In the media – National

Helping regions be ready for Inland Rail
The Government has announced the development of a strategic planning tool to support the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail, led by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) (22 June 2018). More...

Delivering Australia's digital future
Federal Minister for Human Services and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Digital Transformation, the Hon Michael Keenan has announced a plan for Australia to be one of the top three "digital governments" by 2025 (22 June 2018). More...

New Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (2018) to come into effect on 1 November
Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has received advice confirming that the Federal Government endorsed the natural disaster recovery funding reforms in the 2018-19 Federal Budget (22 June 2018). More...

Australia's waste crisis dumped in the national spotlight
Australia's growing waste problem has been dumped in the national spotlight at a forum of local government heavyweights in Canberra (20 June 2018). More...

Local government assembly kicks off in Canberra
Almost 900 mayors, councillors and local government representatives have gathered at the 2018 National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra to discuss how the sector can continue to be responsive to the diverse needs of its communities, particularly in the face of growing fiscal pressures (18 June 2018). More...

Local government key to tackling public transport woes: expert
One of Australia's foremost public transport experts has called for greater local government involvement in Australia's public transport system (15 June 2018). More...

New project to ensure locals have their say on urban planning
A new project will help locals to have their say when it comes to urban development, allowing local councils to capture online opinions from residents to improve decision-making. Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said the project aimed to increase community involvement in the planning and evaluation of major projects in the cities of Logan in Queensland and Canada Bay in Sydney (13 June 2018). More...

In the media – Queensland

Disaster plan 'empowers' vulnerable towns
Cyclones and tornados have demonstrated how vulnerable some Queensland communities are. From highly-equipped communities to new disaster dashboards, councils are focusing on preparedness and information in their approaches to emergency management (22 June 2018). More...

CCC determines no grounds to investigate Adani and Isaac council
Queensland's crime watchdog says it won't be pursuing an investigation of financial arrangements between Indian miner Adani and the Isaac Regional Council as there is no evidence that raises a reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct (22 June 2018). More...

Ipswich council set up extra legal insurance before first mayor charged with corruption
Three months before former mayor Paul Pisasale resigned from office in 2017, Ipswich City Council set up a second 'legal assistance policy' to cover its staff over potential legal action (21 June 2018). More...

Statement on Ipswich City Council
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said he has requested the Ipswich City Council to respond to further matters in my consideration of whether they should not be dismissed or suspended (21 June 2018). More...

$1b resort-style island development gets Qld Minister's nod despite council rejection
The state's Planning Minister overturns a central Queensland council's decision to reject an island development off Gladstone, even though the council says it's too big and not needed (19 June 2018). More...

Council stands by noisy dog ads condemned for 'excusing violence'
The Cairns Regional Council is vowing to continue with its social media campaign on noisy dogs, despite growing complaints the material inadvertently normalises male bullying and abuse (16 June 2018). More...

Budget: Council grants shake-up
Darragh O'Keeffe from Government News reports on the Government's budget commitment to provide $3.2 million to improve and simplify the administration of grants to local government (15 June 2018). More...

Council grants shake-up for Sunshine State
Queensland is set to reform its process for allocating grants to councils with the State Government providing $4.5 million to tackle the long-running issue in its budget (15 June 2018). More...

RAPAD: unlocking renewable energy in Central Western Queensland
The seven councils that form the Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) have a bold plan – to become an energy superpower of the low carbon world (14 June 2018). More...

LGAQ welcomes new start date for Container Refund Scheme
The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has welcomed the decision by the State Government to delay the start date of the new Container Refund Scheme from 1 July 2018 to 1 November 2018 based on experience of the rollout of a similar scheme in New South Wales (14 June 2018). More...

Congestion to plague major Brisbane arterial for another 18 months
Brisbane residents will have to put up with the roadworks on busy Kingsford Smith Drive for another 18 months, and some suburbs will be slugged with a 6 per cent rate rise, the council budget reveals (13 June 2018). More...

Brisbane City Council Budget
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has brought down the Brisbane City Council Annual Plan and Budget 2018-19. The key areas of the $3.1 billion budget include significant allocations to essential infrastructure projects and an increase to non-residential rates. Access the Brisbane City Council's annual plan and budget documents here (13 June 2018). More...

LGAQ: Queensland State Budget a good start for councils
Some hits, some misses: the Budget contains critical commitment to help ensure Queensland councils continue to provide the services and infrastructure their communities need (12 June 2018). More...

