In the media
$1 billion vote of confidence in local councils
Further Commonwealth support for local government in the Federal Budget will help deliver the targeted short-term stimulus critical to national economic recovery and growth. ALGA President David O'Loughlin commended Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's announcement of a further $1 billion investment in the local roads and community infrastructure as a vote of confidence (06 November 2020). More...
New Morrison Govt initiatives a major fillip for
regional communities, says ALGA
The ALGA has welcomed new Federal Government support for regional and remote communities hard-hit by Covid-19, drought, and last summer's bushfires. The announcements by Deputy Prime Minister include two new initiatives – a Regional Recovery Partnerships Program and Resilient Regional Leaders (05 November 2020). More...
Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster
The Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements Report was tabled in Parliament last week. There are 80 recommendations including that the State and Territory governments should take responsibility for the capability and capacity of local governments to which they have delegated their responsibilities in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from natural disasters, to ensure councils can effectively discharge the responsibilities devolved to them (30 October 2020). More...
Victorian councils see female majorities elected —
and in one a majority is under 35
Two local Victorian councils have seen their first women majorities elected, a sign that a Government campaign to improve representation might be working (06 November 2020). More...
IBAC warns misuse of personal information held by local
government can amount to corrupt conduct
Victorian councils need to improve how they protect the information they hold, according to a research report released by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (05 November 2020). More...
Sally Capp returned as Melbourne Lord Mayor
The former Property Council boss who promised to rejuvenate the CBD after Melbourne's months-long lockdown beats eight rivals, including her previous deputy Arron Wood, to win a second term (04 November 2020). More...
Alleged postal vote tampering in Moreland City Council
election under investigation
Victoria Police are investigating allegations of intentional tampering with postal votes in the North-West Ward in the Moreland City Council elections (03 November 2020). More...
Collection network critical to container deposit scheme
The Government's proposal for a network operator that is independent of the beverage industry and incentivised to collect as many containers as possible is positive and in line with the MAV's preferred model for the scheme (02 November 2020). More...
Disability access on the agenda as historical Maldon
looks to the future
Uneven footpaths, deep Maldonite drains and dangerous road crossings must be addressed when the small Victorian town upgrades its streetscape, a disability group says (30 October 2020). More...
Council apologises for data breach
A Melbourne council says a mistake during automation led to personal details of more residents being published on an open data website. The information published was a combination of personal, and publicly available, emails and phone numbers relating to graffiti reports (28 October 2020). More...
Corruption probe to consider Victorian planning
An investigation into alleged corruption relating to property development at an outer Melbourne council will expand its scope to cover planning decisions statewide. Public hearings into allegations of serious corrupt conduct at Casey City Council will resume on November 9 (26 October 2020). More...
Research reveals true cost of amalgamation
The NSW government's policy of amalgamation has left many councils struggling financially, a researcher says. The NSW government's 2016 policy of local government amalgamations resulted in an average 11.2 per cent increase in costs at affected councils and raised staff expenses by more than 15 per cent, new research has found (05 November 2020). More...
Suburban meadows, green pipes and a 42km bike track: How
to rebuild Sydney after the pandemic
Creating 'micro-meadows' in the city's suburbs and reinventing car-parking buildings are among hundreds of ideas aimed at reinventing public spaces (05 November 2020). More...
Royal Commission findings support council calls for
greater natural disaster resilience
It's great news that the Royal Commission has acknowledged the importance of a locally-led response, and the need for state governments to ensure councils have sufficient resources to effectively discharge the responsibilities devolved to them, says NSW's peak body for local government (29 October 2020). More...
New rules for short term accommodation welcomed
New rules for short term rental accommodation providers welcomed by councils, but NSW's peak body for local government is pushing for further crucial changes such as a compulsory premises register to keep guests and operators accountable (29 October 2020). More...
People have dignity: Calls to make NSW house-raising
scheme more widely available
The NSW Government's house-raising scheme could be life-changing for those living in disaster-prone areas if it were easier to access and more affordable, a flood-affected north coast resident says (26 October 2020). More...
In Practice and Courts
The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) has now announced the elections results for more than 40 councils, following the close of the voting receipt period on 30 October.
The MAV's Councillor Induction Program will be held online over two consecutive sessions on 27 November and 3 December (05 November 2020).
