Australia: Local Government News – 17 July 2018

Last Updated: 19 July 2018
Article by Jenny Humphris, Joseph Monaghan and Peter Holt

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

In the media – National

Local government eyes social media for feedback
Work is underway on a new digital platform that will enable councils to capture and analyse conversations on social media as a means of improving community consultation on major projects (26 June 2018). More...

Brass fittings leaching lead in drinking fountains, but daily use in households a larger concern
Brass fittings and taps found to cause slightly elevated levels of lead in drinking water continue to be sold and installed in homes, businesses and schools across Australia (06 July 2018). More...

Final report on regional development and decentralisation tabled
In its final report tabled this week, the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation made 13 recommendations to support and promote regional communities as sustainable, vibrant and enjoyable places to live and work (06 July 2018). More...

Support for community projects to help build a better regional Australia
Regional and remote communities across the country have received welcome news this week with 109 projects to share in more than $4 million under round two of the Building Better Regions Fund - Community Investment stream (06 July 2018). More...
Note: Applications for the third round of funding are expected to open in coming months. A full list of successful round two projects under the Community Investment stream are available here.

Why Australian councils are embracing business intelligence
As data generation takes place, the public's demand for information will continue to grow. Therefore it's imperative that councils implement tools to help them access and sift through the vast pools of data (03 July 2018). More...

Crackdown on councils' contracting of security services
Fair Work Ombudsman warns local governments could be liable if their contractors breach workplace laws after finding non-compliance in the supply chains of nearly two thirds of surveyed councils (29 June 2018). More...

Smarter roads: report urges government on transport technologies
Intelligent transport technology like puffin crossings and mobile driving apps are governments' key tools to unlocking safer, less congested roads, according to a major review. The findings come as local governments across Australia are being urged to take new action on road safety (29 June 2018). More...

Local government eyes social media for feedback
Work is underway on a new digital platform that will enable councils to capture and analyse conversations on social media as a means of improving community consultation on major projects (26 June 2018). More...

In the media – Queensland

New housing supply expert panel appointed for South East Queensland
Housing two million additional people in South East Queensland by 2041 will be top of the agenda for the Palaszczuk Government's new housing supply expert panel. The establishment of the panel is in response to a joint submission from the Property Council of Australia and the Queensland Council of Social Services, on the draft South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017, Shaping SEQ (08 July 2018). More...

Councils hiking rates 'behind closed doors': report
New audit raises concerns that local governments in Queensland could be hiking rates beyond the legal limit and are failing to disclose reasons for rate increases, prompting a call for regulatory reform (06 July 2018). More...

Tax time for trucks
The ATO has some advice for Queensland councils about the tax treatment of payments to council employees who hire their truck to Council (06 July 2018). More...

Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal appointments
Three appointees to the Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal will tackle any outstanding issues ahead of the creation of a powerful new integrity body to deal with Councillor complaints (04 July 2018). More...

5 things you may not know about zero waste to landfill solutions
Local councils and the Queensland Government are looking at investing in innovative technologies to reduce our reliance on landfill, as well as transform our waste into useable products like electricity and biofuels. More...

'Bleeding cash': Ipswich Council's secretive development arm loses $80m, expert claims
Expert analysis shows a private company Ipswich Council set up to build its $150 million facelift of its city centre is "technically bankrupt" and any other company "would have been dead a long time ago" (28 June 2018). More...

'Our hand has been forced': Ipswich Council takes Government to court
The Ipswich City Council says its court action to avoid being sacked by the Queensland Government is not a declaration of war, but the Local Government Minister says the legal action will create more confusion (27 June 2018). More...

Statement on Ipswich City Council
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said: "It's gravely disappointing to see Ipswich City Council hiding behind new legal proceedings that clearly aren't in the best interests of the city.." (27 June 2018). More...

