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Inside track: Local Government

13 February 2019

#Local Government, #Government

Inside track: Local Government

In the media

Developer donation ban discriminates against Liberal National Party, court told
Former party president Gary Spence argues Queensland is not prone to corruption like New South Wales. Spence has taken a case to the high court arguing that the ban on Queensland state and local council politicians taking developer donations breaches the implied freedom of political communication (30 January 2019).  More...

Don’t ‘spray and pray’ on social media
Facebook and Instagram can help councillors ‘build a tribe,’ says an advisor to councils who outlines steps for success. For some councillors it’s an instant and free way to engage constituents and build their profile, for others it’s merely opening the door to criticism and even backlashes (28 January 2019).  More...

Data snapshot informs strategy
Just before Christmas the Commonwealth announced that iMOVE, a consortium of 44 industry, government, and research partners, would lead the study into freight data to inform the new National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. Local government was among the stakeholders who have engaged in the process, with many raising the first and last mile issue as well as delivery congestion in their areas (24 January 2019).  More...


Council of Mayors Mass Movement Study
The Council of Mayors for South East Queensland (SEQ) has released the SEQ People Mass Movement Study, a strategic transport road map report, that addresses SEQ’s current transport strategies, services and infrastructure, and examines how it will cope with the State’s anticipated population growth (31 January 2019).  More...

Livingstone boundary change referred to Change Commission
Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has referred the proposed boundary change between the Livingstone Shire Council and Rockhampton Regional Council to the Local Government Change Commission (31 January 2019).  More...

Deebing Creek mission protest to halt housing development gathers momentum
Frasers Property Australia says no residential lots would be developed on the mission site and the cemetery would be persevered with a 30-metre buffer zone around it.  In a statement, an Ipswich City Council spokesperson said the company could undertake works on the parts of the property identified in the approval only (30 January 2019).  More...

Gold Coast lights to stay despite '100 per cent rejection' by city residents
Days after a Gold Coast council committee recommended the removal of a controversial light artwork in the middle of the M1, councillors vote to keep it in place (30 January 2019).  More... 

Smart recycling app tackles waste contamination
An award-winning smart recycling app is helping tackle misinformation about recycling by empowering residents to sort their waste correctly. The app has seen huge success, reducing the rate of recyclables going to general waste from 25 per cent to 17 per cent since 2013 (29 January 2019).  More...

Residents urged to have their say on new strategies for Mount Coolum
Residents and visitors to the Sunshine Coast’s Mount Coolum National Park are able to have their say on the future of the park, with the release of a draft management plan and visitor strategy. QPWS will continue to work with the Sunshine Coast Council, which manages the car park on a council road reserve at the foot of the summit trail, regarding the option to provide facilities at this location (30 January 2019).  More...

Residents angered by plan for 'scorched earth development' of street garden
Residents of a street once praised for being an "internationally significant" community food project fight a plan to turn part of it into a housing development (25 January 2019).  More... 

Townsville water security project stimulates jobs and manufacturing
The Government’s funding was fast tracked in the mid-year budget update, allowing Townsville City Council to rapidly progress the 36.5 kilometre duplication from the Haughton Pump Station to the Ross River Dam. Council has set December this year as the completion date 2030 (25 January 2019).  More...

Spotlight on the Sunshine Coast for governing from the regions
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced she will bring her cabinet to the Sunshine Coast next month as part of the Governing from the Regions program. Sunshine Coast Council recently reported optimism on the coast was strong going into 2019, business confidence was high and employment growth was outstripping the state average (24 January 2019).  More...

Energy Detective product looks to cut massive council powerbill
A local government data analytics team is examining ways in which councils in Queensland can reduce their energy bills (24 January 2019).  More... 


Tough new penalties for out-of-control parties
Badly behaved guests and short-stay apartment owners can now be hit with fines of up to $1,100 for breaches of conduct standards, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Short-stay apartment owners and their guests will be jointly and individually liable for any compensation, fines and awards for damage to common property (1 February 2019).  More...

