Australia: Inside track: Local Government - In the media, in practice and courts, cases and legislation

Last Updated: 12 September 2019

In the media

ALGA responds to Murray Darling Basin Terms of Reference inquiry
ALGA has told an inquiry into the Murray Darling Basin that its draft Terms of Reference also need to consider climate change, town water supplies, and individuals' concerns for their own welfare and their communities' (23 August 2019). More...

New national biosecurity BETA Site
The Australian Government has published a new biosecurity web site aimed at helping the general public, councils, businesses and individuals better understand how to identify and respond to biosecurity threats (30 August 2019). More...

New housing data dashboard From 20 national datasets
Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Luke Howarth, said the Commonwealth's investment in the dashboard is a way for all levels of government, the community housing sector and private sector to work together to identify shortfalls and oversupply in order to address housing and homelessness across Australia (30 August 2019). More...

Sand of origin: Interstate feud erupts over sand
An interstate feud has erupted between NSW and Queensland beachgoers after Tweed Coast residents accused their Queensland neighbours of taking too much sand while their own beaches suffer from erosion (29 August 2019). More...

Criticising your local council online? You could end up in court
A council in regional Western Australia is the latest to join the list of local governments around the country to allow ratepayer money to fund defamation action against members of the public (28 August 2019). More...

Councils struggle on road to transformation
Only three per cent of local governments consider themselves to have fully transformed customer experience through ICT, a survey has found. The biggest challenge to transformation is a lack of skill, leadership and resources, according to the Customer and technology transformation in local government report by KPMG and the Public Sector (26 August 2019). More...

National cities performance network updated
The Australian Government has updated the National Cities Performance Network, a data snapshot of 21 of the country's largest cities. The site is designed to help guide the policy and investment decisions of all three levels of government, as well as industry and the community (23 August 2019). More...

VR tech helps council planning
A new Australia-first virtual reality technology promises to revolutionise the way councils conduct planning activity by enabling planners and residents to visualise developments in 3D. The platform is the first of its kind in Australia designed specifically for councils (22 August 2019). More...


Joint submission to advocate for quality home support services
Councillors this week endorsed a joint submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, highlighting concerns over our community's ability to access quality home support services now and into the future (30 August 2019). More...

Ballarat 'one of the best' places for waste-to-energy in Australia, so why has it stalled?
Once touted as a $300 million solution to regional Victoria's waste woes, plans to build a waste-to-energy facility have stalled, with some in the industry left scratching their heads (28 August 2019). More...

More support for Victoria's recycling sector
The Andrews Labor Government is taking further action to support Victoria's recycling sector, with a $10 million loan to SKM's receivers KordaMentha to help clean-up SKM sites and resume waste processing. At the same time the Government is beginning the process to overhaul kerbside recycling (27 August 2019). More...

Melbourne apartment building unsafe to live in due to cladding and fire safety
Residents are ordered to leave an apartment building in Melbourne's south-east which is covered in combustible cladding (23 August 2019). More...

More support for Victoria's growing suburbs
The Andrews Labor Government is investing in great community facilities across Victoria including libraries, local parks, playground, community centres and sporting facilities (20 August 2019). More...


Newcastle sets 100% renewables target
The City of Newcastle (NSW) said it has estimated it could save up to $4.8m of ratepayers' money over the next 25 years if it switched to 100 percent renewable electricity (30 August 2019). More...

Jail terms promised in crackdown on NSW farm trespass
The New South Wales Government has introduced 'right to farm' legislation which it says will create the toughest penalties for farm trespass in Australia. NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said it will protect farmers under pressure from urban sprawl where councils were releasing subdivisions adjacent to farming land (20 August 2019). More...


Power boost for Kingaroy with new wind farm creating 100 new jobs
A $128 million wind farm in the South Burnett Regional Council area has been approved by the Palaszczuk Government creating 100 new jobs for regional Queenslanders (31 August 2019). More...

Canterbury Bankstown Council sets sights on 3D crossings to slow motorists
Three-dimensional zebra crossings have turned up in Iceland, England and even the tiny outback town of Boulia in Queensland — and now one Sydney council is exploring whether it could join the trend (30 August 2019). More...

Future looking bright for North West Queensland
The Palaszczuk Government has released an economy-boosting strategy for North West Queensland to attract investment and deliver jobs in resources, agriculture, tourism, business and industry. Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy was the result of extensive collaboration and consultation with regional stakeholders, including local government and community. More...

Queensland Government to support Queensland councils to participate in the National Redress Scheme
Queensland local councils are taking steps to participate in the Federal Government's National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child sex abuse with the support of the Palaszczuk Government (27 August 2019). More...

