Australia: Local Government News – 30 July 2018

Last Updated: 2 August 2018
Article by Gerard Timbs, Jenny Humphris, Joseph Monaghan and Peter Holt
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

In the media

New measures in legislation to safeguard critical infrastructure
Legislation to safeguard Australia's critical infrastructure and strengthen the Government's national security posture against risks of sabotage, espionage and coercion in the electricity, gas, ports and water sectors has commenced (20 July 2018). More...

Experts call for action on council governance
State governments are being urged to tackle legislative inconsistencies and improved governance frameworks in the wake of Queensland's Ipswich Council being stood down (17 July 2018). More...

The issues Australians are reporting most to local councils
Parking, dumped rubbish and pavement issues are our biggest frustrations with Australian councils, according to new data (17 July 2018). More...

Council museums in 'precarious funding environment'
Local government has found itself responsible for Australia's growing array of local museums and a new analysis highlights many are struggling with staffing and resourcing (17 July 2018). More...

Government fares worst for customer experience: survey
The majority of citizens find their interactions with government services to be disconnected, slow and lacking in customer engagement, research finds (10 July 2018). More...

Green light for 136 regional projects
The Federal Government has announced that it will invest more than $208 million in 136 projects under round two of the Building Better Regions Fund-Infrastructure Projects stream. Applications for the third round of funding are expected to open in coming months (20 July 2018). More...


Brisbane cinema wars see iconic Red Hill Skate Rink development on hold
A $10 million redevelopment proposed by Five Star Cinemas at the prominent location was given the green light by Brisbane City Council last year. But the Reading Group, a subsidiary of Newmarket Properties Pty Ltd, is seeking to have the approval overturned in the Planning and Environment Court (17 July 2018). More...

Suspended Logan mayor Luke Smith charged with assault
Suspended Logan mayor Luke Smith is charged with assault, obstructing police and wilful damage, and is taken to Beenleigh watch house with a bloody wound to his forehead after being arrested at Meadowbrook (20 July 2018). More...

QLS: referral of controversial Bill to sack Ipswich City Council to committee a wise and necessary step
The state government's decision to refer the draft Bill to dismiss Ipswich City Council to committee was a necessary one to ensure the public had faith in the proper process on introduction of new laws, according to Queensland Law Society (17 July 2018). More...

Ipswich City Council dismissal legislation referred to parliamentary committee
A draft Bill to dismiss Ipswich City Council has been referred to State Parliament's Economics and Governance Committee for consideration (17 July 2018). More...

'Profoundly regrettable': Qld Government slammed over new move to sack Ipswich City Council
The Queensland Government will draft laws specifically to sack Ipswich City Council and bring in administrators, in the wake of councillors taking it to court to stall the process (10 July 2018). More...

Update on pedestrian crossing for Pimpama State Primary College
Gold Coast City Council and the State Government are continuing to work with the Pimpama State Primary College (PSPC) to establish a safer crossing option for students as soon as possible (13 July 2018). More...

Short-Term Letting 'Code of Conduct' floated
The State Government is responding to changes in Queensland's short-term letting sector with plans to introduce a 'Code of Conduct', particularly focused on regulating accommodation listed on peer-to-peer and sharing platforms. The industry reference group is expected to provide a list of recommendations for government before the end of the year (12 July 2018). More...

Far North Queensland councils prepare for climate change
The Far North Queensland coastline will be better protected from erosion and the potential impacts of rising sea levels thanks to funding from the Palaszczuk Government (12 July 2018). More...

$409,000 for Livingstone Shire Council to prepare for sea level rise
Protecting the Capricornia coastline from erosion, tidal surges and the changing climate has been boosted by more than $400,000 funding from the Palaszczuk Government (12 July 2018). More...

$392,000 for Gympie Council to address climate change impacts
Protecting the Gympie region from the changing climate and the threat of storm tide flooding has been boosted by $392,727 funding from the Palaszczuk Government (12 July 2018). More...

$430,000 for Cairns Council to address climate change
Protecting the Cairns coastline from erosion and the impacts of climate change has been boosted by more than $430,000 funding from the Palaszczuk Government (12 July 2018). More...

Council parks, play spaces take out top honours
The transformation of a sloped car park into a vibrant green community space and a project to increase public use of urban waterway corridors are among the local government initiatives recognised in recent awards (10 July 2018). More...

LGAQ: Good move on short-term letting
Queensland councils have welcomed the Palaszczuk Government's response to short-term letting facilitated by online booking agencies. The LGAQ President said the "code of conduct" the Government was proposing and the introduction of a system for data sharing would help councils manage the impact of short-term letting in their local communities (10 July 2018). More...

New South Wales

LGNSW Tackling the National Sword recycling crisis
Local government representatives from across NSW will come together in Sydney today to discuss how best to respond to Australia's recycling crisis following China's National Sword Policy. Councils in NSW are already seeking support to develop markets for recycled glass, paper and plastics; working proactively to improve the quality of what's in the recycling bin, and reducing recycling contamination levels (20 July 2018). More...

Lake Macquarie adopts smart city to drive jobs, innovation
Partnership between a council, an economic development company and a network provider delivers Australia's first smart city network across a local government area (20 July 2018). More...

Council wants statewide cat cap to curtail numbers and 'put dogs on level playing field'
A local council on the south-west fringe of Sydney is lobbying the State Government to limit the number of cats non-breeders can own in New South Wales (19 July 2018). More...