Boosting targets to help local government deliver
The Andrews Labor Government is working with councils on the introduction of targets for the delivery of key services such as road maintenance and the processing of planning applications. The most significant of the reforms is the setting of performance targets. This will strengthen council decision-making and transparency and drive continual improvement in council performance (30 January 2019).  More...

Work begins on community facilities at Queen Victoria Market
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the City of Melbourne will provide $70 million in community facilities in the Munro development including a 120 place childcare facility, a family and children's services centre, a community centre and kitchen, a city gallery and 56 affordable housing units (22 January 2019).  More...

New South Wales 

Start-up automates storm water inspections
A Sydney start-up which uses AI to automate sewer and storm water inspections is transforming the future of water management, saving councils hundreds of hours of labor. The system can save councils an estimated 30 per cent in costs (31 January 2019).  More...

Waterloo to get 17 high-rise towers in social housing overhaul
Waterloo would become a hub for high-rise living in Sydney under a State Government blueprint to build 17 new towers in the inner-city suburb around a new metro station (25 January 2019).  More... 

$1.5 million boost to night-time economy
Sydney and live music events across NSW will benefit from $1.5 million from the NSW Government to improve the Night-Time Economy. A one-off $500,000 grants program for seven Sydney based precincts will help individuals and organisations run street festivals, events, arts and entertainment. A new type of pop-up liquor licence, which will be trialled in the seven precincts, will be introduced from March 2019 (24 January 2019).  More...

New recycling technology to keep 90 per cent of household waste out of landfill
A new resource recovery centre in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales will see 90 per cent of red bin household waste recycled when it is built by 2021 (23 January 2019).  More...

In practice and courts

Barriers to the safe use of innovative vehicles and mobility devices
The National Transport Commission (NTC) has published an issues paper that examines barriers to the safe use of innovative vehicles and mobility devices. The NTC seeks comments from industry, regulators, the disability services sector, state and territory governments and individuals. Submissions close on 28 February 2019.

Business Case Program for Location-Specific Heavy Vehicle Charging Trials
The Australian Government's Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities is seeking applications for the second round of its Business Case Program for Location-Specific Heavy Vehicle Charging Trials. Councils, industry and stakeholders can apply for funding to develop a business case to test the willingness of heavy vehicle road users to pay an additional charge for a productivity benefit from a road upgrade. Visit the department’s website to download an application form. Submissions close 15 February 2019.

National General Assembly 2019 motions
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) seeks motions to be submitted for the National General Assembly taking place from 16 June 2019  on the theme ‘Future Focused’. A discussion paper is available with more details on the theme and submission guidelines.


Regulated waste amendment approved
The Environmental Protection (Regulated Waste) Amendment Regulation 2018 commenced on 4 February 2019. The regulation establishes the types of waste for regulated waste categories 1 and 2.  More...

New South Wales 

New electric vehicle and mobility plans
Transport for NSW (TfNSW) has published an Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Plan and a Connected and Automated Vehicle Plan as part of the Future Transport 2056 strategy. The department intends to roll out the plans in partnership with councils, including considering recommendations on where to install charging stations, and will meet with LGNSW in the coming weeks (25 January 2019).

Support to implement the new model codes of conduct and meeting practice
Councils have until 14 June 2019 to implement the new model code of conduct and procedures and the model code of meeting practice and LGNSW will provide ongoing support and training to assist councils to satisfy their obligations. The OLG has published versions of the model code of conduct for councillors, council staff and delegates of council. These versions are available on the OLG website (25 January 2019).  More...

Monetary benefit orders
The NSW EPA has introduced a framework to strip offenders of the financial advantage gained from breaking environmental laws. The framework, which can be used by councils, helps regulators determine the benefits offenders gain through environmental crime and pursue recovery by asking the court to impose monetary benefit orders as part of sentencing packages. A protocol for calculating monetary benefits and further information is available on the EPA website (1 February 2019).  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. While most of the changes will commence on 1 March 2018, there will be a number of other changes that will involve further design and consultation.

Grace period for parking fines
The NSW Government introduced a 10-minute grace period for paid parking which commenced 31 January 2019. The grace period applies to all NSW parking fine issuing authorities, including NSW Government agencies, councils and universities. All councils must comply with these new arrangements.  More... 



