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Local government

We have developed a strong reputation for delivering excellent results for local government.

Local Government

Our highly experienced team places a strong focus on excellent service and value for money for city-based and regional councils alike. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities that councils are presented with and recognise that, in order to balance the needs of residents and stakeholders with the priorities and legal requirements of local government, a high degree of expertise and engagement is required.

Expertise

Planning law

  • clients benefit from our team’s hands-on experience gained working both with and within local authorities. We act for local government, developers, institutions and others involved in the development, management and regulation of property, natural resources and infrastructure projects
  • in addition to providing advice on planning laws, we have a strong reputation in connection with transactional issues, advocacy and mediation.

Environmental law

  • our environmental specialists act for local government, developers, institutions and others involved in the development, management and regulation of property, natural resources and infrastructure projects. In addition to providing advice on environmental laws, we have a strong reputation in connection with transactional issues, advocacy and mediation.

Statutory interpretation of Acts, regulations, rules and legislative enactments which impact on council activities, powers and functions

  • through our work for government departments and statutory authorities, we have been involved in advising on matters relating to various Acts, regulations and rules, including how they should be interpreted and applied to local governments.

Administrative law advice

We offer the expertise of lawyers who have not only acted for government as legal advisors, but who have also worked within government in the following areas:

  • drafting of by-laws, local laws, delegations and other instruments 
  • judicial review (Federal Court and Supreme Court)
  • prerogative relief in the High Court of Australia
  • merits review 
  • statutory interpretation
  • Royal Commissions and other public inquiries.

Property law issues including conveyancing, leases, licences, Crown Land (Reserves) Act, road discontinuances, land tax and other property related matters

  • all aspects of property acquisition, disposals, leasing and licensing
  • all aspects of landlord and tenant issues
  • conveyancing
  • matters relating to Crown and reserve land management, leases and licences matters relating to acquisition of land, including compulsory acquisition. 

Native title and cultural heritage issues

  • advice on land dealings and infrastructure projects that affect native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • representing local governments as respondent parties in native title proceedings in the Federal Court
  • negotiating indigenous land use agreements and Aboriginal cultural heritage management plans and agreement.

Experience

Our team has extensive local government experience, having acted for a range of local councils across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

Gerard Timbs

Gerard Timbs

Partner

Brisbane

More info
Stephen Natoli

Stephen Natoli

Partner

Melbourne

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Troy Lewis

Troy Lewis

Partner

Brisbane

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Vanessa Maruna

Vanessa Maruna

Special Counsel

Cairns

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Peter Holt

Peter Holt

Special Counsel

Sydney

More info
Nick Sissons

Nick Sissons

Senior Associate

Melbourne

More info

Recent Posts

21 May 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

Urgent action on climate change must be the incoming federal government’s priority, 15 mayors from across Australia said in a joint statement released 8 May.

07 May 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

The public will now be able to view a development application less than a day after it is lodged with a local council, rather than having to wait six to 18 months. The government has been trialling a new online tool called ePlanning, which requires homeowners and developers to submit DAs online.

23 April 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

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

09 April 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government, #Government

Local councils have welcomed the announcement of a $1 billion road funding package to be included in Tuesday’s federal budget.

27 March 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government, #Government

All Commonwealth bodies will have to publish their annual reports on a public website from the end of this year following the launch of the new Transparency Portal. The portal will eventually contain the budgets and audited expenditure of all Commonwealth bodies.

13 March 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government, #Government

Australians have a strong connection to their local councils despite public confidence in institutions hitting an all-time low, Labor frontbencher and South Australian Senator Penny Wong says.

27 February 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government, #Government

Infrastructure Australia’s expanded list of priority projects has been applauded by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) for progressing a more integrated approach to managing Australia’s growth fairly and sustainably

20 February 2019 - Knowledge

Council fined for destruction of Aboriginal cultural heritage

#Native Title, #Local Government

The NSW Land and Environment Court has fined the Clarence Valley Council $300,000 for the removal of a scar tree in 2016.

13 February 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government, #Government

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 - Knowledge

Queensland government bulletin

#Government, #Local Government, #Data & Privacy, #Technology, Media & Communications, #Procurement, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability

In this special edition of our Queensland Government Bulletin publication, our team looks at the issues and reforms that emerged over 2018 in key areas affecting government - and also cast forward to examine the expected major trends and developments for 2019.

29 January 2019 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government, #Government

Governments are leveraging data insights from social media to quantify the urban life of suburbs, improve planning and boost tourism.

03 December 2018 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

Ongoing under-investment in councils’ management of community assets is leading to increased risk and reduced safety, warns a major forthcoming report. While the Commonwealth and state governments have been focused on “nation building” infrastructure projects a new analysis shows that $30 billion of community assets is in poor condition and requires “significant renewal.”