'I won't resign': NSW MP refuses to quit Parliament over ICAC revelations
NSW MP Daryl Maguire will not contest next year's state election, but is refusing to quit Parliament immediately following explosive revelations to the corruption commission that he attempted to receive money for helping arrange a property deal (16 July 2018). More...

In practice and courts


Local Government Bulletin
06/18 Annual GST Certificates for 2017–18
This bulletin is to remind local governments that they must, by no later than 15 September 2018, give the Director-General of the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs a certificate stating that the local government has paid notional Goods and Services Tax for the 2017-18 financial year.

BCC LGIP amendments
Development applications submitted from 2 July 2018 are subject to new infrastructure charges, due to a recent amendment in Brisbane City Council's, Brisbane City Plan 2014. Amendments revise the Local Government Infrastructure Plan (LGIP) and change the planning horizon to a 10-year term, with a 'Long-term Infrastructure Plan' applicable after 30 June 2026 (12 July 2018). More...

Ministerial and Other Office Holder Staff and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Introduced by Economics and Governance Committee: 05/07/2018
This report presents a summary of the Economics and Governance Committee's examination of the Ministerial and Other Office Holder Staff and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018. The committee's task was to consider the policy outcomes to be achieved by the legislation, as well as the application of fundamental legislative principles, that is, to consider whether the Bill had sufficient regard to the rights and liberties of individuals, and to the institution of Parliament. More...

LGAQ: We answer your vegetation management questions
The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has prepared a list of 'Frequently Asked Questions' (FAQs) to answer 19 questions that specifically relate to local government activities regarding the recent legislative changes to the Vegetation Management Act 1999 (VMA) and the Planning Regulation 2017(Planning Regulation) (11 July 2018). More...

Have your say on the future of packaging
The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) wants your feedback on their 'Towards 2025 – Directions Paper'. Add your comments to the LGAQ submission due Friday, 10 August 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...

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 Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

New South Wales

New Codes for Medium Density and Greenfield Housing
Two new housing codes have come into effect, introducing a complying development approval pathway for medium density development and housing in greenfield areas. Implementation of the new Medium Density Housing Code commenced on 6 July 2018 for 60 percent of councils. Fifty councils have been granted a deferral for one year (until 1 July 2019). A Planning Circular issued on 11 July requires councils to 'consider the Design Guide for DAs they are assessing a DA for this type of housing' until they have appropriate controls in place in their development control plan.

Contaminated Land Regional Capacity Building Grants
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is offering grants of up to $140,000 per year for three years, to groups of councils in regional NSW to employ skilled contaminated land professionals. The Council Regional Capacity Building Program aims to help councils build capacity to manage contaminated land issues. The EPA offered grant application assistance, free of charge, until 27 July. Applications close 17 August 2018.



Ko v Brisbane City Council [2018] QPEC 035
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – appeal against refusal of an application for a material change of use for Multiple dwelling in the LMR zone – whether development is located within easy walking distance of a public transport node – whether a decision to approve would conflict with City Plan 2014 – whether sufficient grounds to approve despite conflict.

New South Wales

Chief Executive, Office of Local Government v Cornish [2018] NSWCATOD 110
TRADES AND OCCUPATIONS – misconduct by Councillor who failed to comply with Council resolutions – relevant considerations – suspension of right to payment.

King v Liverpool City Council (No.3) [2018] NSWSC 1047
CIVIL PROCEDURE – representative proceedings – personal injury claim – settlement approval – Civil Procedure Act 2005, s 173 – claim unlikely to succeed – no opposition by group members – satisfied that the settlement is in the plaintiff's interests – settlement approved.

Adam Hughes Pty Ltd v Penrith City Council [2018] NSWLEC 1369
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL – residential flat building – area in transition – urban design of the building – amenity of future residents – building height exceedance - desired future character – site isolation and orderly development –weighing of impact of site isolation in overall merit assessment – appeal upheld.

Donnellan v Armidale Regional Council [2018] NSWLEC 1372
APPEAL – development application – two-lot subdivision of land – weight to be given to DCP – lot layout and design – whether kerb and guttering required – whether consent would create an undesirable precedent.

Luna Park Sydney Pty Ltd v Minister for Planning [2018] NSWLEC 89
JUDICIAL REVIEW – staged development – distinction in question between consent for use of land and consent for works to enable that use – approvals encompassed only use of land – proceedings dismissed.

Lane Cove Council v The Owners – Strata Plan No 88649 [2018] NSWCATAP 171
HOME BUILDING CLAIM – defects and statutory warranties – no evidence or no reasonable basis for conclusion – failure to provide proper reasons – whether rectification work was a necessary and reasonable course to adopt – failure to provide procedural fairness.

Bardari Pty Ltd ATF the BHK Trust v Waverley Council [2018] NSWLEC 1363
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Mixed use development – impact on neighbouring properties – heritage – height.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council v Mansfield [2018] NSWLEC 107
SUBPOENA – Application to set aside subpoenas to two companies on several grounds – whether they inappropriately rely on information obtained by the tainted use of a coercive investigation power – legitimate forensic purpose – abuse of process – ulterior purpose – other subsidiary objections.

Parker Logan Property Pty Ltd v Woollahra Municipal Council [2018] NSWLEC 1336
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Residential flat building – SEPP affordable rental housing – view loss.

Chulatunga v Randwick City Council [2018] NSWLEC 1348
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – carport – parking at front of dwelling – streetscape – neighbourhood character – visual amenity – structural design – site frontage – on property parking – landscaping – visual domination.



Subordinate legislation as made – 20 July 2018
No 103 Proclamation—Local Government (Councillor Complaints) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (commencing certain provisions)

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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