Australia: Local Government News - 6 April 2018

Last Updated: 13 April 2018
Article by Jenny Humphris, Joseph Monaghan and Peter Holt

Most Read Contributor in Australia, October 2018

In the media – National

Government advisor lists $55 billion in infrastructure projects
Landmark metro systems in Brisbane and Sydney, Victoria's M80 upgrade and NSW's WestConnex are among the "high priority" projects approved by Infrastructure Australia (27 March 2018). More...

Census uncovers Australia's most advantaged and disadvantaged areas
Ku-ring-gai on Sydney's upper north shore is Australia's most advantaged Local Government Area (LGA) according to new data released today from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. The 10 most advantaged LGAs in Australia are all located around the Northern and Eastern areas of Sydney Harbour and in coastal Perth. The most disadvantaged LGA is Cherbourg in Queensland, followed by West Daly in the Northern Territory (27 March 2018). More...

In the media – Queensland

State refocuses funding to boost regional economies
Infrastructure projects that deliver enduring economic benefits for regional communities will be the focus of Round 4 of the Palaszczuk Government's Building our Regions (BoR). Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said while previous BoR rounds had funded a variety of good projects, funding will now be directed to projects with stronger direct economic outcomes (29 March 2018). More...

LGAQ appears at Belcarra hearing
The LGAQ this week appeared before a key parliamentary committee to put the case of local government regarding the legislative reforms arising out of the Crime and Corruption Commission's Belcarra recommendations (29 March 2018). More...

Charity watchdog acts after RSL Qld couldn't account for $400k in spending
Australia's charity commission warns RSL Queensland over serious governance failures and an inability to meet record-keeping obligations, including not being able to account for how hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable funds were spent (29 March 2018). More...

LGAQ welcomes Queensland Biosecurity Strategy
The LGAQ today welcomed the long-awaited release of the 'Queensland Biosecurity Strategy', launched by the Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Hon. Mark Furner (28 March 2018). More...

Travel expense concerns, clashes with Logan Mayor revealed in sacked CEO's legal documents
Clashes with Logan Mayor Luke Smith and concerns over travel expenses are among a number of reasons detailed by the council's CEO in an eleventh-hour bid to save her job (29 March 2018). More...

Under-fire Logan mayor vows to stay clear of development applications
Logan Mayor Luke Smith says he will continue running the city — albeit in a limited capacity — despite being charged with corruption and fellow councillors calling for him to step down (27 March 2018). More...

Moranbah upgraded $7 million waste plant opens
Moranbah's $7 million upgraded waste management facility will cut cost, increase revenue and guarantee safe, reliable, long-term waste disposal for the region (28 March 2018). More...

Next stage of Bundaberg 10-year Action Plan to get underway
Community information sessions begin today to update the Bundaberg region on concept designs and preliminary technical investigations for the four projects in the Bundaberg 10-year Action Plan (27 March 2018). More...

Village Greens project transforms Tamborine Mountain Main Street
Tamborine Mountain's Main Street has been transformed with the official opening of the $1.45 million revamped median strips, the Village Greens. Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor Greg Christensen said the Scenic Rim Regional Council is committed to creating places and spaces that promote the unique character of the region through the Vibrant and Active Towns and Villages initiative (27 March 2018). More...

Statement from Local Government Minister
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said "I have been asked numerous times today by journalists and members of the community why I acted against the former Mayor of the Fraser Coast Regional Council, but have not moved against a Mayor facing criminal charges" (27 March 2018). More...

Brassall woman charged with fraudulent falsification of records
A 47-year-old woman from Brassall was charged today with fraudulent falsification of records by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC). The CCC will allege the woman knowingly falsified records relating to donations made by Ipswich City Council to charitable organisations between 28 July 2012 and 5 March 2017 (27 March 2018). More...

Queenslanders to be fined for not bringing in wheelie bins
Queenslanders who don't bring their kerbside rubbish bins in after a day could soon be fined. The fine, up to $2,500, has always been in the state legislation, but not widely enforced. Now, the government will allow councils to enforce the laws and while some have ignored it, at least 20 councils have indicated they plan to implement it (26 March 2018). More...

Windaroo man charged with official corruption and perjury
A 48-year-old Windaroo man was charged today with official corruption, perjury and failing to correct his Register of Interests. The CCC will allege the man knowingly gave false testimony at a public hearing related to Operation Belcarra (26 March 2018). More...