Lim v Moreton Bay Regional Council [2019] QLC 2
REAL PROPERTY – COMPULSORY ACQUISITION OF LAND – PROCEEDINGS FOR COMPENSATION – QUEENSLAND – JURISDICTION OF THE LAND COURT – Where value in the Acquisition of Land Act 1967 is market value – where irrelevant considerations had to be removed from value – where relevant considerations were not properly taken into account – whether disturbance is a relevant consideration – where only the respondent called valuation expert evidence – where any confidential statements arising out of mediation put into evidence had to be disregarded – where party inappropriately used facts in their submissions which were not in evidence at the hearing.
REAL PROPERTY – COMPULSORY ACQUISITION OF LAND – COMPENSATION – ASSESSMENT – PART OF LAND ACQUIRED – Resumption of only part of land – where land acquired for flood mitigation purposes – where Council had a scheme of resumption in place – where the land at the time of resumption was zoned rural – where land subject to flooding – where comparable sales relied upon to determine value – where town planning evidence is a relevant consideration – where the highest and best use and development potential of the resumed land are in dispute – where applicant sought to rely upon sales of properties to the resuming authority – where respondent’s valuer valued resuming authority’s purchases – whether it is appropriate to have regard to such sales – principles considered.
REAL PROPERTY – COMPULSORY ACQUISITION OF LAND – COMPENSATION – ASSESSMENT – Where some aspects of the applicant’s claim must be disregarded – where valuation expert did not consider factual matters raised by the applicant – whether value is attributed for multiple access points – whether value is attributed for billboards – whether value is attributed for land used as a koala habitat – whether value is attributed for rainforest land.
EVIDENCE – ADMISSIBILITY – OPINION EVIDENCE – EXPERT OPINION – BASIS OF OPINION – Where expert made changes to expert report during hearing – where alterations to expert report are more than clerical errors – where changes to expert report fundamentally change the expert evidence – whether leave to make amendments should have been sought.
EVIDENCE – ADMISSIBILITY – OPINION EVIDENCE – EXPERT OPINION – Where applicant is experienced in valuation matters – where applicant is a self-represented litigant – whether an advocate can give expert opinion evidence in own case – application of the Meiers principle – evidence of advocate admitted as lay evidence – where lay evidence tainted by opinion evidence – where lay evidence tainted by irrelevant considerations.
EVIDENCE – ADMISSIBILITY – OPINION EVIDENCE – EXPERT OPINION – GENERALLY – Where expert was an employee of a litigant at date of resumption – where expert no longer an employee of the party – whether expert’s opinion is truly independent – whether expert’s evidence is biased as a result of the pre-existing relationship.

New South Wales

Blairgrove Pty Ltd v Burwood Council [2019] NSWLEC 1027
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Hotel – pub – relative disadvantage – social impact – alcohol related harm – trading hours – street crime – amenity – noise – trial period. 

Morad v Inner West Council [2019] NSWLEC 1005
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Heritage item – heritage significance – stormwater.  

Lu Projects Pty Ltd v Fairfield City Council [2019] NSWLEC 1021
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Commercial/retail space – child care centre – cl 4.6 variation to height standard – vehicle emissions – classified road – roof top outdoor play area – ventilation and solar access – waste management. 

Akula v Blacktown City Council [2019] NSWLEC 1022
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Impacts on heritage item – insufficient information to assess heritage impacts including of acoustic barriers and outdoor play area structures – site suitability for scale of development proposed – car parking, access and traffic impacts – landscaping – neighbour objections. 

Arkibis Pty Ltd t/a Arkhaus v Randwick City Council [2019] NSWLEC 1020
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Alterations to an existing residential flat building – construction of four additional units at the rear – whether provision of no onsite parking is acceptable in circumstances of high public transport provision - precedent. 


New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Liquor Amendment (Special Events Extended Trading) Regulation 2019 (2019-7) — published LW 18 January 2019

Gerard Timbs, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0644

Jenny Humphris, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0690

Joseph Monaghan, Partner 
T: +61 3 9321 9857 

Peter Holt, Special Counsel
T: +61 2 8083 0421

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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