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

Last Updated: 17 August 2019
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2019

In the media

ALGA: Cities housing research projects
The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute will take a closer look at cities, including local government coordination, as part of its new Cities Research Agenda. The Local Government Co-ordination: Metropolitan Governance in Twenty-first Century Australia project will "investigate the experiences of local government in cooperative models of Australian metropolitan governance, and provide recommendations for policy and the development (02 August 2019). More...

Murray Darling to get water theft sheriff
Former federal police commissioner Mick Keelty has been backed as Inspector-General to oversee the Murray Darling Basin as part of a government bid to crack down on water theft and other water use breaches (01 August 2019). More...

How councils are future-proofing themselves against shrinking regional media
Locals and journalists are the two main casualties that come up in conversations around regional media closures, but what about the councils which rely on local titles to get their messages out into the community (01 August 2019). More...

Government weighs new green procurement targets
The federal Government is planning new green procurement targets for all levels of government. The proposed shake-up, which would require local and state governments to purchase a portion of recycled materials in public works, has been welcomed by councils and the waste management sector (01 August 2019). More...

The 'tiny house' villages tackling homelessness
From pop-up 'tiny houses' to co-donations, local governments are taking action to combat homelessness as the number of people sleeping rough across capital cities continues to mount (29 July 2019). More...

Councils call out transport funding shortfall
Australian councils have used an ongoing inquiry to call on the government to fork out funding to help them build a future-fit transport network. A submission last week to an ongoing Productivity Commission inquiry asks for the roll-out of a new plan alongside a five-year $1 billion investment to help councils plug the costs of a makeover to the national transport network (24 July 2019. More...

New CTH Bill to create offences for activists who incite trespass, damage, or theft against farmers
The Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 (CTH) was introduced to the House of Representatives by Attorney-General, Christian Porter. The Bill aims to deter individuals from sharing personal information of farmers to incite offences against them. Under the Bill, it would be illegal for groups and individuals to promote such events online on any carriage service (23 July 2019). More...


New apartment design standards to improve neighbourhoods
The focus has now broadened to look at the standards for building exteriors, to ensure that apartment buildings are attractive, fit in with their neighbourhood. Feedback has been sought on the performance of the current apartment design standards, including one-on-one conversations with industry peak bodies and local government (02 August 2019). More...

Better approvals coming to more councils near you
Faster permits are on track to be the norm for Victorian businesses with more than half of all councils engaged in the Andrews Labor Government's Better Approvals Project cutting business permit processing times. Minister for Small Business Adem Somyurek has today written to the 37 councils who are not part of the red tape slashing program and encouraged them to take part (30 July 2019). More...

Victorians have their say on local councils
Nearly 27,000 Victorian residents and ratepayers have had their say on their local councils as part of the Andrews Labor Government's Community Satisfaction Survey. The survey reveals that the most valued council services were waste management, emergency and disaster management and elderly support services (29 July 2019). More...

Recycling crisis escalates as major council contractor suddenly stops collecting
Recyclables from dozens of Victorian councils now look destined to go straight to landfill, as a major recycling company announces it will no longer take their waste, effective immediately (26 July 2019). More...

Community members unhappy as heritage-listed Benalla migrant huts to be given away by council
Benalla Council is set to give away five of nine huts at the historic Benalla Migrant Camp in Victoria to the organisations that currently occupy them. The council says the occupants, who have been there for over 20 years, have a legal claim to the buildings, regardless of their heritage-listed status (24 July 2019). More...

Administrators appointed to South Gippsland Shire
The Andrews Labor Government has appointed a panel of three administrators to run the South Gippsland Shire Council, which was dismissed in June. The panel will act as the Council effective from 24 July 2019 until the next election for the council in 2021 (23 July 2019). More...


LGNSW welcomes long-awaited appointment of NSW Building Commissioner
The NSW Government's appointment of David Chandler OAM as NSW Building Commissioner was welcomed by the local government sector (02 August 2019). More...

Council Infrastructure loans surpass half a billion dollars
More than half a billion dollars in low interest loans have been granted to local councils across the State helping them fund vital infrastructure projects and programs for local communities (30 July 2019). More...

Sydney residents refuse to be 'guinea pigs' for storage of radioactive waste
Residents fear their lives will be made even worse and they will be trapped in unsaleable homes if radioactive waste from a former refinery is stored in their street on Sydney's lower north shore (24 July 2019). More...