PCA: Industry responds to developer donation ban Bill
The Property Council has provided a submission in response to the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 1 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018.
The Bill, which seeks to give effect to the Government's proposed ban on political donations from property developers, has been opposed by the Property Council on the basis that it singles out the property sector for inequitable treatment under electoral laws, and unduly brands Queensland's biggest non-government employer as a corruption risk (22 March 2018).

Trade and Investment MOU to support local economies
Under the MOU, the LGAQ will increase the support provided to councils through training, mentoring and increasing the connectivity between councils and Trade and Investment Queensland (22 March 2018). More...

Federal Budget: Submit your community infrastructure projects
Councils are encouraged to submit community infrastructure projects to ensure Queensland projects are well represented in ALGA's 2018 Federal Budget submission (21 March 2018). More...

Redland City Council takes stand on cyber respect
Redland City Council has taken a public stand against negative online behaviour, launching a #pledgenot2sledge social media campaign - and they're encouraging Qld councils to get involved (21 March 2018). More...

Queensland waste Stakeholder Advisory Group announced
The Palaszczuk Government has today announced the membership of the Stakeholder Advisory Group that will co-design Queensland's statewide waste management strategy. Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the group would consist of representatives from across the waste industry including the Local Government Association of Queensland (21 March 2018). More...

Palaszczuk Government announces waste strategy for Queensland
The Palaszczuk Government has today announced a strategy to stop Queensland from being the dumping ground for interstate waste (20 March 2018). More...

Keep your rubbish NSW': Queensland to bring back dumped waste levy
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the levy would be more than the $35-per-tonne rate charged in Queensland in 2011, and in consultation with the Local Government Association of Queensland [LGAQ] and with councils (20 March 2018). More...

Now is the time to secure a zero waste future
Local Government Association of Queensland President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Government needed to demonstrate how its proposed waste levy could be used as a springboard to reform waste processing (20 March 2018). More...

Secretive $270m Brisbane council investment arm risks heavy losses: economist
A leading economist joins the call for Brisbane City Council's investment arm to face public scrutiny amid concern it is secretly exposing ratepayers to unnecessary financial risks (20 March 2018). More...

In the media – Victoria

Queen Victoria Market revamp jeopardised by heritage rejection
The City of Melbourne says it has been blindsided by Heritage Victoria's decision to reject a key part of the proposed $250 million redevelopment of Queen Victoria Market (28 March 2018). More...

MAV response: Local Government Bill Exposure Draft
The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) response to the Local Government Bill exposure draft has welcomed many of the proposed reforms, but also raised a number of concerns. These concerns include an expanded use of regulation, electoral structures, conflict of interest provisions, and a failure to properly review the rating system (21 March 2018). More... (Submission) More....

In the media – New South Wales

Recycling rescue package welcomed, but it's not new money
Local Government NSW has welcomed the $47 million recycling rescue package announced by the NSW Government, despite disappointment the money is simply being diverted from funds already aimed at better managing waste throughout the state (21 March 2018). More...

In Practice and Courts

From around the coasts: annual Australian Coastal Councils Conference
Mr Wynne's presentation on the Great Ocean Road follows the release of an issues paper by a Victorian Planning Ministry taskforce charged with the job of protecting and enhancing the Great Ocean Road. Its issues paper Governance of the Great Ocean Road Region identifies proposals for better coordination between the key agencies responsible for the road and the tourist destination. Submissions can be lodged before the end of April. More...

ABS Census 2021
The ABS will open public consultation on the review of 2021 Census topics on Tuesday, 3 April 2018. This will provide you and your organisation with an opportunity to identify your data needs and share your views on the most useful information to collect in the 2021 Census.. The briefing on 5 April 2018 is an opportunity to learn about the review of the 2021 Census topics and how to participate in this process. briefing here Review of 2021 Census topics here

Infrastructure priority list: Project and initiative summaries
Infrastructure Australia: 27 March 2018 - The Infrastructure Priority List is updated regularly to reflect emerging infrastructure priorities across Australia. It provides independent, evidence-based advice to governments and industry on the projects that will most benefit our growing communities. More...

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. here

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. here

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. More...

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...

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. More...


Draft State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria)
The Victorian Government has reviewed two State Environment Protection Policies (SEPPs) – Waters of Victoria and its schedules, and Groundwaters of Victoria. Issues of note for councils include on-site domestic wastewater management and urban stormwater management. For further information about our response, contact Rosemary Hancock. The documents and details about making a submission can be found on the Engage Victoria website (29 March 2018).

The Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission is hosting a regional Integrity Insights forum on 20 April in Traralgon. This forum is specifically designed for public sector leaders, local government CEOs, senior leaders and employees with an integrity role (human resources, finance, procurement, risk and governance professionals). Registration is available online (29 March 2018). More...