Palaszczuk Government delivers third year of record road and transport infrastructure investment
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the 2018-19 State Budget re-confirmed the Palaszczuk Government's commitment to the continued funding boost to local governments through TIDS to fund the development of local transport related infrastructure, with $280 million allocated over the next four years (12 June 2018). More...

State Budget locks in local government reform, extra country racing support and multicultural funding boost
The Palaszczuk Government is delivering local government reform, regional job-creating programs and multicultural cohesion for all Queenslanders in the 2018-19 State Budget. This Budget builds on reforms to strengthen the integrity and sustainability in local government, locking in $14.1 million over four years to establish an independent body to consider councillor complaints and improve governance practices (12 June 2018). More...

Could Queensland soon have its first waste to energy plant?
Treasurer Jackie Trad will use her first state budget to devote money from Queensland's new waste levy to foster the development of waste to energy projects. Almost 40 affected councils have been promised advance payments to offset the cost of the levy in the initial years and prevent it from being passed on to ratepayers (11 June 2018). More...

In the media – New South Wales

Fraud controls in local councils
Many local councils need to improve their fraud control systems, according to a report released by the Auditor-General for New South Wales, Margaret Crawford (22 June 2018). More...

Poor governance, capability hindering shared services
Collaboration in local government can save money and improve access to services but a new survey shows most councils are not effectively engaging in shared services. The Auditor-General has recommended the OLG produce guidance on shared services for the NSW local government sector by April 2019 (22 June 2018). More...

New Rules for Short-Term Letting
LGNSW welcomes the NSW Government's package of reforms to regulate short-term residential accommodation. The changes are designed to ensure that local communities continue to gain from the economic benefits of short-term letting while protecting long-term residents (13 June 2018). More...

In practice and courts

State of the Regions report 2018-19
The 21st State of the Regions report 2018-19 has now been released and can be ordered online. Commissioned by the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) and prepared by National Economics, this year's report focuses on trade, jobs, growth and inequality and is based on trends, data and analysis that demonstrate the growing inequality between metropolitan and remote/outer lying regions.

Mandatory data reporting update
A number of certifying authorities are already reporting data, and each of the three reporting options (API, SFTP and mobile app) are available and in use. Councils and certifiers should have prepared for the 1 July 2018 mandatory reporting date. The Board will have an education focus for the first six months after this date.
More information:
API and SFTP specifications
April 2018 roadshow presentation
Certification data reporting

Consultation on possible amendments to telecommunications carrier powers and immunities
The Australian Government is seeking comments on possible amendments to telecommunications carrier powers and immunities. They need feedback on proposals from telecommunications carriers to amend the Telecommunications (Low-impact Facilities) Determination 1997, the Telecommunications Code of Practice 1997 and potentially, Schedule 3 to the Telecommunications Act 1997 (the Act). Consultation closes on 21 July 2018. More...

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements
The federal government plans to replace the existing Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements with Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements on 1 November 2018. The DRFA permanently removes restrictions on the use of normal-hours salary and wages staff (day labour) and internal plant/equipment hire to councils that agree to revised co-contribution arrangements. Councils are encouraged to review the DRFA arrangements online and provide early feedback, via an online survey.

OAIC Key dates
Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code
Commenced 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 was launched where councils were encouraged to make a submission.

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...


What does the State Budget mean for Qld councils?
The LGAQ has prepared a media release and a scorecard highlighting key outcomes for local government (13 June 2018).
Queensland Government Gazette (15 June 2018).

Local Laws

City of Brisbane Act 2010
Gazettal of notice of making, on 5 June 2018, local laws entitled the Health, Safety and Amenity Amending Local Law 2018 and the Regulated Parking Permit Amending Local Law 2018.

Planning Act 2016
Gazettal of notice that under the Planning Act 2016 on 29 May 2018, Hinchinbrook Shire Council adopted a Local Government Infrastructure Plan (LGIP) for the Hinchinbrook Shire Planning Scheme 2017. The new plan took effect on 2 July 2018.

Sustainable Planning Act 2009 and Planning Act 2016
Gazettal of notice that on 5 June 2018, Redland City Council adopted the Minor and Administrative amendments to Redlands Planning Scheme (version 7.2) commencing from 1 July 2018.