Procurement e-learning modules
Visit the MAV Procurement e-learning portal for free, introductory modules – understanding local government and doing business with local government – are also available on the portal (05 November 2020).
Container deposit scheme
The MAV has welcomed the release of the Victorian Government's consultation paper on the design of the container deposit scheme (CDS). Following significant advocacy from the MAV, councils, environment groups and others, the State committed to introducing a CDS by 2023 as part of its Recycling Victoria policy (05 November 2020).
28 October 2020 Submission to Heavy Vehicle Road Reform consultation – Transport
October 2020 Submission to Waste Act and Authority options paper - Waste management
Creative State Strategy consultation
Consultation is now open for the Creative State 2021 – 2025 strategy. The Victorian Government is encouraging people who work in Victoria's creative industries to contribute to the strategy by completing an online survey. Given the impact of the pandemic on young people, there is also a dedicated survey for Victorians aged 15-25. The surveys ask about the impact coronavirus has had on creative workers, current industry needs and issues, and ideas for the future. Consultation closes on 19 November (05 November 2020).
Review of the EPA's recycled water guidance
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is leading a review of Victoria's recycled water guidance. The discussion paper explains the scope of the review, key changes within the proposed new guideline, and reasons for these changes. Consultation closes 26 November (05 November 2020).
Consultation open for LMI scheme Reform
The MAV's Liability Mutual Insurance (LMI) scheme provides public liability and professional indemnity insurance to local government as a member-owned, not-for-profit mutual. As part of our ongoing consultation with councils, the MAV has written to all council CEOs to understand the preferences on the structural reform options for the LMI scheme. Members can provide feedback by 20 November 2020. For more information, contact Owen Harvey-Beavis.
City of Melbourne: View all current tenders
See tenders for more information on the tendering process and procurement policy, closed and awarded tenders.
SRO: Further tax and fee relief measures
As part of a $3 billion business support package, the Victorian Government has announced further coronavirus tax relief measures, including waiving of liquor licensing fees for 2021, deferral for 2020-21 payroll tax liabilities, and duty reductions for those buying commercial or industrial property in regional Victoria (14 September 2020).
Note: Following the recent Victorian bushfires, the Victorian Government passed legislation in April 2020 to bring forward the 50% stamp duty discount for contracts entered into on or after 27 January 2020 to buy commercial or industrial property in bushfire affected LGAs. The 50% stamp duty discount for commercial and industrial property across all of regional Victoria will be brought forward to 1 January 2021.
New Animal Welfare Act
The Victorian Government is seeking feedback on proposals for a new animal welfare Act. The new Act would replace the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA Act). Many of the proposals aim to improve existing provisions under the POCTA Act. Some would introduce new features into Victoria's main animal welfare legislation. Consultation closes 14 December.
Review of the EPA's recycled water guidance
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is leading a review of Victoria's recycled water guidance. The discussion paper explains the scope of the review, key changes within the proposed new guideline, and reasons for these changes. Consultation closes 26 November.
Smart Planning PPF translation update
Smart Planning continues to work with councils on their Planning Policy Framework (PPF) translations. The PPF translation project is time bound and all planning schemes must be translated by 30 June 2021. Information on preparing for your PPF translation is available on the Smart Planning website.
Last chance to stand for council
The City of Melbourne (Electoral) and Local Government (Electoral) Amendments Regulations 2020 came into operation on 2 September 2020 and end on 26 April 2021. The amendments to the Electoral Regulations apply to candidate nomination and scrutineer provisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Outdoor eating and entertainment package business
Applications are now open for the $58 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package. Grants of up to $5,000 are available to licensed and unlicensed hospitality businesses, including restaurants, cafes, pubs/taverns, bars, clubs and takeaway food venues. Applications close on 11 December 2020.
Applications open for the Licensed Hospitality Venue
Grants of up to $30,000 are available through the $251 million Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund program. The fund supports eligible liquor licensees with hospitality venues impacted by the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus. Applications close on 23 November 2020.
Coronavirus Support for Multicultural Seniors
Up to $2,000 is available to multicultural seniors' groups through the Coronavirus Support for Multicultural Seniors program. The funding can go towards IT equipment, programs to support multicultural seniors and provide the timely distribution of coronavirus information. Applications close 19 November.
