Australia: Local Government News - 14 February 2018

Last Updated: 19 February 2018
Article by Jenny Humphris, Joseph Monaghan and Peter Holt
Most Read Contributor in Australia, March 2019

In the media – National

Heavyweights join City Powers Partnership
A further 35 councils, including the cities of Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Darwin, have joined the Climate Council's Cities Power Partnership (02 February 2018). More...

Technology brings better customer service to government
Rapidly advancing technology is opening new doors to convenience, speed, and transparency for private-sector customers. But these benefits are often not realised in government, where tight budgets are making it difficult for the public sector to deliver services of a similarly high quality (30 January 2018). More...

Australia Day honours for local government
Local government identities around Australia have been honoured in this year's Australia Day awards (29 January 2018). More...

Cities Power Partnership doubles in size
The Cities Power Partnership (CPP), a consortium of Australian local government authorities to encourage the use of renewable energy, has increased its number of members to 70, exactly double the number that signed up when the group was formed in July 2017 (29 January 2018). More...

To celebrate or not: Aboriginal Councils share views on Australia Day
Several local governments across the country are moving Australia Day events from 26 January as a sign of respect for Indigenous Australians, but what are Aboriginal councils doing? (25 January 2018). More...

Broad view taken on broadband access
The Department of Communications and the Arts is to implement a new online communication standards program that will ensure all Australians have access to voice and broadband services, regardless of where they live (23 January 2018). More...

In the media – Queensland

Western Queensland research to help indigenous councils
The LGAQ will use preliminary results from USQ research in applications to support indigenous councils that suffer from poor connectivity (02 February 2018). More...

Toowoomba 'a model for decentralisation'
Regional Development Minister John McVeigh says Toowoomba's emergence as a major regional centre is a strong advertisement for federal decentralisation (01 February 2018). More...

Tangalooma resort defends fee hikes for island homes
The resort's director insists ongoing rises in annual fees for Moreton Island property owners are "in line with increases across the property market", despite some residents saying their houses and apartments on the island could send them bankrupt (31 January 2018). More...

'Release the hounds': Brisbane greyhounds to be allowed outdoors unmuzzled
Owners of greyhounds will be allowed to take their dogs outside unmuzzled, under new animal bylaws proposed by Brisbane City Council (30 January 2018). More...

Qld local governments powering climate solutions
Brisbane, Logan, Sunshine Coast and Cairns councils this week joined the Climate Council's Cities Power Partnership, a collaborative network of Australian local governments that now represents over two million Queenslanders (30 January 2018). More...

LGAQ: Federal reef injection not enough
In response to the Federal Government's announcement of a $60 million investment in the Great Barrier Reef the LGAQ has said the funding still does not match the amount Queensland local governments invest each year (25 January 2018). More...

Statement from Local Government Minister
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said: "Today I notified Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor Chris Loft that I propose to exercise my power under the Local Government Act to recommend that Councillor Loft be dismissed as Mayor and Councillor (25 January 2018). More...

In the media – Victoria

Victorian councils caught up in China's waste import ban
Waste disposal companies running recycling operations on behalf of Victorian councils have been told that Visy Industries will no longer accept kerb-side pickups (01 February 2018). More...

City of Melbourne staff report 'culture of fear' at council
A confidential survey of City of Melbourne staff reveals a number of workers have concerns about the council's ethical culture (01 February 2018). More...

In Practice and Courts

Extreme weather conference 2018
The impact of climate change on infrastructure and government will be one of the key themes of Australia's first Xtreme Weather Conference, to be held at the Sofitel Brisbane on 20 March 2018. The conference brings together climate change experts with local government planners, academics and emergency services to share information on climate change. More...

National General Assembly 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. Motions are open and need to be lodged by 30 March using the online form. A discussion paper is also available to provide guidance to councils for the development of Motions for debate.

Closing the Gap Agenda
Closing the Gap agenda has begun with the release of a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) discussion paper to support ongoing consultations. More sessions are scheduled across the country in coming months in 2018. Submissions close 31 March. More...

Applying for Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program funding: proposals
The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester MP, has announced that Round Six of the HVSPP was open for proposals from 15 December 2017 to 30 March 2018. State, territory and local governments are eligible to apply for funding for projects that will upgrade road infrastructure to improve heavy vehicle safety and freight efficiency. More...

Applications for funding: Round Six of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP)
Local Government, as well as the state and territory governments may apply for funding, with the Federal government contributing up to 50 per cent of the total project cost to successful projects, up to a maximum of $5 million. About $98 million will be provided Round Six funding. Proposals will be accepted up to 30 March 2018. More...

Regulatory Reform Summit 2018
The Regulatory Reform Summit 2018 (27 February – 02 March 2018) seeks to cover the most topical and timely of trends in regulatory transformation and provide solutions to common regulatory struggles. The conference aims to help policy makers solve the jigsaw policy that is re-regulation - creating smarter, simpler, more responsive and technologically integrated regulation. Hear from 30+ leading government departments. Register here...

Round Two: Commonwealth's Building Better Regions Fund
Applications from councils and not-for-profit organisations are now being accepted for Round Two of the Commonwealth's Building Better Regions Fund. Those interested can find out more about the program guidelines by clicking here. A second funding round is expected to open for applications in the first half of 2018.

Consultation: Regulation Impact Statement on options to phase out PFOS chemicals
The Department of the Environment and Energy has released a consultation Regulation Impact Statement on options to phase out PFOS chemicals nationwide. The Department is holding a number of public sessions from 10 November. The public comment period closes on 26 February 2018. More...


LGAQ: Delegations register
The latest review of the Delegations Register is available in LG Online ( This includes 2 new registers, 3 changed registers and 35 updated to new reprint only.

New registers
Peaceful Assembly Act 1992
Nature Conservation (Administration) Regulation 2017
– Council to CEO. New Register replacing the register for the Nature Conservation (Administration) Regulation 2006. Includes changes to section numbers formerly used in the 2006 Regulation.

Changes of substance to existing registers
State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999 - Council to CEO.
Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 - Council to CEO.
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 – Council to CEO.

LGAQ: Fraud management guideline
Designed to give councils a clear understanding of fraud prevention and management and the requirements involved in implementing a fraud prevention and management framework within council, the Guideline serves as an ideal resource for employees at all levels and will be of particular use to employees who are new to the local government workplace. NOTE: Updated 25 January 2018 to encompass the requirements of the new Crimes and Misconduct Amendment Legislation 2014. More... [subscription access]

Consultation on Reef Regulation Impact Statement
As one of the leading contributors to the management and protection of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland local government has an important role to play in the ongoing conservation of the Reef. The State Government is proposing enhanced regulations around nutrient and sediment pollution from key industries in Great Barrier Reef catchments as part of a Regulatory Impact Statement for enhancing reef protection regulations (RIS). The LGAQ is preparing a submission and seeking input from councils within the Reef Catchment. Submissions close on 19 February 2018.


VCAT high profile decision
Caydon Cremorne No 2 Development Pty Ltd v Yarra City Council [2018] VCAT 85: Decision released by Senior Member Laurie Hewet and Member Ann Keddie on 22 January 2018. Application under section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to review the refusal to grant a permit.

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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