Councils fail on corruption prevention, records
Separate reviews of local government across two states indicate that despite good intentions about corruption prevention and good record keeping, councils are failing to deliver (12 April 2019). More...
Coalition’s population package
In December 2018, COAG agreed that the Commonwealth, state and territory Treasurers and the President of the ALGA would consider a framework for national population and planning to address population management in Australia, for consideration at a future COAG meeting. In addition to participating in the Treasurers Forum ALGA is also participating in a number of working groups being led by The Treasury to look at attracting growth to the regions (12 April 2019). More...
Fairer funding unlocks communities potential
The Australian Local Government Association and your state/territory local government association have made it simple for your council to participate in the national advocacy campaign to get fairer funding for local government and our communities (12 April 2019). More...
Animal rights group Aussie Farms faces crackdown after nationwide protests
The attorney general has asked the privacy commissioner to investigate Aussie Farms and called on states to increase trespass penalties in response to the animal rights group (08 April 2019). More...
Budget provides $104m to root out public sector corruption
The government will provide $104 million over four years to establish a commonwealth corruption watchdog, the Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC), charged with stamping out criminal conduct in the public sector. It will not be able to make public findings of corruption but will be able to refer potential criminal conduct to the DPP (04 April 2019). More...
Budget contains some good news for local councils but more needs to be done to unlock community potential
The Morrison Government’s 2019/20 Federal Budget makes good progress in addressing some of the infrastructure issues facing local councils but is a missed opportunity in delivering a fairer share of revenue back to our local communities according to the President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Mayor David O’Loughlin (03 April 2019). More...
Budget infrastructure splashout leaves councils underwhelmed
Local and state governments have emerged with some wins out of the Federal Budget with the announcement of a $100 billion infrastructure splashout over the next ten years. However the national peak body for local government remained disgruntled, saying the road funding was “nowhere near” what safety experts had been calling for (03 April 2019). More...
Australia’s top ten solar-powered suburbs
Four of Australia’s top five rooftop solar postcodes are in Queensland and three are in Western Australia, according to a Clean Energy Council report released on Thursday, while the ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmania languish at the bottom (03 April 2019). More...
Government takes on EU-style e-invoicing
Australia and New Zealand are following Europe in digitising government invoicing in a bid to boost competition for contracts, open up to cross-border bids and potentially save billions in administrative costs (01 April 2019). More...
Community to have their say on North East Link
The planning approvals process for Victoria’s biggest road project has started, with an Environment Effects Statement (EES) for North East Link now out for public comment. The Andrews Labor Government is working to support potentially impacted residents, businesses, sports clubs and community groups when delivering the long-awaited project (10 April 2019). More...
Victorian council faces suspension
An eastern Victorian council is preparing its case after being asked by the state government to show reason why it shouldn’t be suspended over failure of governance. South Gippsland Shire Council is the third council in Victoria to find itself in hot water with the state government over governance issues in the last three years (08 April 2019). More...
Melbourne council moves to end car parking requirements for new developments
Moreland City Council, which governs a cluster of suburbs in Melbourne’s north, hopes to reduce, and in some cases do away with, minimum requirements for car parking when granting planning permission to new developments, under a new transport strategy (04 April 2019). More...
'Worn-out' Bondi Pavilion to get low-key restoration under council plan
Waverley Council aims to restore rather than redevelop the heritage-listed Bondi Pavilion, with a plan that addresses toilet and shower facilities and makes the building more accessible to the public (13 April 2019). More...
Council fearful for future of historic wharf
A Sydney council is fighting to save a century-old relic of Australia’s early coal trade from deterioration and potentially from the bulldozers. The wharf at the former coal transport depot at Balls Point Reserve on the Waverton Peninsula, built in the 1920s, is owned by the NSW Government but North Sydney council owns the rest of the site (12 April 2019). More...
NSW office of local government axed under restructure
The NSW government will abolish key agencies including the Office of Local Government and the Office of Environment and Heritage under sweeping changes to the structure of the NSW public service (02 April 2019). More...
Councils welcome regional boost for infrastructure, roads and health
A $206 million increase in funding available for community infrastructure in regional areas has been applauded by the NSW local government sector. The new money will be released in an additional funding round of the Building Better Regions Fund, and is in addition to $611.2 million available from the five-year National Stronger Regions Fund, which kicked off in 2015‑16 (02 April 2019). More...
ALGA: New agricultural notice
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has commenced a process seeking consent to a new National Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle and Combination Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice. Councils should have received an email outlining the consent process along with an information pack. Due to this being a formal consent process, a 28 day period exits for consent, ending on 5 April 2019. Further info can be found here.
OIA: Your social media and you guide
The Your Social Media and You guide outlines the difference between a councillor’s official, election and private pages, how the Councillor Code of Conduct applies, moderation of comments, and how to recognise and capture posts which are public records. View Your Social Media and You guide here and Queensland Councillor Social Media Community Guideline here.
Department of Environment and Science Consultations: Environmental offsets framework discussion paper
A discussion paper on Queensland’s environmental offsets framework has been released by the State Government, aimed at seeking community and industry feedback on the policy’s effectiveness. While the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 proposes to simplify and regulate the offsets framework. The review is seeking responses in relation to five key areas. Consultation on the discussion paper closed on 15 April 2019. More...