Local Government Regulation Act 2012
Gazettal of notice by the Redland City Council of removal of certain land on Russell Island and Macleay Island from the Council's land record, as the value of overdue rates is more than the value of the unimproved land and the land is considered to be valueless, or of so little value that if offered for sale, it would not realise the overdue rates.
Queensland Government Gazette (8 June 2018)

Local Laws

Local Government Act 2009
Gazettal of notice of making Local Law No. 6 (Waste Management) 2018 by Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council on 30 May 2018.

Local Government Act 2009
Gazettal of notice of making Local Law No. 5 (Waste Management) 2018 by Scenic Rim Regional Council on 28 May 2018.

Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme amendments
Sunshine Coast Council has recently adopted a new amendment and is currently consulting on two further amendments to the region's planning scheme. Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 (Major Amendment and Alignment Amendment) No. 14 – Maroochydore Principal Regional Activity Centre commenced on 11 June 2018. The following proposed planning scheme amendments are subject to public consultation until, 6 July 2018: Site Specific ( Including Shaping SEQ South East Queensland Regional Plan Bring Forward Sites) and and Development Control Plan 1 Kawana Waters (Caloundra City Planning Scheme 1996) Amendment, which includes changes to the planning and development framework for the Kawana Waters Town Centre. More...

Local Government Bulletin No 05/18 Illustrative general purpose financial statements for 2017–18 (Tropical)
This bulletin advises local governments that a set of illustrative general purpose financial statements for Queensland councils (Tropical) for the year ending 30 June 2018 is available on the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affair's website. This bulletin also notifies local governments about the changes to this year's Tropical (11 June 2018). More...

LGAQ: Heavy vehicle update: Chain of responsibility laws
On 1 October 2018, amendments to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws will come into effect. These changes will apply a direct duty of care on local government and more and more closely align the laws with Work Health & Safety laws. More...

Queensland's new resource recovery and waste strategy
To help develop the new strategy, the Recycling and Waste Management Stakeholder Advisory Group has been formed. The directions for a new strategy and initial details for the waste disposal levy are outlined in the Transforming Queensland's Recycling and Waste Industry Directions Paper. More...

LGAQ: Have your say on adaptation plan for QLD
A state-wide adaptation plan for Queensland's biodiversity and ecosystems is being developed (04 June 2018). More...

LGAQ: $1.95 million of funding
Following the pre-application stage, round 2 will be open for formal submissions for eight weeks, closing 27 July 2018. Updated funding guidelines are applicable for round 2 and applications can be submitted online through the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.


Environment Protection Amendment Bill 2018
The Bill was introduced to Parliament and proposes a new approach to environmental issues, focusing on preventing waste and pollution impacts rather than managing those impacts after they have occurred. The Department has prepared a fact sheet to highlight key changes. The Government intends the legislation to take effect from 1 July 2020.

MAV: Local Government Bill debated in Parliament
A number of proposed changes could adversely affect local communities, and there were additional changes made between the Exposure Draft and the Bill without any sector consultation. MAV issued a statement calling on political parties to oppose four elements of the Bill – mandatory use of Capital Improved Value, reducing the municipal charge to 10 per cent, electoral system changes to require uniform wards, and enshrining rate capping in legislation. Read the Bill here.

New South Wales

Audit Office of NSW: Shared services in local government
The auditor's report, based on a survey completed by 67 councils, found 87 per cent were engaged in shared services, and 27 per cent negotiating or considering future shared services. The most prevalent areas of joint delivery were waste and recycling, environmental, road services, procurement, asset management and human resources. The report found the state's Office of Local Government did not provide specific support or guidance to councils on how to effectively share services, despite it being a widely used delivery model across the sector (21 June 2018). More...

Fair Trading Amendment (Short-term Rental Accommodation) Bill 2018
The government has introduced legislation to NSW Parliament - the Fair Trading Amendment (Short-term Rental Accommodation) Bill 2018 – to establish the new mandatory code of conduct and strata changes. Changes to the planning regulatory framework are also planned, but no dates have been given for their introduction. The Bill was passed with amendment on 20 June 2018. More...

More housing options for NSW: Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code
The new Code will allow one and two storey dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces to be built under fast-track complying development approval across NSW and also promotes good design for medium density housing. Low rise medium density housing as complying development is only allowed where medium density development is already permitted under a council's local environmental plan. The Medium Density Housing Code will commence on 6 July 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 for clear explanation. 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). More...


