In the media
Commonwealth drought assistance boosted
The Commonwealth Government has announced 13 more local government areas will be eligible to apply for the Drought Community Program in a new round of $100m funding to help communities (27 September 2019). More...
New Australian Citizenship Ceremony code
Local councils must now hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day, 26 January, unless they conferred citizenship on fewer than 20 people in the previous year, the Australian Government has said. Councils are also required to introduce a dress standard for people attending citizenship ceremonies, and must give their local office of the Department of Home ( 20 September 2019). More...
Heat on councils as bushfire season looms
The frighteningly early start to the bushfire season has highlighted the crucial role councils play in keeping their communities safe, informed and reassured (19 September 2019). More...
Lord Mayors in Canberra to flag homelessness as their
Lord Mayors of Australia's capital cities are calling for action on homelessness, urging the Federal Government to make social and affordable housing in inner cities a key infrastructure priority (18 September 2019). More...
Victorian council adds 4th recycling bin
A rural council in southwestern Victoria says it's one of the few councils in Australia to add a fourth bin – glass – to its collection service, and save ratepayers money by reducing waste going to landfill (27 September 2019). More...
Recycled roads and circular economy
Tyre Stewardship Australia and the ARRB are collaborating on a trial of crumbed rubber mix along a busy Melbourne road. This new trial in Victoria is a landmark opportunity in the development of the circular economy in Australia according to the Tyre Stewardship Australia CEO, Lina Goodman (27 September 2019). More...
Watchdog receives record number of complaints
Victoria's local government watchdog has recorded the highest ever number of complaints for a non-election year, with 421 complaints received and assessed in the past 12 months. The Inspectorate's 2018-19 annual report shows 29 investigations, many relating to conflicts of interest (22 September 2019). More...
Victoria announces planning guidelines for solar
Victorian Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, introduced an amendment to all Victorian planning schemes, implementing the Solar Energy Facilities – Design and Development Guideline. The Guidelines ensure new solar energy facilities, producing one megawatt or more, are built in appropriate location (18 September 2019). More...
Record grants funding to protect Victoria's
The Andrews Labor Government is protecting Victoria's most important cultural landmarks and buildings with a record $3 million in grants from the Living Heritage Program (18 September 2019). More...
New website highlights performance of NSW councils
A new website highlighting services and achievements of councils across NSW has been welcomed as a potentially valuable source of information for residents by the LGNSW. The State Government's Your Council website, newly launched, provides easy access to a range of information on the operations of NSW's 128 metropolitan and regional councils (24 September 2019). More...
Concerns about floods, housing in Aerotropolis
Affordable housing and flood risks have emerged among the key stakeholder concerns as planning progresses for the Western Sydney Aerotropolis. The partnership, set up as part of the Western City Deal, comprises representatives of all eight Western Parkland City councils as well as Blacktown Council, and representatives from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (24 September 2019). More...
Missing middle delay allows councils to define
appropriate locations for townhouses
The Urban Taskforce says it will be some years since the initial announcement by the NSW Govrnment that a new complying code for town houses and terrace houses will increase density without the need for taller towers (19 September 2019). More...
New EPA guides to help the construction industry
properly dispose of waste
The NSW EPA has published two new guidance documents to help the construction and demolition industry strengthen their procurement and contract processes around waste disposal (17 September 2019). More...
New push to increase council spending transparency
Queenslanders will soon have clear information about how councils are spending developer infrastructure charges, with amendments proposed for the state planning system, delivering on a 2017 state election commitment. The amendments will require councils to publish the amount of infrastructure charges being collected and where that money is being spent. (28 September 2019). More...
Focus on building strong and resilient Queensland
The portfolio of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning continues to deliver for Queenslanders, with annual reports tabled showing economic growth, jobs and strong activity across Queensland to support business and communities (27 September 2019). More...
Townsville's Indigenous Procurement Goal
Townsville City Council has set itself a new target of spending 3 percent of its procurement budget with local First Nation businesses to bring it into line with State and Federal Government procurement policies (27 September 2019).