Sunshine Coast planning scheme amendment
Sunshine Coast Council has adopted the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 Amendment No. 18 – Site Specific (Including SEQRP Bring Forward Sites) and Operational Matters, which amends zoning, local plan provisions and associated mapping in the Sunshine Coast region. . For more information visit the Sunshine Coast Council’s website here. (10 April 2019). More...
Place names current proposals and decisions - Comment on a proposal
Job number 18-089: Banya, Bells Creek, Corbould Park, Gagalba, Meridan Plains, Nirimba
Closing date for comments: 26 April 2019
Safer buildings combustible cladding checklist ticks over to part 2
The Part 1 deadline elapsed on 29 March 2019, with some buildings required to continue to Part 2. Buildings that need further assessment following the conclusion of Part 1 will have until 29 May 2019 to file a building industry professional report to the QBCC. More...
Consultation: Yeronga proposed development scheme for a mixed-use precinct in the Yeronga Priority Development Area (PDA).
The scheme establishes a planning framework to transform the site and sets out intended land uses, development criteria and infrastructure envisaged for the PDA. Submissions can be made between 1 April and 17 May. For further information on the Yeronga PDA, click here .
Queensland's new waste management and resource recovery strategy
A Community Summary has been developed to provide simple actions to help Queenslanders reduce their own waste, boost recycling and reduce the impact of rubbish in our natural environment. The draft Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy here and the Community Summary here are no longer open for public submissions. More...
LGAQ reminder: Have your say energy pricing proposals
Have your say on regulatory proposals submitted by Ergon energy and Energex. The AER invites interested parties to make submissions on Energex's regulatory proposal by the close of business on 16 May 2019. More...
The Premier’s outback events program: Funding rounds 2019
Each application must be for unique submissions and events must be delivered on or before 31 December 2020. The deadline for round one applications was 1 April 2019, with applicants notified in May 2019. For more information on the Premier’s Outback Events Program and to apply for funding, please visit here.
Community participation plan updated FAQs
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 has been updated to make community participation central to the planning system. Supporting this objective is a new measure requiring all public authorities that have planning functions under the EP&A Act, including councils, to develop community participation plan (CPP). CPPs must be finalised and published on the ePlanning portal by 1 December 2019. The link to the FAQs is here.
Local character & place guideline
The Department of Planning and Environment has recently released additional resources for Local Character which is aimed at providing support and assistance to communities, governments and the property industry by providing tools to enhance the local character of neighbourhoods, including a guideline and discussion paper. The Discussion Paper released for public comment closed on 20 April 2019. Read more at the Local Character page here.
Changes to housing SEPPs
Seniors Housing State Environmental Planning Policy – the SEPP will not apply in heritage conservation areas in Greater Sydney until 1 July 2020
Reminder: 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. There will be a number of other changes that will involve further design and consultation from mid to late 2018.
Brisbane City Council v Amos  HCATrans 66
This appeal concerns the proper construction of the Limitation of Actions Act (Qld) and in particular sections 10(1)(d) and 26. Section 10(1)(d) provides for a six year limitation for commencement of proceedings to recover a sum recoverable by virtue of an enactment, and 26(1) provides a 12 year limitation for commencement of proceedings: to recover a principal sum of money secured by a mortgage or other charge on property
Lawrence v Inner West Council  NSWLEC 46
PRACTICE & PROCEDURE – Class 2 appeal against order issued under Local Government Act 1993 requiring repair of collapsed retaining wall on public land and claim for compensation – application to amend Class 2 appeal – amended application allowed including transfer of proceedings from Class 2 to Class 3 – amendment of statement of facts and contentions not allowed
Urbanesque Planning Pty Ltd v Ku-ring-gai Council  NSWLEC 1163
Modification of a development application: development contributions, whether granting of consent for works on a constrained residential block could be adjudged likely to increase the demand for public amenities and public services, vacant lots, remnant vegetation, environmental constraints
Rod Zoabi t/a ZTA Architects v Georges River Council  NSWLEC 1164
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: dual occupancy; bulk and scale; streetscape; precedent; contamination; stormwater; accuracy of survey levels
SNL Building Construction Pty Ltd v Lake Macquarie City Council  NSWLEC 1147
Development Application: mixed use development; proposed addition to approved development; additional storey breaches height of buildings development standard; is the Applicant’s written request under cl 4.6 of Lake Macquarie LEP well founded; is compliance with the standard unreasonable or unnecessary; whether the Applicant’s environmental planning grounds are sufficient.
Vortex Property Group (NSW) Pty Ltd v Georges River Council  NSWLEC 1153
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: compliance with density controls for the Kogarah North Precinct –apartment design guide – heritage – developer contributions – contributions plan.