Queensland council's 'good news' website criticised as 'propaganda masquerading as news'
A regional Queensland council website being advertised as an online news outlet and accepted by Microsoft as a news source is an abuse of public trust, academics say (01 August 2019). More...

Funding available for councils to cut illegal dumping
The Palaszczuk Government is serious about cracking down on illegal dumping and littering and has provided $400,000 to four councils as part of a pilot partnership program to combat this issue (31 July 2019). More...

A debt owed by a club linked to the GC mayor's business partner might never be paid
A club linked to a long-term business partner of the Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate may escape paying a $137,000 debt owed to the council (29 July 2019). More...

Council data fosters active communities
A Queensland council has been able to win funding, improve community education and define planning and program strategies by partnering with a university on a study into sport, recreation and activity among local residents (29 July 2019). More...

Casinos keep 24-hour trading, exempt from ID scanners to help make Brisbane 'new world city'
Despite warnings it could undermine the impact of the Queensland Government's policy to curb alcohol-fuelled violence, casinos will remain exempt from ID scanning and reduced hours. The move comes as the Government scales back the scheme in parts of Brisbane and Ipswich (26 July 2019). More...

Former Ipswich mayor sentenced to two years in jail for extortion
Phone recordings of Paul Pisasale used as evidence in his extortion trial have been released by a Brisbane court, as the former Ipswich mayor begins his jail term after being sentenced (25 July 2019). More...

$70 million up for grabs for job-creating regional infrastructure projects
The Palaszczuk Government's successful $365 million Building our Region's (BoR) program has entered its next phase, with details of the $70 million Round 5 revealed. Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Cameron Dick said regional Queensland councils will have until 30 August to submit expressions of interest for shovel-ready projects (25 July 2019). More...

In Practice and Courts

Migration Toolkit
The Regional Australia Institute has developed a migration toolkit to assist rural and regional communities looking to settle migrants, both from Australian cities and overseas (including entrants to Australia on skilled working visas or on humanitarian grounds). The toolkit is based on interviews with community champions of regional settlement and identifies best practice for settlement success. Download the toolkit from the Regional Australia Institute website (01 August 2019).

Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 [Provisions]
The bill would amend the Criminal Code Act 1995 to introduce two new offences relating to the use of a carriage service to incite trespass, property offences, or other offences on agricultural land. On 4 July 2019 the Senate referred the provisions of the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019 to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry. The deadline for submission to the inquiry was 31 July 2019. More...

Model Work Health and Safety laws
Safe Work Australia is inviting councils to comment on the recommendations of the 2018 Review of the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws. The Consultation RIS was prepared in accordance with the Council of Australian Governments' Best Practice Regulation: A guide for ministerial councils and national standard setting bodies. Comments closed on 05 August 2019. For more information visit the Safe Work Australia website.

National Heavy Vehicle Law review issues paper 3
The NTC has published information outlining its approach to the current review of National Heavy Vehicle Law (NHVL). The NTC is inviting stakeholders to provide feedback between February 2019 and February 2020. The third issues paper – Easy Access to Suitable Routes - has now been published, focusing on making access for heavy vehicles to local road networks easier. Feedback on this paper closes on 16 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...


Cladding over Asbestos-Containing materials
SafeWork NSW have released a position paper that encourages all local communities to ensure asbestos is safely removed by a licensed removalist before new cladding is installed. This position paper relates to a trend in the residential sector where asbestos cement sheeting is clad with new, non-asbestos products (01 August 2019). More...

Building reform
LGNSW has made a submission to the NSW Government's Building Stronger Foundations discussion paper on proposed building reforms. The paper addresses the government's response to two recent reviews – a national report in 2018 and an independent review in 2015 LGNSW's submission argues the latest discussion paper only targets part of the problem and does not address issues with the building sector in a comprehensive way. (01 August 2019). More...

New ICAC public inquiry into lobbying to start 5 August
The ICAC has held a public inquiry which commenced on 5 August 2019 as part of a new investigation it is conducting into the regulation of lobbying, access and influence in NSW (Operation Eclipse). More...

The Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code has been deferred to allow for an independent review
The existing one-year deferral of the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code in 49 council areas is due to expire on 1 July 2019. 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

Professional indemnity insurance rules amended for certifiers
The NSW Government has amended the Building Professionals Regulation 2007 to allow the Building Professionals Board to accept professional indemnity insurance policies with conditions or exclusions. More...