Orchard Property Group secures Ripley development
Privately-owned developer Orchard Property Group has completed its purchase of a 34-hectare development-ready site at Ripley in Ipswich. The Ripley Valley PDA, was declared a PDA in 2010 (26 September 2019). More...
Industry responds to Brisbane design strategies
The Property Council has provided a submission in response to the consultation documents produced in relation to the Brisbane City Council design strategy. The Property Council has recommended that Council maintain this document as a design guide, rather than a statutory document (26 September 2019). More...
Australia's second newest dam is the largest
infrastructure failure in Qld history, mayor warns
Authorities fear there is a chance the Paradise Dam in southern Queensland will become unsafe if there is a major flood, with the local mayor saying it is the largest failure of a piece of infrastructure in Queensland's history (25 September 2019). More...
Despite region's drought, dam to drop to 42pc
capacity in major release of water
Farmers in the drought-declared Bundaberg region are angry 105,000 megalitres of water will be released from Paradise Dam. Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said he wanted an inquiry into the operation of the dam and for the State Government to fast-track a study into the long-term water security of the Bundaberg region. (24 September 2019). More...
Heritage projects across Queensland receive more than
$940,000 in funding
Owners and custodians of heritage-listed places will share in more than $940,000 in funding to help protect Queensland's important state heritage places (20 September 2019). More...
Cul de sac safe after huge response to walkability
The Palaszczuk Government has received an overwhelming response to public consultation on a new model code for neighbourhood design. Minister for Planning Cameron Dick said they will now finalise work on the model code reflecting better design principles, including how councils, developers and the community can incorporate cul de sacs into walkable communities. (20 September 2019). More...
$7.1 million Ripley Valley infrastructure agreement to
support more jobs
More roads and bridges will be built in the Ripley Valley Priority Development Area (PDA) with the Palaszczuk Government overseeing the signing of a $7.1 million infrastructure agreement for one of Queensland's boom growth areas (20 September 2019). More...
Qld passes Great Barrier Reef run-off laws
Queensland miners, sewer operators and farmers will no longer be able to dump as much run-off into the Great Barrier Reef under a new law. It will set limits on the amount of sediment, fertiliser and pesticide allowed to drain into coastal water catchments that eventually flow into the world's biggest coral reef (20 September 2019). More...
AgForce, Local Government Association disagree on land
A decision by the High Court last week to uphold the power of Queensland councils to control vegetation management on category X land will make the process even more confusing for primary producers, according to AgForce (18 September 2019). More...
Barrier Reef facing endangered list if run-off laws
don't pass, Environment Minister warns
The Queensland Government is expected to pass a bill to introduce new mandatory farm run-off regulations to protect the reef, despite opposition from agricultural groups (18 September 2019). More...
In practice and courts
Australian cities' night time economy produces $134
billion in 2017-18: (CCCLM Report)
The Council of Capital City Lord Mayors research report demonstrates that the national night time economy continues to significantly contribute to the Australian economy as a whole, and between 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 the national night time economy. The report, available below, provides analysis of each of Australia's capital cities and member-councils contributing to the report (Released on 13 September 2019). More...
Consultation: DR AS 1926.1:2019, Swimming pool safety,
Part 1: Safety barriers for swimming pools
The released draft Australian Standard is related to swimming pool safety barriers for public comment and local governments are invited to have their say. The draft proposes expanding elements of AS1926.1-2012 to give additional information to pool owners, pool users and certifiers so they have a better understanding of the design and construction of a child-resistant barrier. To make a submission register at the Standards Australia Standards Hub site. Responses are due by 31 December 2019.
National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group
The NASAG is undertaking a review of implementation of the National Airports Safeguarding Framework (NASF). The review is intended to consider implementation of NASF across jurisdictions; and seeks submissions from all levels of government, industry and community stakeholders. See more information about the review here. More...
National Local Government Workforce Summit: Tweed Heads,
13-14 November 2019
Featuring expert speakers, interactive workshops, case studies. More...
National Local Roads and Transport Congress, 18-20
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...