In the media – Victoria

Melbourne's transport goes 'backwards' despite update
Proposals for an updated public transport strategy for Melbourne, which is leading the country in population growth, have come in for sharp criticism (06 July 2018). More...

Recycling industry funding
A day after the announcement of a $37 million package to support our recycling system, the Victorian Government has released its new Recycling Industry Strategic Plan. The MAV and/or councils are identified as partners for seven out of the 10 actions included in the State's plan (04 July 2018).

Delivering a new plan for the future of recycling
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio has announced a $37 million package that will increase the quality of recycled materials in Victoria and develop new markets for them (03 July 2018). More...

Equal access to local services needed for all Victorians
In the lead up to the November state election, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is calling on political parties and candidates to commit to election policies that ensure communities have equal access to local services regardless of where they live (27 June 2018). More...

In the media – New South Wales

New planning codes to provide more housing choice and greener streets
The Greenfield Housing Code will only apply in areas where councils have already permitted medium density housing under their Local Environmental Plan. In response to requests by some councils, a temporary deferral until 1 July 2019 has been granted. All Councils that have requested a further deferral have been granted this. More...

In Practice and Courts

NDIS rollout continues across Australia
From 1 July 2018 people with disability in new regions and age groups in five states across Australia, will be eligible to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), improving the lives of people with disability across Australia. Visit your state or territory page for more information on the rollout in your area.

Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Industry Code - released for public comment
The revised version of the Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Code has been released for public comment. The Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Code is designed to provide greater transparency to local community and councils when a Carrier is planning, selecting sites for, installing and operating Mobile Phone Radiocommunications Infrastructure. Information, including the Terms of Reference, can be found here. The draft Code and the submit comments form can be found on the Communications Alliance website. Public comment for the draft closes 20 July 2018.

Fair Work Ombudsman Procurement Inquiry
The Fair Work Ombudsman's Inquiry into the procurement of security services by governments focused on 23 councils across Australia. The report highlights the important role that councils can play in influencing workplace practices and promoting compliance with workplace laws. The report contains learnings and recommendations of relevance to all councils. More...

Draft National Airport Safeguarding Framework (NASF) Guideline I – Managing the Risk in Public Safety Zones at the Ends of Runways (draft NASF Guideline)
Public Safety Zones, or PSZs are the designated areas of land at the end of airport runways where certain planning restrictions may apply. The National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group (NASAG) have prepared a draft new guideline for how these PSZs are managed. The draft and supporting documents can be found on the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities' (DIRDC) website here.

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 be preparing 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: BPB's website will always have the latest version. April 2018 roadshow presentation Certification data reporting FAQs

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. We need your 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 (DRFA) on 1 July 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 here.

OAIC Key dates
Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code - Commences 1 July 2018.

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...


Brisbane City Council amendments to Brisbane City Plan 2014 - Major Amendment for Infrastructure Purposes
At its meeting on 5 June 2018, Brisbane City Council adopted amendments to Brisbane City Plan 2014 to include the Major Amendment for Infrastructure Purposes. The amendments apply city-wide, and commenced on 29 June 2018. The amendments can also be accessed by searching for 'City Plan Long term infrastructure plans' at gazette notice 29 June 2018

LGAQ: draft documents for new Councillor Complaints system
This is your chance to provide feedback on these important documents so please take the time to review them and submit your feedback. 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...

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 More...


Environmental water management: A new report has been released by the Victorian Parliament's Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Committee finding that more research and community input are required to ensure effective environmental water management. The report makes 21 findings and five recommendations.

Environment Protection Amendment Bill 2018: The Bill was introduced to Parliament this week 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. This week, 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. More...

New South Wales

Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Industry Code
A revised version of the national Mobile Phone Base Station Deployment Code has been released for public comment. The code is a voluntary, industry standard applying to low-impact mobile phone radiocommunications infrastructure. LGNSW is drafting a submission on behalf of the sector and contributions from councils are welcome. More...