Dalley v Kelsey [2018] ICQ 6
(a) The appeal is allowed. (b) The application is dismissed.
INJUNCTIONS – INTERLOCUTORY INJUNCTIONS – SERIOUS QUESTION TO BE TRIED – RELEVANT CONSIDERATIONS – where council voted to terminate first respondent's employment – where first respondent applied for an interlocutory order reinstating her to her position – where Industrial Commission granted an interlocutory injunction reinstating first respondent to her position – where appellants now appeal to set aside Industrial Commissioner's decision – whether Industrial Commissioner's decision should be set aside – whether the test to be applied when considering whether to grant an interlocutory injunction was applied correctly – whether Industrial Commissioner engaged in speculation about the state of the evidence of the final hearing – whether the first respondent established a prima facie case – whether unchallenged evidence, which was not inherently implausible nor directly contradicted by a credible body of evidence, should be accepted – whether the effect of the reverse onus in s 306 of Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) is relevant in an interlocutory application – whether the balance of convenience favours the making of an interlocutory order.
[1] In Kelsey v Logan City Council & Ors Industrial Commissioner Thompson ordered that Sharon Kelsey, the first respondent, be reinstated to her position as Chief Executive Officer of Logan City Council pending the hearing and determination of her substantive application.

Ugarin Pty Ltd v Lockyer Valley Regional Council [2018] QCA 121
Appeal dismissed with costs.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – JURISDICTIONAL MATTERS – where the appellant owns 22 hectares of land that has been developed for use as a shopping centre – where the appellant's land is situated within the local government area of the respondent – where the respondent issued a rates notice to the appellant in 2015 stating that its land was within differential general rates category 8 – where the effect of this was that the rates payable by the appellant increased compared to previous years – where the appellant submits that the respondent could only levy rates and categorise rateable land by resolution at its budget meeting – where the appellant submits that there had been no actual approval by resolution of the Land Use Codes that had altered the rates – where s 94 of the Local Government Act 2009 does not constrain the form of the resolution constituting a local government's decision to categorise rateable land – where reg 81 of the Local Government Regulation 2012 requires that the resolution state the different categories of rateable land and describe each of them – whether the Land Use Codes had been adopted by resolution in the manner required by reg 81 of the Local Government Regulation 2012; Local Government Act 2009 (Qld), s 94; Local Government Regulation 2012 (Qld), reg 81.

Mitchell v Gympie Regional Council [2018] QCAT 160
The application for review is dismissed.
ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW – ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS – QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – dangerous dogs – Destruction Notice – circumstances where previously declared dangerous dogs escape once more and alleged to engage in 'thrill killing' of another dog – issue of destruction notice and Application for Review – whether prior declaration of dangerousness able to be reviewed as part of right to review of subsequent decision to issue a destruction notice – allegations of trespass and illegality by Council enforcement officers – claimed constitutional invalidity of local government and local government enforcement of dangerous dog laws. Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008 (Qld); The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901; The Constitution Act 1867 (Qld); Constitution of Queensland 2001.

BWP Management Limited v Ipswich City Council; W & V Nominees Pty Ltd as Tte for the Elton Family Trust No.3 v Ipswich City Council [2018] QLC 14
REAL PROPERTY – RATES AND CHARGES – rating of land – categories of land – more than one applicable category.
RATES – RATING – differential general rates – appeal by land owners against decision of local authority on the land owners objection to a rating category for the land.
STATUTES – subordinate legislation – construction – relevant principles – ordinary and grammatical construction – purpose and subject matter – whether construction favouring taxpayer appropriate – liberal construction – where more than one definition applies – consideration of absurd results.
INTERPRETATION – general rules of construction of instruments – Acts Interpretation Act.

Minister for Local Government v Blue Mountains City Council [2018] NSWCA 133
Grant leave to appeal.
COURTS – jurisdiction – Land and Environment Court - whether Class 4 of jurisdiction of Land and Environment Court exclusive to that Court - whether Supreme Court had jurisdiction to give injunctive relief for apprehended breach of Local Government Act 1993 (NSW).
EQUITY – injunctions – interim and interlocutory injunctions – appropriateness of ex parte application – form of order – onus upon moving party to renew interim order obtained ex parte.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT – power to suspend Council – Local Government Act 1993 (NSW), ss 438I and 438K – power to suspend required Minister to reasonably believe that appointment of interim administrator necessary to restore proper or effective functioning of council – Minister notified Council of intention to appoint administrator and invited submissions – whether necessary, at time notifying of intention to appoint administrator, to hold belief that appointment was necessary to restore proper or effective functioning of council – whether factual error in Minister's notice gave rise to serious question to be tried that exercise of power would be vitiated.