Last chance to apply for grants to support even more regional jobs
Time is running out to apply for the next round of the Palaszczuk Government's job-creating Rural Economic Development Grants (RED) program for businesses and councils in southwest Queensland Expressions of interest for round two close on September 6 (20 August 2019). More...

EcoBiz helping councils prepare for waste levy
Over a dozen councils have been engaged by the ecoBiz program to-date including biocontrol, showgrounds, airports, offices, community centres and libraries (23 August 2019). More...

Old stock routes revived but drover-grazier tensions emerge in competition for feed
Drought conditions have revived the old practice of large cattle drives, but drovers face new challenges as competition for feed on previously abandoned stock routes heats up (23 August 2019). More...

Palaszczuk Government and LGAQ continue partners in Government Agreement
The Palaszczuk Government's commitment to a strong partnership with local government was confirmed today at the signing of the 2019 Partners in Government Agreement with the LGAQ. The Agreement includes the Advancing Queensland Priorities, which are designed to produce six positive community outcomes. (20 August 2019). More...

In Practice and Courts

Regional Connectivity Program
The Commonwealth seeks feedback on its $60 million Regional Connectivity Program, which forms part of the $220m regional digital connectivity package. The discussion paper asks 13 questions, including should local government authorities, business organisations or industry groups be allowed to lead a bid for Regional Connectivity Program funding? More...

Australian Recycling Label resources for councils
The Australasian Recycling Label – which featured at the 2019 National General Assembly – aims to help you correctly dispose of all parts of a product's packaging. This tool kit for local councils gives an overview of all available resources and suggestions for how and where they can be used (23 August 2019).

National Local Roads and Transport Congress, 18-20 November 2019
This year's theme is 'breaking through for modern transport'. Topics to be covered include the future of transport and how local government can benefit, and an update on the state of the country's infrastructure by Infrastructure Australia CEO, Romily Madew. More...


The effect of lockout and last drinks laws on non-domestic assaults in Sydney: an update to March 2019
NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research: 08 August 2019
This research set out to examine the long term impact of the 2014 NSW liquor law amendments on non-domestic assaults in Kings Cross, the Sydney CBD and surrounding areas. As in previous studies, a significant reduction in non-domestic assaults in the Kings Cross and Sydney CBD precincts was revealed (08 August 2019). More...

The Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code has been deferred to allow for an independent review
The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) has been amended to extend this deferral for 45 councils for a further short period, until 31 October 2019, to allow for an independent review to be undertaken of the Code. More...

New dates for Environmental Planning & Assessment Act Updates
Councils, certifiers and other industry practitioners have more time to implement some of the recent EP&A Act updates. Changes affect new provisions for building and subdivision certification, Local Strategic Planning Statements for councils in the Greater Sydney Region and Community Participation Plans. CPPs must be finalised and published on the ePlanning portal by 1 December 2019.

Consultation on Short-Term Rental Accommodation
The NSW Government is seeking feedback on its draft regulatory framework for short-term rental accommodation (STRA), including a state environmental planning policy and a mandatory code of conduct. The government is also considering the introduction of a new industry-led STRA property register. Submissions close 11 September. More...

Boarding Houses Review
As part of its review of the Boarding Houses Act 2012, the NSW Government is seeking feedback on a discussion paper. Councils have responsibilities under the Boarding Houses Act to monitor and inspect boarding houses and ensure they meet certain safety and accommodation standards. It is also a matter for councils to decide what action to take regarding breaches identified during inspections, or where residences are suspected of operating as unregistered boarding houses. More...


Infrastructure pipeline report: August 2019
Building Queensland: 26 August 2019 - Queensland's growing and ageing population, coupled with ageing infrastructure assets and increased risks of extreme weather are just some of the challenges being addressed by the proposals in this report. More...

LGAQ: Migration in regional Australia - have your say
The LGAQ will be preparing a submission to the Inquiry on Migration in Regional Australia. The Inquiry will give particular consideration to how communities and settlement services can best assist migrants to gain successful employment outcomes. Comments requested by 13 September, 2019 (29 August 2019). More...

LGAQ: Emergency Management Levy - brewery levy
Typically, the Schedule has 'commercial premises' levy cost at a higher level than light industry/restaurant, so there is a likelihood that amended levies will still be higher than those previously made by councils. QFES has identified 20 councils where it is known that a "Brewery" levy has been (or will be) made under the June 2019 amendment (19 August 2019). More...

