Australia: Local Government News – 29 August 2018

Last Updated: 31 August 2018
Article by Gerard Timbs, Jenny Humphris, Joseph Monaghan and Peter Holt
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

In the media

Queensland

Solar boom 'bringing hundreds of jobs' to rural Queensland
A renewable energy boom is reinvigorating the Darling Downs local economy but although some landholders are eager to be involved, not all residents are pleased about the new developments (19 August 2018). More...

Lavish meals, business class flights and gambling credits: Ipswich council's dodgy culture revealed
Senior executives enjoyed lavish meals, business class flights and received thousands of dollars in gambling credits from developers for favours, according to a scathing Crime and Corruption report into Ipswich City Council (15 August 2018). More...

Operation Wind age report highlights culture and corruption risks in Ipswich
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the CCC's Operation Wind age report into culture and corruption risks at Ipswich City Council underlines the urgent need to dismiss Council and appoint an administrator. The report identifies a wide spectrum of serious governance and integrity failures that make absolutely shocking reading (14 August 2018). More...

'Culture of fear': Damning report into Ipswich council finds abuse of power
The Ipswich council allegedly had corrupt associations with property developers and employees received gifts and benefits in exchange for facilitating development applications, a new report finds (14 August 2018). More...

Medicinal cannabis farm approved for Brisbane's west
Brisbane City Council has given the tick to a plan for a cannabis farm in the city's west, but nearby residents appear to know nothing about it (11 August 2018). More...

LGAQ: Good move on short-term letting
These reforms are required so we can more accurately monitor the availability of rental accommodation stock, decreased housing affordability and negative impacts on local communities (11 August 2018). More...

Statement from LGAQ President Mark Jamieson on Ipswich City Council
The Local Government's Minister's decision to proceed with the dismissal of Ipswich City Council is profoundly regrettable if understandable (09 August 2018). More...

A new water waste treatment plant for Bundaberg
Largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by Bundaberg Regional Council officially opens (09 August 2018). More...

New Bundaberg PFAS testing results available
The Queensland Government's investigation into PFAS contamination in Bundaberg – which affected the town's water network – has found a likely source. Soil and surface water samples taken from within and adjacent to the Bundaberg Airport returned higher results than other surrounding areas (09 August 2018). More...

Riding the plastic free wave
A new pilot project has started in Noosa that focuses around a systematic, source reduction approach to reducing the use of disposable, single-use plastics (09 August 2018). More...

Victoria

Helping councils deliver more affordable homes
New changes to Victoria's Planning and Environment Act 1987 establish a framework for affordable housing, define who is eligible for affordable housing, and create a pathway for councils and developers to lock in affordable housing delivery as part of a development project (15 August 2018). More...

Funding boost for local recycling facility
The Andrews Labor Government will provide more than $1.1 million to fast-track industry-upgrade projects in Victoria's recycling sector. The funding follows more than $1 million provided in February as part of a $13 million package to help councils and the recycling sector (14 August 2018). More...

Supporting rural councils to deliver better services
The Andrews Labor Government is helping rural and regional councils improve services with the opening of expressions of interest for the Rural Council Support Program. Successful projects will improve the quality, effectiveness and affordability of services, and allow councils to raise revenue through new streams (14 August 2018). More...

New appointments to waste and resource recovery board
The Waste and Resource Recovery Groups are implementing the Labor Government's Recycling Industry Strategic Plan with local councils across Victoria. The 25 directors, including nine reappointments, commenced their roles on 1 August (13 August 2018). More...

In practice and courts

Queensland

CCC Investigations
CCC finalises Ipswich City Council investigation and tables report in Parliament

The CCC has tabled a report in State Parliament this afternoon following the completion of its investigation into Ipswich City Council (14 August 2018). More...

Further charges in Ipswich City Council investigation
This afternoon the Crime and Corruption Commission issued two men with Notices to Appear in Court as a result of its corruption investigation into Ipswich City Council (10 August 2018). More...

Culture and corruption risks in local government: Lessons learned from an investigation into Ipswich City Council (Operation Windage)
CCC: August 2018
The CCC's report outlines the corruption risks from governance failures and cultural issues in local government. The CCC has made four recommendations to address these corruption risks across the broader local government sector. More...

QRA ready for disaster funding reform
The new Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) will apply to disaster events from 1 November 2018, with the existing NDRRA Determination 2017 applying to natural disasters between now and 31 October 2018. To assist with the implementation, QRA has developed MARS (Management and Reporting System), an online application designed to streamline the disaster funding submission process. MARS will be used for events occurring after 1 November 2018, in line with the implementation of DRFA. More...