$8 million in grants available to deliver Australia Day
The National Australia Day Council in collaboration with Australia Day Victoria, is offering $8 million in grants for councils to deliver Australia Day 2021 events. Councils are eligible for a $20,000 grant to ensure their events are COVIDsafe. Councils can also download a free Australia Day-branded event artwork here and apply for a $1,000 grant for production. For more information click here.
Aboriginal Community Response and Recovery Fund
The Aboriginal Community Response and Recovery Fund has been established to support Aboriginal Victorians to deliver community-led initiatives to respond to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). The fund's total value is $10 million and applications close 30 November 2020.
Community Sports Infrastructure Loans Scheme
Applications are now open for the second round of the $100 million Community Sports Infrastructure Loans Scheme. The low-interest government-guaranteed loans from $500,000 to up to $10 million are available to councils, clubs, associations, educational institutions and facility managers to develop high-quality community sport and active recreation infrastructure. Applications close 15 December 2020.
New funding for primary producers
New funding is available through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements to help grape growers in local government areas outside bushfire zones who have had their crops affected by smoke. The grant is available through Rural Finance (1800 260 425) and is open until 31 December.
Reimagining Health Grants
The new VicHealth Reimagining Health Grants will open on 16 September and aim to inspire application ideas that reimagine health and wellbeing in 2020 and 2021. VicHealth is encouraging applicants to submit on or as close to 16 September to have the opportunity to get assessed and notified early. Then funds could be provided more than two months ahead of those who wait until the closing date.
s.186 exemption for council recycling contracts
The Victorian Local Government Minister has announced a state-wide s.186 exemption for local councils to extend their recycling collection contracts to 30 June 2021. Here is a copy of the letter sent to all councils co-signed by Minister Somyurek and the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio MP
50-year vision for Sydney's Open Space and Parklands
[Draft] Discussion Paper
The NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces has announced the 50-Year Vision for Sydney's Open Space and Parklands. The draft Vision will kickstart a community wide conversation about how our open and public spaces can grow with us. Read A 50-Year Vision for Sydney's Open Space and Parklands: A Discussion Paper and complete the survey.
Proposed SEPP amendment to allow outdoor dining pilot in
City Of Sydney - The department is seeking your feedback on a proposed amendment to the Codes SEPP which will facilitate a simplified, streamlined process for small bars and pubs in the City of Sydney to have outdoor dining. The Outdoor Dining Trial will run from 30 October 2020 until 31 October 2021. More...
NSW DPIE: Draft NSW Public Spaces Charter & draft
Evaluation Tool for Public Space and Public Life
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has released the draft NSW Public Spaces Charter and the draft Evaluation Tool for Public Space and Public Life – two initiatives that aim to enable more quality public spaces for every community across NSW. The draft NSW Public Spaces Charter and draft Evaluation Tool will be on public exhibition from 20 October – 17 November 2020. More information here.
NSW Planning Department: Have your say -
Draft plans and policies
NSW Outdoor Dining Trial
Notification start-end date 26/10/2020 - 08/11/2020
The department is proposing to amend the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) to allow outdoor dining as exempt development for small bars and pubs in all NSW local government areas. More...
Sampling design guidelines
From: 28 September 2020 To:8 November 2020
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is seeking feedback on proposed revisions to the guidelines for sampling contaminated land. More...
Dahlitz v Surf Coast SC 
Section 82 Planning and Environment Act 1987, Surf Coast Planning Scheme, overlooking, building on boundary, noise, building bulk.
Camerlengo v Moonee Valley CC 
Moonee Valley Planning Scheme, Section 79 Planning and Environment Act 1987, General Residential Zone – Schedule 1, Heritage Overlay – Schedule 1, Demolition of non-contributory dwelling, outbuilding and boundary fencing, Construction of double storey outbuilding with boundary fencing and consideration of relevant matters under a Heritage Overlay.
Mazzacca v Frankston CC  VCAT
Review of refusal to grant a permit. Amended proposal acceptable to responsible authority. General Residential Zone. Frankston Planning Scheme. Four dwellings on a lot.
