In the media

Model sets higher bar for digital local government
Councils would dramatically ramp up their e-government efforts by adopting a multichannel approach and working closer with third parties under a proposed framework (28 August 2018). More...

A new innovation hub at the Digital Transformation Agency
The federal Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has launched a new co-Lab innovation hub to help accelerate cross-government collaboration and digital innovation (31 August 2018). More...

Councils step up to improving heavy vehicle productivity and safety across Australia
The Federal Government has announced that 93 road upgrade projects will share in a total of $132.5 million in federal funding under Round Six of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program. To read more about the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, including a full list of successful Round Six projects, click here (31 August 2018). More...

Draft Basin Plan report released
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud has welcomed the Productivity Commission's draft report - Murray-Darling Basin Plan: Five-year assessment - on Basin Plan implementation. The Commission has proposed draft recommendations designed to give the Plan every chance of success. By 2024, Governments are to deliver an ambitious suite of projects (31 August 2018). More...

ALGA welcomes new local government minister
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) congratulates and welcomes the new federal minister responsible for local government, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie (27 August 2018). More...


$5 million funding ensures councils are waste levy ready
The Palaszczuk Government will invest $5 million in local councils to get them 'levy ready' in time for the introduction of Queensland's waste disposal levy on 4 March 2019 (31 August 2018). More...

Plans to safeguard residents from waste operators approved
Waste operators across Ipswich have been forced to reduce their effects on the community after planning safeguards were approved by the State Government. Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said he had amended the Temporary Local Planning Instrument (01 September 2018). More...

TLPI 01/18 can be viewed by searching for 'Temporary Local Planning Instrument 01/18' here.

Waste safeguards improved across Ipswich
Waste operators across Ipswich will be able to reduce impacts on the community and environment after amendments to planning safeguards were approved by the State Government this week. While these TLPIs regulate development applications for these areas, Council will use the two-year interim period to amend their planning scheme to address community concerns over the impact of waste facilities (31 August 2018). More...

Water utilities switch on to digital meters
Digital meters could provide water utilities with improved infrastructure management and the means for greater customer engagement, according to a new paper. Cairns Regional Council says the smart water meters will provide daily data, which will help it more quickly identify leaks, enable more timely repairs and help residents better manage their water usage and save money (30 August 2018). More...

Councils respond to CCC call for governance reforms
Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson has reaffirmed that councils welcome any and all actions that genuinely support greater adherence to good governance and ways to strengthen public trust in the system of local government (28 August 2018). More...

Gold Coast koala population declining
A Gold Coast City Council report shows one of south-east Queensland's largest koala populations will likely halve in numbers within 20 years and will be unviable in 50 years (30 August 2018). More...

Upgrade for Mount Coolum summit trail
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) Senior Ranger Omar Bakhach said works would include tidying up and defining the main track, defining viewing areas on the summit, installing new interpretive signage, and closing informal tracks and rehabilitating those damaged areas (29 August 2018). More...

Controversial north-west Brisbane neighbourhood plan to be implemented
A controversial neighbourhood plan that received more than 700 submissions and has been debated for close to three years will be implemented in September. The Ferny Grove-Upper Kedron Neighbourhood Plan, which includes the Cedar Woods development, was first proposed by Brisbane City Council in June 2014 (28 August 2018). More...

Council city planning boss worried state-led development will create 'islands'
Brisbane City Council's planning boss is concerned the state government approach to city planning could "create islands" without necessary infrastructure. On August 10 the state government declared two new Priority Development Areas at Oxley and Yeronga (29 August 2018). More...

Inland Queensland Road Network Strategy launched
Local governments across regional Queensland are leading the charge in seeking equity in government funding for the strategic inland road network to provide benefits to industry, communities and tourism. The Inland Queensland Road Network Strategy was launched in Ingham last week at the Northern Alliance of Councils Annual Conference (28 August 2018). More...

$41.85 million betterment funding for 22 Qld councils
Improvements to roads and public infrastructure will continue to be rolled out across the state thanks to the 2017 Betterment Fund, which aims to increase Queensland communities' resilience to natural disasters (24 August 2018). More...

Local government urged to have their say in faunal extinction crisis
As one of the major investors in protecting and preserving our environment, councils across Queensland are being asked to have their say in an inquiry into Australia's Faunal extinction crisis (23 August 2018). More...

Combustible Cladding Update
The Queensland Government has launched a new website providing further information on the new obligations on owners of private and local government buildings to undertake a mandatory 'combustible cladding checklist' (22 August 2018). More...

Planning and economic development expert appointed Ipswich Interim Administrator
Respected planning and economic development expert Greg Chemello has been appointed Interim Administrator of Ipswich City Council. Mr Chemello's appointment takes effect on Thursday and follows the passage of legislation in State Parliament yesterday to dismiss Ipswich City Council (22 August 2018). More...

Ipswich council labelled 'outlaw gang' in Parliament, sacking imminent as laws pass
Ipswich City Council will be sacked this morning, after Queensland Parliament approves a bill giving the Local Government Minister dismissal powers in response to fraud and corruption allegations (21 August 2018). More...