Crown Land Management
Commencing on 1 July 2018, the Crown Land Management Act 2016 (the Act) implements reforms identified through the comprehensive review of Crown land management and follows over four years of engagement with the community on the future of Crown land.
Local councils will manage Crown land under the public land provisions of the Local Government Act 1993. To support the development of plans of management for Crown reserves local councils will receive funding to meet the new requirement.

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 commenced on 6 July 2018.

Greenfield Housing Code
The changes commenced on 6 July 2018, the new Code will be included in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. In response to requests by some councils, a temporary deferral until 1 July 2019 has been granted. A list of self-nominated LGAs who have been granted a deferral is available online. To find out whether your council has opted for a temporary deferral of the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code and what options are available to those planning to build under the code, please click here. More...
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).


New South Wales

Kelly v Smith (No.2) [2018] NSWCATAD 141
COSTS – special circumstances - no question of principle In Kelly v Smith [2018] NSWCATAD 122, we dismissed Mr Kelly's application that Mr Smith be disqualified from holding civic office in Ku-ring-gai Council. These reasons concern the costs of that application.

Office of Local Government v Shelley [2018] NSWCATOD 103
TRADES AND OCCUPATIONS – misconduct by Councillor who made allegations of corruption and conflicts of interest at Council meeting – where allegations republished on a Facebook page administered by councillor – reprimand imposed.

Manning v Bathurst Regional Council [2018] NSWCATAD 132
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – government information – whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to diminish the competitive commercial value of information or prejudice any person's legitimate business, commercial, professional or financial interests – whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to enhance open discussion or Government accountability.

Abou-Anton v City of Ryde Council [2018] NSWLEC 1334
APPEALS: building information certificates; unauthorised works to dwelling house; dwelling not built in accordance with complying development certificate; nominal development application assessment required; amenity impacts; view loss; overheight fence; requirement for stormwater easement.

So Nash Pty Limited v Inner West Council [2018] NSWLEC 1327
DEVELOPMENT CONSENT: appeal against the imposition of a number of conditions on development consent for the adaptive reuse of a local heritage item, including a condition requiring the deletion of one off-street car parking space and a condition notifying the future occupants of the development that they are not eligible to participate in the Council's Resident Parking Scheme.

Karimbla Properties (No.56) Pty Ltd v The Council of the City of Sydney [2018] NSWLEC 1301
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: Green Square - Concept development application – Floor space bonus – design quality.

M.H. Earthmoving Pty Ltd v Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (No.2) [2018] NSWLEC 101
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – notice of motion – whether appropriate to hear issues raised as separate questions – where similar submissions would be made in hearing of another notice of motion in any event STATUTORY INTERPRETATION – whether amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) have the effect of constituting a new statutory entity or continuing an existing entity – application of interpretive principles JOINDER – whether appropriate to join planning panel to Class 1 proceedings – where panel is the consent authority but decision is deemed to be made by Council – where panel has power to control and direct Council COSTS – costs sought in relation to conciliation conference – presumptive rule against costs in Class 1 proceedings – costs sought against non-party – where agreement reached in conciliation conference but planning panel exercised its power to control and direct Council.

Kelly v Randwick City Council [2018] NSWLEC 1322
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL: Two- lot strata subdivision of approved dual occupancy – interpretation of clause detailing minimum subdivision allotment size – whether a cl.4.6 variation request is required.




Ministerial and Other Office Holder Staff and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Introduced by: Hon A Palaszczuk MP on 15/05/2018. Stage reached: Report from Committee on 5/07/2018.

New South Wales

Local Land Services Amendment Act 2017 No 48 (2018-307) — published LW 29 June 2018.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Low Rise Medium Density Housing) Amendment Regulation 2018 (2018-368) — published LW 5 July 2018.

Crown Land Management Amendment (Local Land Criteria) Regulation 2018 (2018-317) — published LW 29 June 2018.

Local Land Services Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2018 (2018-325) — published LW 29 June 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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