Kopyssov v Whitehorse CC  VCAT
Section 82 Planning and Environment Act 1987, Whitehorse Planning Scheme, overshadowing of secluded private open space, overlooking, tree protection, overdevelopment, two crossovers, loss of on-street car parking.
Kilibarda v Knox CC  VCAT
Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Knox Planning Scheme; General Residential Zone; Two dwellings; Side-by-side arrangement; Neighbourhood Character
Tonkin v Darebin CC  VCAT
To amend the endorsed plans accompanying Permit C/492/2018 to relocate the proposed outbuilding 0.875 metres from the north boundary. Application under section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 – to review the decision to grant an amended permit.
Gauci v Stonnington CC  VCAT
Alterations and additions to a dwelling incorporating an extension to the existing three storey dwelling, A variation is also sought to the building height under the Design and Development requirements of the Activity Centre Zone, Schedule 1. Application under section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 –no permit
Tanyam Nomineees Pty Ltd v Whittlesea CC
 VCAT 1166
Section 77 Planning and Environment Act 1987; Whittlesea Planning Scheme; General Residential Zone; Vegetation Protection Overlay; Development Contributions Overlay; Neighbourhood Interface Area; Multi dwelling development; Vegetation removal; Neighbourhood character; Internal amenity; Landscaping
Southern Grampians SC v Superior Selection Pty
Ltd  VCAT
Southern Grampians Planning Scheme; section 114 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; planning enforcement application involving car wash use and associated problems; Tribunal hearing; operator conceding that a breach had occurred and the practical issue being more what remedy should occur; subsequent costs application; Tribunal orders allowing the majority of claimed costs.
Symmonds v Yarra Ranges SC 
Application under section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Review the decision to grant a permit; Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme; Neighbourhood Residential Zone – Schedule 1; Significant Landscape Overlay – Schedule 23; Incremental Change Area; Neighbourhood Character; Landscape; Land slope; Internal amenity of dwellings.
Rostrevor Parade Pty Ltd v Whitehorse CC
 VCAT 1201
Whitehorse Planning Scheme; medium density housing in a Natural change area; medium density housing on a sloping site; varied Standard B17 in Schedule 4 to the General Residential Zone of the Whitehorse Planning Scheme; off-site amenity impacts associated with medium density housing. No permit
Sullivan v Yarra CC  VCAT
Section 82 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, off-site amenity, adjoining former warehouse conversion, opening on boundary, visibility of proposed development from secluded private open space and within dwelling
Cassarino v Banyule CC 
Section 77 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987; Banyule Planning Scheme, Neighbourhood Residential Zone, Vegetation Protection Overlay, Design and Development Overlay; one additional dwelling; issues of design response to neighbourhood character, protection of trees, landscaping and drainage.
Denham v Bayside CC  VCAT
Section 77 of the Planning & Environment Act 1987; Bayside Planning Scheme; Neighbourhood Residential Zone Schedule 3; Design and Development Overlay Schedule 3; Development Contributions Plan; Neighbourhood Character; Landscaping Opportunities; Visual Bulk; Design Detail; Side and Rear Setbacks; Dominant Built form; Integration with the Street; Solar Access to Open Space.