Land Use Terms
Submissions are invited on the Land Use Terms Advisory Committee's Discussion Paper
The Advisory Committee appointed to review and recommend improvements to land use terms and their definitions in Clause 74 of the VPP released a Discussion Paper for public comment by 3 April 2018.


Building our Regions (BoR): Round 4
The closing date for expressions of interest is 27 April 2018. Councils who have had Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) activated due to the March 2018 flood events will have an additional four weeks to submit their applications. More...

LGAQ: MIPP 2 Formal approval for applications extended
The Department has confirmed that submissions must be received by the closing date (midday Monday 9 April 2018) but can be subject to formal approval which must be received by midday Monday 16 April 2018 (28 March 2018). More...

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 (26 March 2018). More...

Consultation: Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
SDA application for a material change of use for high impact industry in the Townsville State Development Area closes 23 April 2018.

Developer donations bill reintroduced to parliament
The Queensland Government has re-introduced legislation to ban donations from property developers to state and local government candidates. After previous legislation lapsed with the dissolution of the last parliament, the Government has reintroduced its Bill as the Local Government Electoral (Implementing Stage 1 of Belcarra) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018. Reforms contained within the Bill are expected to be applied retrospectively from 12 October 2017, when the first Bill was introduced.

QAO Audits

Managing local government rates and charges
The objective of this audit is to examine whether councils set and administer rates and charges appropriately to support long-term sustainability. April–July 2018 Report to be tabled.

Local government entities: results of financial audits
This report summarises the results of our financial audits of the Queensland councils and the related entities they control that produced financial statements at 30 June. April–July 2018 Report tabled 22 March 2018. More...

Land Valuations Online
The new land valuation data for 2018 can be accessed online at Queensland Globe also gives landowners access to detailed valuation information allowing users to search for a property or pan the map to areas of interest and zoom down to individual property level. Landowners can access the Queensland Globe year round via the Land Valuations website
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

Code of Conduct for Councillors
Sydney, 27 April 2018 - for venue details contact LGNSW Learning Solutions Register now. More...

Draft Regional Pest Animal Management Plans
NSW Local Land Services is seeking feedback on 11 draft regional strategic pest animal management plans by 20 April. The plans will guide resource allocation and investment across the state and provide a consistent basis for regional planning and delivery. Feedback is being recorded via a short online survey. More....

2018 Waste Conference
Registrations are open for the 2018 Waste Conference (Coffs Harbour, 8-10 May). This annual conference is the premier event for the waste management industry in Australia. LGNSW supports this conference as it is particularly relevant to the local government sector. More...


Linville Holdings Pty Ltd v Fraser Coast Regional Council (No 2) [2018] QSC 62
The respondent pay the applicant's costs of the proceeding to be assessed on the standard basis.
PROCEDURE – Civil proceedings in state and territory courts – Costs – Offers of compromise, payments into court and settlements – Informal offers and calderbank letters – Unreasonable refusal of offer – where Calderbank offer made and refused – where questions in proceeding are matters of public importance – whether costs should be assessed on the indemnity basis.

Muto v Shepparton City Council [2018] VSCA 73
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) – Refusal of leave to appeal from VCAT – Matter heard and determined by single member – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, cl 46E(1) of sch 1, required VCAT be constituted by two members – Requirement removed by amendment to cl 46E(1) made after hearing and before determination – Whether VCAT properly constituted – Whether order within VCAT jurisdiction – Effect of transitional provision – Appeal allowed – VCAT order set aside – Proceeding remitted to VCAT – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998, cls 46E and 46F of sch 1 – Local Government Act 1989 ss 81J(1)(b), 249.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Appeal – Paragraph of County Court statement of claim seeking costs in VCAT struck out – Where basis for strike out is VCAT order as to costs – Effect of invalidity of VCAT's order and remitter of proceeding to VCAT – Whether utility in County Court proceeding – Application for leave to appeal refused.



Bills Updated

Local Government Legislation (Validation of Rates and Charges) Amendment Bill 2018
Introduced on 15/02/2018 Stage reached: Passed on 20/03/2018
Assent Date: 29/03/2018 Act No: 4 Commences: Date of Assent.

Vegetation Management (Clearing for Relevant Purposes) Amendment Bill 2018
Introduced on 21/03/2018 Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 21/03/2018.

New South Wales

Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Coastal Management) Order 2018
(2018-105) — published LW 23 March 2018.
State Environmental Planning Policy (Coastal Management) 2018
(2018-106) — published LW 23 March 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.

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Peter Holt
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