LGAQ: Flood Warning Standard Consultation
The Flood Warning Infrastructure Standard provides performance requirements for infrastructure which measures, communicates and stores rainfall and river-level data for flood monitoring and prediction. The standard is available for industry consultation until 31 August 2018 and you are encouraged to raise any issues, comments, corrections or other feedback. Copies of the Consultation Draft Flood Warning Infrastructure Standard can be downloaded here. More...

Building our Regions program: Round 4
Funding isn't guaranteed and councils with shortlisted projects will now have to prepare business cases for their projects, demonstrating detailed and compelling reasons for their projects to gain funding, and submit their business cases by 7 September 2018. Successful projects are expected to be announced in late 2018. More...

Local Government Bulletin - updated 27 July 2018
Discounting of employee benefits in accordance with AASB119
This bulletin is to advise local governments of the rates applicable to Commonwealth Government Bonds as at 30 June 2018 for the purpose of discounting employee benefits under Australian Accounting Standard AASB119 Employee Benefits.

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...

Victoria

Emergency Management Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
The Emergency Management Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 was passed in the Upper House last week and is now awaiting Royal Assent. A new section 59F sets out the role for councils with emergency management planning. This section reflects that it will no longer be the responsibility of a council to prepare a Municipal Emergency Management Plan (MEMP) for a municipal district. Further information is available on the Engage Victoria website,

Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment
Funded by the Victorian government, the $6.47 million 'Officers for the Protection of the Local Environment' (OPLE) pilot program has seen 11 new authorised EPA officers assigned to 13 council areas across the state, which runs through to the end of July 2019. More...

Cases

Body Corporate for Elandra Settlers v Noosa Council [2018] QPEC 37
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – QUEENSLAND – PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT COURT– POWERS – DECLARATORY RELIEF – where development approvals were finally granted for lot reconfiguration in 2005 and material change in use 2007 – where a condition of those approvals required another party to provide a bushfire information kit to the applicant and for the approval of it by the respondent, so that it could become part of the required Fire Management Plan – where that was not done and more recently, a document has been submitted to the respondent as a proposed bushfire information kit – where the respondent has not approved the bushfire information kit– where an issue is raised as to whether the respondent retains the power to approve any such bushfire information kit – where in any event, the respondent has further indicated they would refuse to approve the development approval for identified reasons, including lack of preparedness to give what may be seen to be prospective approval of actions in respect of bushfire management and which would otherwise require the approval of the respondent pursuant to another condition of the development approvals and which is also a requirement of a registered and indefeasible covenant – where the applicant seeks declaratory relief – whether the Court has power to make any declaration – whether there is utility in providing any declaratory relief – whether the respondent retains the power to approve a document as a bushfire information kit– whether an exercise of the respondent's discretion to reject the proposed bushfire information kit, for the reasons identified, would be an invalid exercise of power.

In the termination of the Lockyer Valley Regional Council Certified Agreement (Field Staff) 2012 - CA/2012/39 [2018] QIRC 102
INDUSTRIAL LAW - APPLICATION TO TERMINATE CERTIFIED AGREEMENT - where application for termination of agreement after nominal expiry date - where requirements for termination.

In the making of the Lockyer Valley Regional Council Certified Agreement (Field) 2018 [2018] QIRC 101
INDUSTRIAL LAW - APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION OF AGREEMENT - where application made within 21 days of the date on which the agreement was made - where requirements for certification.

Legislation

Queensland

Subordinate legislation as made – 17 August 2018

No 118 Aboriginal Land (North Stradbroke Island USL) Amendment Regulation 2018

Subordinate legislation as made – 10 August 2018

No 115 Economic Development (Oxley and Yeronga PDAs) Amendment Regulation 2018

Reminder: No 110 Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018
The Regulation is made under the Building Act 1975, and the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999. The policy objectives of the Regulation are to determine the extent of the use of potentially combustible cladding on existing private buildings in Queensland and raise awareness with building owners of the risks associated with potentially combustible cladding. The Regulation commences on 1 October 2018. More...

Victoria

Bills Introduced and Second Read in the first House – 10 August 2018
Building Amendment (Registration of Building Trades and Other Matters) Bill
Gambling Regulation Amendment (Wagering and Betting) Bill
Open Courts and Other Acts Amendment Bill
Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
Transport Legislation Amendment (Better Roads Victoria and Other Amendments) Bill

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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