Australia: Local Government News - 13 December 2017

Last Updated: 18 December 2017
Article by Jenny Humphris, Joseph Monaghan and Peter Holt
Most Read Contributor in Australia, March 2019

In the media – National

Smart Cities and Suburbs Program
A total of 52 projects across Australia have received funding totalling $28.5 million under Round One of the Federal Government's Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, successful projects are being co-funded by partners including local governments, industry, research organisations and the private sector. A second funding round is expected to open for applications in the first half of 2018. More...

Australian, NZ local governments face barriers to digitisation: report
Limited budgets and organisational culture is hindering digital transformation by the public sector in both Australia and New Zealand, with local governments facing the biggest barriers to digitisation, according to a new report (23 November 2017). More...

In the media – Queensland

Zipline to thrill Brisbane visitors with council approval for Australia's longest sky-high ride
Construction will begin next year on Australia's longest zipline that will allow riders to speed up to 65kph down Brisbane's Mount Coot-tha (30 November 2017). More...

Digital Productivity Report 2017: Digital role new core for councils
More than ever Queensland councils are seeing the value in investing in the digital economy, from improving community literacy to partnering with local business and investing in telecommunications (30 November 2017). More...

Queensland mayor charged with misconduct
Queensland's Fraser Coast Regional Council mayor Chris Loft has been charged following a misconduct investigation by the state's corruption watchdog. They included two counts of misconduct in public office, one of disclosing official secrets, one of wilfully disclosing information and one of computer hacking and misuse (30 November 2017). More...

Have your say: Managing local government rates, fees and charges
This audit will assess whether councils are setting rates and charges that support long-term financial sustainability. The LGAQ is preparing a submission and welcomes your contribution (28 November 2017). More...

Businessman fronts court over alleged Ipswich bribery scandal
Former lobbyist Wayne Myers is charged with corruption after allegedly helping a former Ipswich City Council chief executive corruptly obtain "a sum of money", a case which stems from an expanding Crime and Corruption Commission investigation into the council (28 November 2017). More...

Promises on infrastructure
The LGAQ's big ticket item in its 10 Point Election Plan is a commitment to a minimum $500 million a year in baseline funding for local government (24 November 2017). More...

In the media – Victoria

Making Councils More Accountable and Transparent

Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz today launched the latest data for the Know Your Council website, which provides information on a broad range of performance data – including planning permits, financial performance, roads, governance and waste collection – for Victoria's 79 Local Government Authorities (01 December 2017). More...

Central Goldfields Council trying to find where flood money went
The Central Goldfields Shire interim administrator says he is doing his best to understand where the money meant for Carisbrook flood recovery has gone (28 November 2017). More...

Central Goldfields Shire admits mismanagement of multi-million-dollar flood recovery fund
The beleaguered Central Goldfields Shire in regional Victoria confirms a flood recovery fund worth more than $30 million has been mismanaged (28 November 2017). More...

Bottled water rules should be tighter, say worried residents
Residents in North East Victoria say they've had enough of groundwater extraction in their region, and want the industry to be better regulated (24 November 2017). More...

'Lights out, go to bed': Victorian council wants to ban outdoor socialising after 10pm at Airbnbs
Airbnb hosts are railing against a proposal from Victoria's Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to ban tourists from hanging out on outdoor decking, balconies and pools after 10:00pm (21 November 2017). More...

Draft Victorian Rural Drainage Strategy
The draft Victorian Rural Drainage Strategy consultation is open until 20 December. The draft Victorian Rural Drainage Strategy proposes a series of policies and actions designed to enable landholders to choose how to manage their drainage and their drainage systems into the future.

Fire Management Strategy Discussion Paper

Emergency Management Victoria (EMV) is seeking feedback on the Victorian Fire Management Strategy Discussion Paper, to help identify what is important to achieve a sustainable future for fire management in Victoria. Feedback can be submitted online until 15 December.

E-waste landfill ban consultation papers
The Victorian Government is seeking feedback on its proposed approach to managing e-waste in Victoria. The introduction of a ban on e-waste from landfill was an election commitment of the government. A Policy Impact Assessment (PIA) and two draft waste management policies have been released for public consultation, with feedback due by 25 January 2018. A summary of the PIA and of the proposed policy package have also been published. Given the direct impact of the proposed changes on local government, the MAV is intending to make a submission.

In the media – New South Wales

Legislative amendments to NSW planning system pass through Parliament
The Bill to change the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and deliver the biggest overhaul of the NSW planning system since the legislation's inception almost 40 years ago has passed through Parliament. For the first time, the Act will recognise the role of councils in strategic planning for the local area through their preparation of new local strategic planning statements (28 November 2017). More...

IPARTL Rate Peg for NSW Councils
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has set a 2.3% rate peg for 2018/19. The rate peg is higher than that set for the previous two years (1.8% in 2016/17 and 1.5% in 2017/18), which the IPART explained is due to due to increases in labour costs, electricity and street lighting charges, and higher construction costs for roads, drains, footpaths, kerbs and bridges (28 November 2017). More...

Joint Organisation legislation passes parliament
The Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro, and Minister for Local Government Gabrielle Upton today announced local councils across regional NSW will now be able to form voluntary Joint Organisations following the successful passage of new laws through NSW Parliament (24 November 2017). More...

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.

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Jenny Humphris
Peter Holt
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