Action on Cladding Issues
The government has published a new Guide for the Assessment of Buildings with Combustible Cladding to assist councils and other relevant authorities to undertake risk assessments and draft action plans (17 September 2019).
State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and
Complying Development Codes) 2008 deferred
The Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code has been amended to extend for a further short period, until 31 October 2019. For landowners, pending recommendations of the review, landowners in deferred council areas will not be able to use the Code to lodge a complying development application for dual occupancies, manor houses or terraces until 1 November 2019 (or 1 July 2020 in the City of Ryde). More...
EPA: Updated Contaminated Land Guidelines
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is seeking feedback on two draft contaminated land guidelines, one for consultants reporting on contaminated land and the other for assessing and managing hazardous ground gases.To view and submit feedback visit the EPA's consultation website. Consultation is open until 8 October 2019. EPA comment EPA seeks feedback on changes to contaminated land guidelines
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
Boarding Houses Review
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...
PCA: Reef regulations amendment Bill passed by
The Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was passed on 19 September 2019 with the new Reef protection regulations proposed to come into effect on 1 December 2019 (26 September 2019). More...
PCA: Industry responds to Brisbane design
The Property Council has provided a submission in response to the consultation documents produced in relation to the Brisbane City Council design strategy. Public consultation has recently been held on Design-led City - a design strategy for Brisbane and the draft New Wrld City design guide – Subtropical homes for a Brisbane lifestyle (26 September 2019).
LGAQ: Planning for well-designed and liveable
The LGAQ recently submission to the State Government on the 'Creating healthy and active communities' Consultation Paper, Model Code for Neighbourhood Design and proposed mandatory provisions (16 September 2019). More...
LGAQ: Container Refund Scheme (CRS) – Revenue
Transitional arrangement provisions in the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Container Refund Scheme - Material Recovery Agreements) Amendment Regulation 2019 have been extended to 31 December 2019, allowing more time to find a sustainable (default) arrangement (23 September 2019). More...
Waste tyre receivers in Queensland now need an
An environmental authority (EA) is now required for activities that involve receiving and sorting, dismantling, baling or storing greater than 4t or 4m3 of end-of-life tyres at any one time. This activity is regulated under Environmentally Relevant Activity (ERA) 62 – Resource recovery and transfer facility operation in accordance with the Environmental Protection Regulation 2019. Current opertors have until 23 November 2019 to hold an EA. More...
Stage 2 changes
Stage 2 commences on 1 July 2019 and introduces the remaining waste-related ERAs.
The information sheet Fees for new waste environmentally relevant activities details the new fees that apply for waste-related ERAs from the first anniversary day after 15 November 2019 or the next anniversary day if the environmental authority is amended before 15 November 2019.
DNMRE Current Consultations
Moreton: Targeted amendment of the water plan
Feedback on a new draft water plan amendment closes on 01 October 2019
Cairns South SDA – potential expansion and draft development
Closing date is 11 October 2019
North Queensland Regional Plan
The draft NQ Regional Plan is a 25 year strategic, statutory planning document for the local government areas of Burdekin, Charter Towers, Hinchinbrook, Palm Island and Townsville. Consultation on the draft document closes on 22 November 2019. 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 Members of the public can view the plans in full detail and make a submission here from 30 August to 11 October
Central Coast Council v Armstrong
 FCA 1613
Pursuant to s 133(9) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth), the property at 4 Turners Beach Road, Turners Beach in Tasmania as is more particularly described in Certificate of Title Volume 8179 Folio 1 vest in the Central Coast Council for the purposes of sale by the Central Coast Council of the property for unpaid rates and otherwise in accordance with the provisions of s 137 of the Local Government Act 1993 (Tas).
Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC v
District Council of Kimba  FCA
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the respondent council from conducting a community ballot – where injunction sought pending the outcome of the appeal – where respondent council proposed to conduct a community ballot for the purposes of a process conducted by the Commonwealth Minister responsible for selecting a site for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility – where ballot proposed to be conducted prior to the hearing of the appeal – where ballot proposed to be conducted in accordance with the franchise expressed in the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999 (SA) – where appellant claimed its members who held native title rights to the land in question were excluded from the ballot in contravention of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) – where primary judge did not accept those claims – whether the appeal would be rendered nugatory if the injunction was not granted – whether there was a strong prima facie case on appeal – whether the balance of convenience favoured the grant of an injunction – application dismissed
Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth) s 25; National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 (Cth) ss 7, 10, 18, 19, 22, 23, Part 2
Clarence City Council v Commonwealth of
Australia  FCA 1568
DECLARATORY RELIEF – applications by strangers to lease agreements – applicants seeking declarations as to the proper construction of a term of agreements by which they benefited economically – where parties to the agreements were not in dispute about the proper construction and applicability of the relevant term – where lessee contended that the strangers had no standing to seek such declaratory relief – where applicants asserted right to relief was based merely on an agreement to which they were not a party – importance of the doctrine of privity – Trident General Insurance Co Ltd v McNiece Bros Pty Ltd  HCA 44; (1988) 165 CLR 107 at 141-143 per Deane J applied – applicants had no standing to seek declaratory relief – proceedings dismissed
Karimbla Properties (No 13) Pty Limited v The Council
of the City of Sydney;
Meriton Apartments Pty Limited v The Council of the
City of Sydney;Karimbla
Properties (No 25) Pty Limited v The Council of the City of
Sydney  NSWLEC
LOCAL GOVERNMENT RATING – system of categorisation for rating purposes – applications for re-categorisation from business to residential – Council approves re-categorisation from 1 July 2017 – each application sought an earlier (but different in each proceedings) effective date for the re-categorisation – appeals against the Council's operative date for re-categorisation – range of issues, including jurisdictional ones, raised by the Council – consideration of whether, taking each case for the relevant owning company at its highest on jurisdictional and legal issues, it was appropriate, is a matter of discretion, to award the extent of retrospectivity which would arise from the operative dates sought by each owning company – as a matter of discretion, not appropriate to order earlier operative date for each re-categorisation – each proceedings dismissed with costs reserved. Local Government Act 1993 , ss 511, 516, 518, 521 and 523 to 527
Macquarie International Health Clinic Pty Ltd v Sydney
Local Health District  NSWSC 1199
(2) Declare that each of the following notices was validly issued by the defendant to the plaintiff:
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING — Building approval – whether the building approval had lapsed – "substantial physical commencement" test in s 104 of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) – whether there has been some positive unequivocal step indicating that construction of the hospital has been commenced and that some substantial part of the works has been physically commenced
LAND LAW — Conveyancing — Service of notices – CONTRACTS — Remedies — Damages – whether inquiry as to damages should be ordered – whether causation of more than nominal damage established
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Act 1997 (NSW)
Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (NSW), cl 55
Local Government Act 1993 (NSW), ss 103, 104, 315, Ch 7
Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1998 (NSW)
Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW), r 14.11(d)
Dominello v Harbour Radio Pty Ltd t/as
2GB (No.2)  NSWSC 1089
(1) Order the defendant to pay the plaintiff's expenses reasonably incurred before the making of the renewed offer to make amends on 4 September 2018, and his expenses reasonably incurred in considering that offer, as agreed or assessed.
DEFAMATION – Costs – where an offer to make amends has been accepted by the plaintiff – where the offer includes payment of the plaintiff's expenses reasonably incurred –whether the Court has the power to make a costs order – where neither party acted unreasonably in the course of litigation
Radio publication: The Herald reports that Mr Dominello has been accused of threatening and intimidating in order to have a 1,400 unit development approved. It's claimed he pressured a local councillor by linking her party pre-selection with her vote on the development
LKF Investments Pty Ltd v Inner West
Council  NSWLEC 1458
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) – boarding house – provision of car parking – car share – stormwater drainage
Jam Ventures Australia Pty Ltd v Inner West
Council  NSWLEC 1456
APPEAL – modification application – deletion of deferred commencement conditions that require easement for drainage over downstream property – stormwater design proposes drainage to street frontage – adequacy of proposed stormwater design – development control plan provisions – whether flexibility should be afforded when standards in the development control plan are not met
Williams v Shellharbour City Council
 NSWLEC 135
SEPARATE QUESTION: whether to order a separate question – legal principles to be applied – question if answered negatively would be entirely dispositive of the proceedings – delay in making the application – substantial savings in costs and time – separate question ordered – parties not entitled to cease preparing for final hearing pending determination of separate question thereby causing potential vacation of hearing dates.