CCC current investigations
Further charges in Palm Island council investigation - 25 July 2019
A 47-year-old man has been charged by the CCC with fraud offences as a result of an ongoing corruption investigation into Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council.

CCC 07.2019: Council records: a guideline for mayors, councillors, CEOs and government employees
This joint corruption prevention advisory from the Crime and Corruption Commission and Queensland State Archives sets out the requirements for the management of council records. More...

LGAQ: Have your say: Model Code for Neighbourhood Design and proposed mandatory provisions
The consultation paper proposes that a range of components from the new Model Code be made mandatory for all new residential developments in Queensland. Please provide your thoughts on this before 26 August 2019. More...

Note: Safer Buildings: Parts 2 and 3a deadlines extended
Bodies corporate and building owners across Queensland have been given additional time to complete Parts 2 and 3a of the Safer Buildings combustible cladding checklist. The new deadlines will be as follows:
Part 2: extended from 29 May 2019 to 31 July 2019
Part 3a: extended from 27 August 2019 to 31 October 2019. More...



Dubow v Mid-Western Regional Council [2019] NSWCATAD 142
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – particular administrative bodies – NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal – administrative review jurisdiction – no jurisdiction to administrative review abatement under s125 of the Local Government Act 1993 – no jurisdiction to administratively review impounding of stock under s 116(3) of the Local Land Services Act 2013.

Captive Vision Pty Ltd v Ku-ring-gai Council (No 2) [2019] NSWLEC 109
CIVIL PROCEDURE: application for the determination of a separate question – whether delay in the making of the application – Class 1 appeal to be heard imminently – separate question comprised gravamen of Class 1 appeal – no utility in determining separate question – no evidence of savings in time or costs if question determined separately – application refused – not fair or reasonable to make costs order.

Hansimikali v Bayside Council [2019] NSWLEC 1353
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – mixed-use development – exceedance of the height of buildings development standard – whether the proposal is consistent with the desired future character of the locality – amenity of the adjoining low density residential dwellings

Sydney Tools Pty Ltd v Canterbury-Bankstown Council [2019] NSWLEC 1358
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – light industrial land use zone – current use not subject of consent – hardware and building supplies store – warehouse and distribution centre – traffic and access – noise.

Vujicic v Northern Beaches Council [2019] NSWLEC 1349
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – boarding house – consent orders – character – owners consent – easement – amenity

Cavanagh v Wollondilly Shire Council [2019] NSWLEC 105
CIVIL PROCEDURE – application for the determination of a separate question of law – question if resolved in favour of the council is entirely dispositive of the proceedings – delay in applying for the separate question – proceedings set down for two day hearing – substantial savings in terms of experts' costs and legal fees if separate question resolved in favour of council – application granted.

Canterbury-Bankstown Council v Sydney Tools Pty Ltd [2019] NSWLEC 103
CIVIL ENFORCEMENT – two premises used for warehousing and distribution – alleged breaches of conditions of historic development consents – construction of conditions of consent – concessions and admissions made by Respondents – rectification of past breaches – declaratory and injunctive relief declined, through lack of utility – respondents ordered to pay Council's costs of proceedings.


In the making of the Charters Towers Regional Council Union Collective Certified Agreement 2019 [2019] QIRC 110
INDUSTRIAL LAW – COLLECTIVE BARGAINING – application for certification of an agreement – requirements for certification – agreement certified



Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019
House of Representatives Third reading agreed to 01 Aug 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. The Bill contains exemptions for journalists and those who are making lawful disclosures of information, including whistleblowers


Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code Amendment (Monaro and Werriwa Grassy Woodland Critically Endangered Ecological Communities) 2019 (2019-361) — published LW 2 August 2019
Local Land Services Amendment (Critically Endangered Ecological Communities) Regulation 2019 (2019-362) — published LW 2 August 2019
Water Management (General) Amendment (Exemption) Regulation 2019 (2019-367) — published LW 2 August 2019
Biosecurity Amendment (Biosecurity Management Plans) Regulation 2019 (2019-354) — published LW 26 July 2019


Subordinate legislation as made – 02 August 2019
No143 State Development and Public Works Organisation (State Development Areas) Regulation 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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions