its best chance of success. Introducing the ban in July 2018 as originally intended risked overburdening an already fragile recycling system.

$1 a week — that's how much the recycling crisis could cost ratepayers
Victorian homeowners will ultimately bear the brunt of China's decision to ban foreign waste, with the state's peak local government body estimating ratepayers will be stung an extra $60 a year to cover recycling costs (21 April 2018). More...

How a country mayor still has her job while she works 2,500km away
A regional Victorian 'fly-in-fly-out' mayor who works interstate, refuses to step down despite her colleagues calling for her to resign (18 April 2018). More...

Victorian Ombudsman report on waste management
The Victorian Ombudsman this week released a report on the use of waste management charges by the City of Wodonga. The Ombudsman recommended that the council reduce its waste management charge to only recover the reasonable costs of collection/disposal of refuse; and also recommended that Local Government Victoria consider amending section 162 of the Local Government Act to require that charges for the collection and disposal of refuse reflect the reasonable cost of providing that service. A response from Wodonga City Council is available online (27 April 2018).

VPA: Call for Strategic Sites
In the coming weeks, the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) will be considering strategic sites that the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne MP can incorporate into VPA's 2018/19 work program or beyond (April 2018). More...

March 2018 water price review
The ESC have released their March draft decisions as part of the 2018 water price review, covering Barwon Water, Central Highlands Water, City West Water, Coliban Water, Gippsland Water, Goulburn Valley Water, GWMWater, Lower Murray Water urban and rural services, North East Water, Southern Rural Water and Wannon Water. These draft decisions and supporting materials are available on the engagement platform, Engage Victoria. Comment on draft decisions until 8 May 2018. More...

In the media – New South Wales

Financial sustainability must be focus of Federal Budget, says local government
A significant and sustained funding boost for local governments to provide infrastructure for their local communities must be the primary focus of the upcoming Federal Budget if Australia is to boost national productivity, Local Government NSW (LGNSW) said today (24 April 2018). More...

Affordable housing scheme extended to five more councils
The NSW Government has extended a successful housing scheme to five more Sydney councils, to encourage the development of affordable housing (20 April 2018). More...

Low cost infrastructure loans welcomed by local government
Local Government NSW has welcomed the NSW Government's Low Cost Loans Initiative announced today and called for it to be extended to all councils. The scheme allows councils to borrow money from TCorp, at a subsidised cost, for infrastructure that supports new housing supply. Under the initiative the NSW Government will refund 50% of the cost of council's interest payments on loans that enable housing developments to proceed – such as roads, sports fields, community centres, drainage, playgrounds, or land acquisition (17 April 2018). More...

In Practice and Courts

Open Government open for report
A report into the first year of Australia's first Open Government National Action Plan 2016–18 has found that substantial progress has been made. The Open Government Partnership (OGP) objective, used third-party indicators to determine the extent of country progress on each of the criteria: fiscal transparency, public officials' asset disclosure, citizen engagement, and access to information (16 April 2018). More...

OAIC Key dates
Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code - Commences 1 July 2018.

Australia 2021 Census – Have Your Say
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is reviewing information in the 2021 Census of Population and Housing to ensure the data collected will meet Australia's needs to inform decisions made by governments, community organisations, businesses and individuals. A public consultation has been launched and councils are encouraged to make a submission before the 30 June closing date.

Fire Australia 2018, 1-3 May, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Local Government representatives involved in facility management, building compliance including building inspectors, building surveyors and building certifiers, would find Fire Australia 2018 of interest, particularly the presentations on the NFPA cladding risk assessment tool, fire system maintenance and baseline data. Fire Australia is run by FPA Australia, the peak industry body for fire safety and protection. More...

National General Assembly (NGA) of Local Government 2018
The National General Assembly (NGA) of Local Government is the peak annual event for local government, attracting in excess of 800 mayors and councillors each year. This year's event takes place at the National Convention Centre in Canberra from 17 - 20 June. Registrations are available online.. A discussion paper is available to provide guidance to councils for the development of Motions for debate.

LG Professionals Australia's National Congress and Business Expo 2018
The LG Professionals Australia National Congress 2018 will be held in Canberra, 22-24 August, at the Canberra Rex Hotel. More...

Local Government Regulation & Compliance Conference
24 - 25 July 2018, Sydney - The national conference will examine strategic approaches to regulatory compliance. Strategies will be evaluated and successes measured. The forum will provide a platform to discuss how the sector as a whole can strive for consistency. High-level strategic themes will be tackled so that lessons can be applied across all compliance divisions within local government. More...


LGAQ Consultations
Have your say on mental health services in rural and remote Australia – 18 April 2018.
Have your say on regional inequality – 18 April 2018.

LGAQ: Rating masterclass resources now available
A suite of resources is now available from the recent rating masterclass that was held for those looking to refine and update their knowledge of local government rating (18 April 2018). More...

Local laws published in the Queensland Government Gazettal of 13 and 20 April 2018

Local Government Act 2009
Gazettal of Moreton Bay Regional Council made on 27 March 2018:
Moreton Bay Regional Council Local Law No. 7 (Waste Management) 2018 and
Moreton Bay Regional Council Community and Environmental Management (Amendment) Subordinate Local Law (No. 1) 2018

Local Government Regulation 2012
Gazettal of the notice by Barcaldine Regional Council that, unless overdue rates and expenses of sale owing in relation to the land mentioned in the Schedule are sooner paid, the land was sold by public auction on 13 April 2018. Gazettal of the notice by Central Highlands Regional Council that, unless overdue rates and expenses of sale owing in relation to the land mentioned in the Schedule are sooner paid, the land was sold by public auction on 18 April 2018.

LGAQ: Have your say on two proposed Qld solar farm guidelines
Developed to support and inform understanding, decision making and community engagement regarding solar farm developments. Written submissions can be made on either or both guidelines by no later than 11 May 2018. More...

Land Valuations Online
The new land valuation data for 2018 can be accessed online at Hard copies of the valuation list can be viewed at Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy business centres and local government offices during normal business hours until close of business on 5 June 2018.

New South Wales

Local Government NSW Successful in Advocacy to the NSW Remuneration Tribunal
The Local Government Remuneration Tribunal today handed down its annual determination on fees payable to councillors and mayors, awarding the maximum increase allowable - of 2.5 per cent - in line with the public sector wage cap (27 April 2018).

Greenfield Housing Code
The changes start on 6 July 2018, the new Code will be included in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. In essence; it is a simplifying of the development process and aligning the requirements for development across greenfield areas; the planning rules and the code are also presented in plain English to clearly explain planning rules (11 April 2018). More...

Note: There will be a three-year transitional period, where applicants can choose whether to use the Greenfield Code, or the new simplified Housing Code or Transitional Code (until 13 July 2019).


Fraser Coast Regional Council v Linville Holdings Pty Ltd [2018] QCA 071
Appeal Costs Fund Act 1973 (Qld), s.15; Local Government Act 2009 (Qld), s.94(2); Local Government Legislation (Validation of Rates and Charges) Amendment Act 2018 (Qld).

Randwick City Council v Minister for Local Government [2018] NSWLEC 63
COSTS - where the subject of the proceedings rendered futile by supervening event - council amalgamation - application seeking granting extension of time to commence proceedings - no hearing on application for extension of time conducted - whether appropriate to resolve application for the purpose of costs - not appropriate to express any "general view" on application for extension of time - neither party acted unreasonably - parties to bear their own costs.

Majzoub v Liverpool City Council [2018] NSWLEC 1195
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL: shed constructed without consent – not exempt development – appeal against refusal of building certificate – rural land – effectiveness of landscaping as screening – visual impact – impact on character.

TC (Tallwoods) Pty Ltd v Liverpool City Council (No 2) [2018] NSWLEC 60
PROCEDURE – consent orders allowing filing of two related Class 1 applications – application for expedition for hearing of the related Class 1 applications – discretionary factors justify expedition, specifically that the subject matter of the litigation will be lost – expedition granted.

Wirrabara Village Pty Limited v The Hills Shire Council [2018] NSWLEC 1187
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: Seniors housing development; Site Compatibility Certificate issued by the Department of Planning and Environment; prohibited development; whether the site adjoins land zoned primarily for urban purposes; location and access to services; impacts on threatened species; bushfire risk; exceedance of the height of buildings development standard; amenity.

Denning Tweed Heads Pty Ltd v Tweed Shire Council No. 2 [2018] NSWLEC 1186
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: Subdivision for 59 residential allotments and one residual allotment; proximity to the Gold Coast Airport and impact of aircraft noise; impact on endangered ecological communities; stormwater.

Woolworths Limited v Randwick City Council [2018] NSWLEC 1183
APPEAL – development application – conversion of club to liquor store - statutory construction of Local Environmental Plan – development for the purposes of a shop.

Albert v Kiama Municipal Council [2018] NSWLEC 1178
APPEAL – development application – consent orders - medical centre – permissibility – consistency with zone objectives – parking – traffic – height and floor space ratio – compatibility – tree loss – streetscape and setbacks – overshadowing – view loss – amendments required to achieve view sharing.



Bills Updated

Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 1 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill
Stage reached: 2nd reading to be moved on 23/04/2018.

Vegetation Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Stage reached: 2nd reading to be moved on 23/04/2018.

Subordinate legislation as made

No 38: Disaster Management (Disaster Districts) Amendment Regulation 2018 - 20 April 2018
No 43: Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) (Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council) Amendment Regulation 2018 - 20 April 2018.
No 48: Nature Conservation (Protected Areas) Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2018 27 April 2018.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.