MAA Consultancy Pty Ltd v Fairfield City
Council  NSWLEC 1450
MODIFICATION APPLICATION – continuing residential use – FSR exceedance – insufficient landscaping – OSD requirement – existing unapproved works – substantially the same
Dungog Shire Council v Hunter Industrial Rental
Equipment Pty Limited  NSWLEC 132
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING – Land and Environment Court – jurisdiction and powers –Discretionary powers – stay of proceedings – temporary – Notice of Motion to extend stay of orders to enable State Significant Development (SSD) process to be completed – ongoing breach of planning and environment laws – importance of upholding planning and environment laws – impact on the community – impact upon employees and third parties – Notice of Motion dismissed
Bouchard v Waverley Council
 NSWLEC 1449
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – alterations and additions including an additional level to a development for which consent has been granted but has not yet been constructed – exceedance of the height of buildings development standard – exceedance of the floor space ratio development standard – written requests seeking to justify the contravention of development standards have not demonstrated that compliance with the development standards is unreasonable or unnecessary to justify the contravention.
Alderton v Fraser Coast Regional Council
 QIRC 137
Application refused. INDUSTRIAL LAW – APPLICATION FOR REINSTATEMENT – where termination of employment following disciplinary action – where inappropriate conduct, punctuality and absenteeism – where disrespect and unprofessionalism in the workplace – where breaches of Council's Code of Conduct – where applicant claims Council breached workplace rights by taking adverse action – where applicant claims mental injury with mixed anxiety and depressed mood - whether termination harsh, unjust or unreasonable Industrial Relations Act 2016, s 316, s 317, a 320, s 545
Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Small Amount Credit Contract
and Consumer Lease Reforms) Bill 2019 [No. 2]
HR 16/09/2019 – his bill amends the regulatory framework for Small Amount Credit Contracts ('SACC') (commonly known as payday loans) and consumer leases (known as rent-to-buy schemes), including preventing lessors and credit assistance providers from undertaking door-to-door selling of consumer leases at residential homes
Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Real Time Disclosure of Political Donations) Bill 2019
HR 16/09/2019 – This Bill amends the Act to require the agent or financial controller of the party, branch or campaigner to advise the electoral commission of any donation received by the party, branch or campaigner that meets or exceeds the disclosure threshold. The notification must occur within 5 business days of receipt of the donation
Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill
Assent Act no: 67 Year: 2019 19/09/2019
Consideration of Senate message Details: House agreed to Senate amendments 12/09/2019
Amends the Criminal Code Act 1995 to introduce two new offences in relation to the incitement of trespass or property offences on agricultural land
See Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Act 2019 24/09/2019
Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (M12 Motorway) Order 2019 (2019-473) — published LW 27 September 2019
Liquor Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation (No 2) 2019 (2019-463) — published LW 20 September 2019
Natural Resources Access Regulator Amendment Regulation 2019 (2019-464) — published LW 20 September 2019
Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment Regulation 2019 (2019-465) — published LW 20 September 2019
Subordinate legislation as made
No 195 Rural and Regional Adjustment (Household Waste Payment Scheme) Amendment Regulation 2019 27 September 2019
No 189 Waste Reduction and Recycling (Container Refund Scheme—Material Recovery Agreements) Amendment Regulation 2019 20 September 2019
Bills updated 19 September
Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
Introduced by: Hon L Enoch MP on 27/02/2019
Stage reached: 2nd reading adjourned on 18/09/2019
Electoral (Voter's Choice) Amendment Bill
Introduced by: Mr D Janetzki on 18/09/2019
Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 18/09/2019
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.