Staldone Corporation Pty Ltd v Lane Cove Council [2018] NSWLEC 1303
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – demolition of three dwelling houses and associated structures, construction of a part 4 and 5 storey residential flat building – condition relating to the imposition of a deferred commencement condition ramp grade.

Damilabe Pty Ltd v Gunnedah Shire Council [2018] NSWLEC 1295
APPEAL – development application: refused by council; historical subdivision – clause 4.6 variation – minimum lot size – zone objectives – agricultural purpose – precedence.

Timpag Investments Pty Limited v Liverpool City Council [2018] NSWLEC 1296
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – characterisation of development – impact on threatened species and communities – assessment of impacts – offsets – biodiversity credits – proposed change in zoning, public interest.

FPG No. 2 Pty Ltd v Randwick City Council [2018] NSWLEC 1300
MODIFICATION APPLICATION – whether substantially the same as approved development – amenity impacts to neighbours – view loss, privacy and acoustic impacts – whether reasonable in circumstances.

Australian Childcare Solutions v Orange City Council [2018] NSWLEC 93
APPEAL – appeal against Commissioner's decision on questions of law – refusal of development consent for childcare centre – whether Commissioner misdirected herself and asked the wrong question in construing provisions of development control plan – whether Commissioner substituted her own test for the test in development control plan – Commissioner did not err on question of law in construing and applying development control plan.

Minister for Local Government v Blue Mountains City Council [2018] NSWCA 133
COURTS – jurisdiction – Land and Environment Court – whether Class 4 of jurisdiction of Land and Environment Court exclusive to that Court – whether Supreme Court had jurisdiction to give injunctive relief for apprehended breach of Local Government Act 1993 (NSW).
EQUITY – injunctions – interim and interlocutory injunctions – appropriateness of ex parte application – form of order – onus upon moving party to renew interim order obtained ex parte.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT – power to suspend Council – Local Government Act 1993 (NSW), ss 438I and 438K – power to suspend required Minister to reasonably believe that appointment of interim administrator necessary to restore proper or effective functioning of council – Minister notified Council of intention to appoint administrator and invited submissions – whether necessary, at time notifying of intention to appoint administrator, to hold belief that appointment was necessary to restore proper or effective functioning of council – whether factual error in Minister's notice gave rise to serious question to be tried that exercise of power would be vitiated.

Legge v North Sydney Council [2018] NSWLEC 1288
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION and MODIFICATION APPLICATION: two separate appeals, the first relating to a development application that seeks the removal of existing signage and the replacement with new signage and the second, the modification of an existing sign approval – both appeals seek the erection of three digital LED roof top signs/advertising structures on an existing building – whether power to grant approval or modify existing approval – incompatible with the surrounding area – unacceptable illumination impacts – out of character and will dominate the existing building and locality – exceedance of the maximum height development standard – impact on existing views and vistas – impact on traffic safety – undesirable precedent – undesirable heritage impact – resident objections.

Panos v Inner West Council [2018] NSWLEC 1284
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: residential alterations and additions – carport – view loss – streetscape.

Louden Pty Ltd v Canterbury-Bankstown Council [2018] NSWLEC 1285
APPEAL – residential flat building – minimum width at front building line – whether inconsistent with provisions of the SEPP for affordable rental housing – whether cl 4.6 request should be allowed – compatibility with character of local area – setbacks – overshadowing – privacy – suitability of site – precedent.

Clearstate Development Co Pty Ltd v Liverpool City Council [2018] NSWLEC 1279
APPEAL: Subdivision certificate – construction and interpretation of development consent.

Morrissey v Port Stephens Council [2018] NSWLEC 1282
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: subdivision of land – inconsistent with the draft amending local environment plan – streetscape character.



Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Introduced by: Hon J Trad MP on 12/06/2018.
Introduced on 12/06/2018 and passed on 16/06/2018.

Subordinate legislation as made
No 65 Revenue Legislation (Fees) Amendment Regulation 2018 15 June 2018.
No 67 Planning and Environment Court Rules 2018 15 June 2018.
No 84 Waste Reduction and Recycling and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation 2018 22 June 2018.

No 41 Local Government Bill 2018
Passed second reading 21 June 2018
The Victorian Commencement Book is available here.

New South Wales

Bills introduced
State Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2018

Crimes Amendment (Misconduct in Public Office and Other Matters) Bill 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.