Ipswich City Council integrity crisis prompts appointment of Administrator
State Parliament has passed legislation to dismiss Ipswich City Council and appoint an Interim Administrator, who will assume the full role and responsibilities of Council until the next local government elections in 2020 (21 August 2018). More...

Solar boom 'bringing hundreds of jobs' to rural Queensland
A renewable energy boom is reinvigorating the Darling Downs local economy but although some landholders are eager to be involved, not all residents are pleased about the new developments (19 August 2018). More...


Protecting heritage gems on Queens Parade
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has announced heritage protection of a range of Queens Pde landmarks, as well as interim height controls in the Clifton Hill/North Fitzroy precinct. The Yarra City Council can prepare to make these permanent, after community consultation (31 August 2018). More...

Apple Fed Square upgrade fails to impress planners at city council
Problems remain with Apple's Federation Square store, Melbourne City Council officers say (30 August 2018). More...

EPA fines East Gippsland Shire Council for landfill licence breach
EPA has fined East Gippsland Shire Council more than $8,000 for breaching a condition of its EPA licence that required it to provide EPA with a hydrogeological report about its Forge Creek landfill (30 August 2018). More...

Are we ignoring the heritage value of Melbourne's mid-century architecture?
Post-war architecture may not compare in beauty and grandeur to many of our Victorian-era buildings, but is it just as worthy of heritage protection? The National Trust and a passionate group of activists certainly think so (24 August 2018). More...

New South Wales

Sydney moves up in global liveability rankings
Professor Greg Clark's Creating Great Australian Cities report, released by the Property Council earlier this year, found that Sydney was a 'contender' city with a strong brand yet one that struggles with issues such as transport, congestion, low density development and fragmented local government (27 August 2018). More...

Rejected Islamic development prompts council to refine cemetery policy
A legal battle over an Islamic development raised questions about what defines a cemetery. Now a regional council wants clearer definitions to head off future issues (28 August 2018). More...

In practice and courts

My Health Record information for councils - Your health record in your hands
Councils can provide their support for the My Health Record by displaying brochures and posters in Immunisation Clinics, within newsletters or any mail outs. For more information visit your local Primary Health Network or click here.

Reminder: Australian Digital Health Agency three month 'opt-out period' for My Health Record
As announced by the Australian Digital Health Agency, every Australian will be offered a My Health Record unless they choose not to have one during the three-month opt out period which has been extended to 15 November 2018.


QRA ready for disaster funding reform
The new Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) will apply to disaster events from 1 November 2018, with the existing NDRRA Determination 2017 applying to natural disasters between now and 31 October 2018. To assist with the implementation, QRA has developed MARS (Management and Reporting System), an online application designed to streamline the disaster funding submission process. MARS will be used for events occurring after 1 November 2018, in line with the implementation of DRFA. More...

Queensland waste disposal levy
From 31 August 2018, local governments can apply for funding under the 2018-19 Local Government Levy Ready Grant Program, which supports infrastructure improvements at waste disposal facilities. The 2018-19 Local Government Levy Ready Grant Program will be open for local government submissions between 31 August and 12 October 2018. More...

Building our Regions program: Round 4
Funding isn't guaranteed and councils with shortlisted projects have had to prepare business cases for their projects, demonstrating detailed and compelling reasons for their projects to gain funding. Successful projects are expected to be announced in late 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...


Inquiry into Ombudsman reports:
The Inquiry into methodologies and outcomes from Victorian Ombudsman reports tabled in Parliament by the Accountability and Oversight Committee has supported the Ombudsman's work, with recommendations for greater accountability from government departments, agencies and local councils. The Committee found that 50 per cent of the Ombudsman's recommendations have been implemented, with 38 per cent in progress (22 August 2018). More...

New Victorian solar scheme and agency
A new independent agency Solar Victoria will be established to work with industry, regulators and training organisations under the new $1.24 billion Solar Homes program. Victorians will be able to install a solar panel system at half-price and pay the rest of the cost back over four years with an interest-free loan. The program also aims to create up to 5,500 new jobs (19 August 2018).

New South Wales

Assisting NSW councils to respond to drought
LGNSW has set up a register to connect councils seeking drought-related assistance with others - particularly from the metropolitan councils - who can provide it. More...

ICAC: Guidelines to help public sector agencies manage corruption risks in direct negotiations
The ICAC has released guidelines to help NSW public sector agencies involved in direct negotiations with external parties to manage corruption risks, but recommends they avoid the practice if possible due to the high level of those risks (23 August 2018). More...

New dates for 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.

Building and Development Certifiers Bill
LGNSW encourages all councils to review and make submissions on proposed new building certification legislation now on exhibition. The Government is proposing to replace the Building Professionals Act 2005 (BP Act) – which regulates accredited certifiers – with the Building and Development Certifiers Bill 2018. The Bill and an accompanying explanatory guide are available on the NSW Fair Trading web site. Submissions closed on 4 September 2018.

BPB: New certification provisions of the EP&A Act postponed until 2019
Commencement of Part 6 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Act 1979, which covers building and subdivision certification, has been postponed until 1 September 2019. More...