LGAQ: Building Regulation 2006 amendments in effect – Combustible Cladding Reminder
Amendments to the Building Regulation 2006 have now been made and took effect on 9 August 2019. Key changes include: introduction of a temporary PI insurance exclusion for private certifiers for works involving combustible cladding – i.e. from 9 August 2019 to 30 June 2021 (19 August 2019). More...

Partners in Government Agreement
The Queensland Government and the Local Government Association of Queensland, on behalf of Queensland local governments, signed the 2019 Partners in Government Agreement on 20 August 2019.
The Agreement details the key principles underlying the relationship between the state and local government and establishes the foundation for effective negotiation and engagement between both levels of government. More...

Office of the Independent Assessor Decisions – 21-20 August 2019
Statement from the Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian – Toowoomba councillor decision
Statement from the Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian – Gold Coast City councillor complaint decision
Statement from the Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian – Burdekin Shire Mayor decision
Statement from the Independent Assessor Kathleen Florian – Cassowary Coast councillor decision

LGAQ: Apply now: Illegal Dumping Partnerships Program
Applications are now open for the Illegal Dumping Partnerships Program that provides $2 million in funding to councils over two years to monitor, act on and prevent illegal dumping activities. Applications close 11 September 2019. More...


Liverpool Plains Shire Council v Rumble & Anor [2019] FCCA 2317
BANKRUPTCY – Application for sequestration order – whether preconditions for making sequestration order satisfied – whether respondents are able to pay their debts – whether there is any sufficient cause why sequestration order ought not be made – sequestration order made.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW), s.121B(1)(b)
Federal Circuit Court (Bankruptcy) Rules 2016 (Cth) rr. 4.02(2), 4.04(1), 4.05, 4.06
Legal Profession Uniform Law Act 2014 (NSW), s.194
Local Government Act 1993 (NSW), ss.713, 715


O'Brien v Woollahra Municipal Council [2019] NSWLEC 1402
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL – Paddington Heritage conservation area – heritage conservation – desired future character – rear wing addition – Woollahra development control plan

Touma v Randwick City Council [2019] NSWLEC 1395
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL – interim heritage order – assessing heritage significance – Edgecumbe Estate

95 Regent Street Kogarah Pty Ltd v Georges River Council (No 2) [2019] NSWLEC 1390
PROCEDURE – Notice of Motion – Uniform Civil Procedure Rules – Rule 36.17

Crawford Education Pty Ltd v Ku-ring-gai Council [2019] NSWLEC 1388
APPEAL – development application – child care centre – increase in number of children from 70 to 175 – increase in parking demand – whether parking demand can be accommodated – cross-fall gradient – potential for conflict in parking demands arising from adjoining uses – dispute on conditions of consent – surrender of earlier consents – amendment of earlier consents – consolidation of lots – requirement for accessibility for existing lift – update to Plan of Management

Sunland No. 35 Pty Ltd v Camden Council [2019] NSWLEC 1391
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – multi-dwelling housing in a community title subdivision – solar access to private open space – urban design considerations including street activation and clustering – adequacy of road design and access including acceptable road widths and speed mitigation measures – provision for public access through the site – community objections

Blacktown City Council v Nitopi (No 2) [2019] NSWLEC 118
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Notice of Motion seeking to invoke Slip Rule to permit orders that a moiety of the fines imposed in the primary decision be paid to the Applicant – application of Slip Rule – power to award a moiety – orders amended/added to order payment to the Council of half of each fine imposed on the Respondent


Southern Downs Regional Council v Queensland Services Industrial Union of Employees & Anor [2019] QIRC 118
INDUSTRIAL LAW – ARBITRATION IF CONCILIATION UNSUCCESSFUL – matters at issue – nine-day fortnight – 19-day month – rostered day off. Industrial Relations Act 2016 Qld s 27, s 28 and s 180



Essential Services Commission Amendment (Governance, Procedural and Administrative Improvements) Act 2019
Date of assent: 20 August 2019 Act Number: 21/2019


Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Building and Subdivision Certification) Regulation 2019 (2019-426) — published LW 30 August 2019

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Project EnergyConnect (SA to NSW Electricity Interconnector)) Order 2019 (2019-439) — published LW 30 August 2019

National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2019 (2019-408) — published LW 23 August 2019

Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2019 (2019-411) — published LW 23 August 2019

Environmental Planning Instruments

State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum Production and Extractive Industries) Amendment 2019 (2019-438) — published LW 30 August 2019

State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) Amendment 2019 (2019-417) — published LW 23 August 2019


Subordinate legislation as made – 23 August 2019

No 158 Rural and Regional Adjustment (Farming in Reef Catchments Rebate Scheme) Amendment Regulation 2019

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