Codling v Central Coast Council  NSWLEC 1158
APPEAL: development application – mixed use development in business park zone – shop top housing – permissibility – whether there is compliance with a provision limiting shop top housing – weight to be given to draft clause in a draft consolidating local environmental plan – consistency with zone objectives – conflict of residential use with other permissible uses – consistency with the development control plan
Summer Hill Village Pty Ltd v The Valuer-General  NSWLEC 1159
VALUATION OF LAND: conciliation conference – agreement between the parties – orders
Brewster Murray Pty Ltd v Northern Beaches Council  NSWLEC 1152
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: seniors’ housing development comprising 40 residential units –consistency with the desired future character of the locality – impact on ecological values – flood affected land
Secretary, Department of Planning and Environment v SingTel Optus Pty Ltd  NSWLEC 44
ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING: Prosecutions for failing to disclose political donations – pleas of guilty entered – sentencing principles – totality in sentencing – moieties to the prosecutor – publication orders – principles to apply – costs
Matthews v Strathfield Municipal Council  NSWLEC 1141
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: Torrens Title subdivision of existing land of into two allotments –variation to minimum lot size standard – whether cl 4.6 request should be upheld – is the request reasonable and well founded – appeal dismissed
Lizard Apple Pty Ltd v Inner West Council  NSWLEC 1146
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: boarding house in R2 zone – weight to amending environmental planning instrument – character compatibility – overshadowing – reasonableness of restrictive covenant re-enforcing affordable housing ambitions
Tweed Shire Council v Taylor  NSWLEC 45
CIVIL ENFORCEMENT – unlawful erection and use of a building – appropriate order to remedy breach – whether demolition of building appropriate – demolition ordered
Kelly v Randwick City Council  NSWLEC 43
COSTS - Class 1 merit appeal - application by successful party for a costs order - “fair and reasonable” test in the Land and Environment Court Rules 2007 - matters in favour of a costs order balanced by matters weighing against such an order - costs order refused - costs ordinarily follow the event on costs applications - whether purported Calderbank offer provided basis to award costs of costs application on an indemnity basis - no basis to depart from award of costs on an ordinary basis - Respondent awarded costs of costs motion – cap placed on the recoverable costs of photocopying
Stokes v Waverley Council  NSWLEC 1137
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: owners consent; existing works on adjoining land; dual occupancy; breach in FSR and height standards; excessive excavation; structural integrity; non-compliance with FSR and height.
Ozone Cronulla Pty Ltd v Sutherland Shire Council  NSWLEC 1133
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: Residential Flat Building – view loss – external presentation – landscaping – common open space – building separation
Debgar Holdings Pty Ltd v Wagga Wagga City Council  NSWLEC 1130
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: transitional group house; resident objections concerning potential amenity and safety impacts
Mod Urban Pty Ltd v Mid-Western Regional Council (No 2)  NSWLEC 1140
JOINDER: application for joinder – statutory tests
Young v Ballina Shire Council  NSWLEC 1131
APPEAL – modification application – whether proposed development substantially the same – s 7.11 contributions – reasonableness of contributions
Hope No. 1 Pty Ltd v Blacktown City Council  NSWLEC 1121
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: New boarding house – compatibility with character of the local area – car stacker has inadequate clearance – whether parking rates should be varied – appeal dismissed
Pesic v Sutherland Shire Council  NSWLEC 38
APPEAL – appeal from Local Court – appeal against severity of sentence – appeal dismissed
Privacy Amendment (Protection of Australian Farms) Regulations 2019
05/04/2019 - These regulations amend the Privacy Regulation 2013 to prescribe Aussie Farms Inc as an organisation for the purposes of the Privacy Act 1988. Subsection 7(1A) applies in relation to acts done, and practices engaged in, after the commencement of the Privacy Amendment (Protection of Australian Farms) Regulations 2019 (whether in relation to personal information collected before or after that commencement).
Vegetation Management (Clearing for Relevant Purposes) Amendment Bill 2018
Stage reached: 2nd reading adjourned on 2/04/2019
Economic Development and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 2/04/2019
Assent Date: 11/04/2019 Act No: 11 of 2019 Commences: see Act for details
An Act to amend the Biosecurity Act 2014, the Building Act 1975, the Building Queensland Act 2015, the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995, the Economic Development Act 2012, the Environmental Protection Act 1994, the Exhibited Animals Act 2015, the Housing Act 2003, the Land Valuation Act 2010, the Liquor Act 1992, the Neighbourhood Disputes(Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011, the Planning Act 2016, the Planning and Environment Court Act 2016, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Act 2011, the Sanctuary Cove Resort Act 1985, the South Bank Corporation Act 1989, the South-East Queensland Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) Act 2009 and the legislation mentioned in schedule 1 for particular purposes, and to repeal the Southern Moreton Bay Islands Development Entitlements Protection Act 2004
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 3/04/2019
Assent Date: 11/04/2019 Act No: 12 of 2019 Commences: by Proclamation
Transport Legislation (Road Safety and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2019
Stage reached: 2nd reading to be moved on 5/04/2019
Subordinate legislation as made
No 45 Disaster Management (Extension of Far North Disaster District) Amendment Regulation 2019 05 April 2019 – Extension until 31 October 2019
No 46 Electrical Safety (Solar Farms) Amendment Regulation 2019 05 April 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.