Mowen v Rockhampton Regional Council [2018] QSC 192
PROCEDURE – STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS: JURISDICTION, POWERS AND GENERALLY – VEXATIOUS LITIGANTS, PROCEEDINGS AND RELATED MATTERS – Where the applicant has previously applied for vexatious proceedings orders – where that application was refused – where the respondent has joined the applicant to further proceedings – whether the respondent should be declared a person who frequently instituted or conducted vexatious proceedings – whether the respondent should be prohibited from bringing actions against the applicant.

Moreton Bay Regional Council v White & Anor [2018] QLAC 4
REAL PROPERTY – RATES AND CHARGES – RATING OF LAND – Categories of land – where appellant objects to rating categorisation of property – where no appropriate category exists – where the subject land contains a main house and a granny flat – where it was decided the appropriate category was O1.

In the making of the North Burnett Regional Council Certified Agreement 2018 [2018] QIRC 112
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Application for certification of an agreement – requirements for certification – agreement certified.

In the termination of the North Burnett Regional Council Certified Agreement 2008 [2018] QIRC 111
INDUSTRIAL LAW – COLLECTIVE BARGAINING – Application for termination of agreement after nominal expiry date – Requirements for termination – agreement terminated.

Kelsey v Logan City Council & Ors [2018] QIRC 108
INDUSTRIAL LAW – APPLICATION TO SET ASIDE ATTENDANCE NOTICE TO PRODUCE – Whether notice correctly issued under subdivision 7 of the rules - objections to notice – applications to set aside notices – whether derivative use of materials obtained by compulsion could be used in a collateral civil proceeding – whether implied limitation on the use of materials obtained by compulsion.

Hawkesbury City Council v Kara-Ali (No 2) [2018] NSWLEC 129
CIVIL ENFORCEMENT – Works, including land clearing and construction, undertaken without consent – Council and Court orders to cease have been disobeyed – claims of exemption from legal requirements and Court jurisdiction have no basis – environmental harm shown to have occurred – remedial orders – costs.

Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter Pty Ltd (subject to Deed of Company Arrangement) v Minister for Planning [2018] NSWLEC 130
APPEAL – Project approval – application to modify approval – requested changes to terms of approval – land on which project carried out subdivided and some lots sold – consent of owners of subdivided lots not obtained for modification application – whether owners' consent required – no power to determine modification application.

Sydney Tools Pty Ltd v Oxford [2018] NSWLEC 134
CIVIL PROCEDURE – Application for stay of orders pending Class 1 appeal – noise abatement order – financial hardship to applicant if stay not granted – merits of proposed appeal – discretionary considerations – stay granted subject to terms.

Samcourt Pty Ltd v Inner West Council [2018] NSWLEC 1442
APPEAL – Development application – permissibility – characterisation of use – whether premises will be used for a 'creative purpose' – how to achieve requisite state of satisfaction that premises will be used for a 'creative purpose' – floor space ratio – whether development consent can be granted notwithstanding breach of the floor space ratio development standard – consistency with the objectives of the standard – whether cl 4.6 request adequate.

Land Dynamics Pty Ltd v Port Macquarie Hastings Council [2018] NSWLEC 1443
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Koala linkages and corridors – SEPP 44 – Port Macquarie Hastings LEP 2011 clause 7.5 – Koala Plan of Management.

Wenli Wang v North Sydney Council [2018] NSWLEC 122
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Appeal against Council's refusal of development application for demolition of existing two storey residential dwelling and construction of three storey residential dwelling – effect of a restrictive covenant – weight to be afforded to a covenant where it is set aside by planning instrument – assessment of view loss.



Bills Updated in the last week
Local Government (Dissolution of Ipswich City Council) Bill 2018
Stage reached: PASSED on 21/08/2018 Assent Date: 22/08/2018 Act No: 14 of 2018
Commences: by Proclamation

Local Government (Dissolution of Ipswich City Council) Act 2018 (Qld)
The policy objectives of the Local Government (Dissolution of Ipswich City Council) Act 2018 are to resolve the concerns raised by the Crime and Corruption Commission's report - dated 14 August 2018 - promptly and to provide the Ipswich community with certainty by dissolving the ICC and providing for the appointment of an interim administrator to act in place of the ICC councillors for an interim period ending at the conclusion of the quadrennial election for the Ipswich Local Government area held in 2020.
The Act will not prevent the ICC councillors from nominating as a candidate, or for appointment, as a councillor at an election for any local government (including a by-election or fresh election) from commencement.

Subordinate legislation as made
No 122 22 August 2018 - Proclamation—Local Government (Dissolution of Ipswich City Council) Act 2018 (commencing remaining provisions)

Reminder: No 110 Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018
The Regulation is made under the Building Act 1975, and the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999. The policy objectives of the Regulation are to determine the extent of the use of potentially combustible cladding on existing private buildings in Queensland and raise awareness with building owners of the risks associated with potentially combustible cladding. The Regulation commences on 1 October 2018.

New South Wales

Environmental Planning Instruments
Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Land Use Terms) Order 2018 (2018-477) — published LW 29 August 2018
State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Land Use Terms) 2018 (2018-488) — published LW 29 August 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.