Georges River Council v Emanuel Mifsud
 NSWLEC 149
LOCAL GOVERNMENT – s 672 Local Government Act 1993 – failure to comply with an order – premises not in a safe and healthy condition – premises in an unsightly condition – council granted power to do all things necessary to give effect to the order – orders deferred for 28 days
COSTS – usual order as to costs – exclusion of costs associated with joinder of the Second Respondent
Local Government Act 1993
Boomerang & Blueys Residents Group Inc v New South Wales
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and
MidCoast Council (No 3)  NSWLEC
COSTS — Party/Party — Exceptions to general rule that costs follow the event — Land and Environment Court — Whether proceedings brought in the public interest — Where applicant additionally sought costs in relation to interlocutory matters and discrete issues in the proceedings — Whether applicant should bear more than one set of costs
Downes v Maitland City Council
 NSWSC 1555
CIVIL PROCEDURE — Summary disposal — Dismissal of proceedings — Claim by plaintiffs alleging negligence and nuisance — Where defendant relies on Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) s 733 as a complete defence — Whether triable issue as to whether defendant acted in good faith
DVCI Pty Ltd v City of Parramatta Council (No
3)  NSWLEC
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – child care centre – conditions of consent
Staldone Rosedale Pty Ltd v Lane Cove
Council  NSWLEC
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL: boarding house development – R4 High Density Residential zone – whether compatible with the character of the local area – site isolation – traffic impacts in the locality
Staldone Rosedale Pty Ltd v Lane Cove
Council  NSWLEC
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL – boarding house development – R4 High Density Residential zone – whether compatible with the character of the local area – site isolation – clause 4.6 written request – exceedance of height control
GM Architects Pty Ltd v Strathfield
Council  NSWLEC
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – Abbotsford Road heritage conservation area – boarding house development – cl 30AA boarding houses in Zone R2 Low Density Residential – cl 30A character of the local area
TJ Slattery Investments Pty Ltd v Inner West
Council  NSWLEC
DEVELOPMENT APPEAL – adaptive reuse of warehouse to residential dwelling – variation of floor space ratio development standard – variation of landscape development standard – bulk and scale –orders
Rochester Estate Pty Ltd v Wingecarribee Shire
Council  NSWLEC
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – subdivision – draft heritage item
STM 123 No. 7 Pty Ltd v Waverley Council
 NSWLEC 1495
DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION – additional level to approved four-storey shop-top housing development – exceedance of height control – clause 4.6 – whether objectives of height control met – whether sufficient planning grounds – character
Electoral Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures)
Finally passed both Houses 29 Oct 2020
Amends the: Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to: clarify the interaction between federal, state and territory electoral funding and disclosure regimes following the High Court decision in Spence v Queensland  HCA 15; make technical amendments in relation to entity registration and public election funding rules; and allow a senior Australian Electoral Commission staff member rather than a senior Divisional Returning Officer to be on the Redistribution Committee for the Australian Capital Territory; Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 to amend various aspects of voting and scrutiny processes; and Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 to extend the electronically assisted voting method to Australians working in Antarctica.
Date of commencement: 24 October 2020
Local Government Act 2020 (Vic)
Part 2 Division 3 (sections 18 to 24), Part 2 Division 4 (sections 25 to 27), Part 2 Division 5 (sections 28 to 38), Section 88, Sections 90 to 93, Part 4 Division 2 (sections 94 to 97), Part 4 Division 3 (sections 98 to 100), Part 6 (sections 123 to 174), Part 7 Division 1 (sections 175 and 176), Part 7 Division 2 (sections 177 and 178), Part 7 Division 3 (sections 179 to 181), Part 7 Division 4 (sections 182 to 199), Part 7 Division 5 (sections 200 to 223), Part 7 Division 7 (sections 230 and 231), Part 7 Division 8 (sections 232 and 233), Section 329(7) to (9), Section 361, Schedule 1(2), Schedule 1(20)(20.2), Schedule 1(21)(21.2), Schedule 1(23)(23.1) and (23.2), Schedule 1(25), Schedule 1(40)(40.7)(b), Schedule 1(43)(43.2), Schedule 1(44)(44.2), Schedule 1(56)(56.1)(b) and (c), Schedule 1(56)(56.3) to (56.5), Schedule 1(75)(75.2) to (75.4), Schedule 1(75)(75.6), Schedule 1(77)(77.1), Schedule 1(77)(77.5) and 77.6), Schedule 1(81)(81.2), Schedule 1(82)(82.3) to (82.5), Schedule 1(109), Schedule 1(113)(113.1) of this Act came into operation on 24 October 2020 (SG150 24.03.2020)Act Number: 9/2020
Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2020
1.15 Electoral Funding Act 2018 No 20Schedule 2 Savings, transitional and other provisions - Schedule—Part 4 Provision consequent on postponement of September 2020 local government elections - postponed local government elections To avoid doubt, for the purposes of sections 28 and 31A of this Act, the local government elections to be held on 4 September 2021 are taken to be ordinary
Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Bayside West Special Contributions Area) Order 2020 (2020-640) — published LW 30 October 2020
Fair Trading Amendment (Code of Conduct for Short-term Rental Accommodation Industry) Regulation (No 2) 2020 (2020-634) — published LW 28 October 2020
Fair Trading Amendment (Code of Conduct) Regulation 2020 (2020-635) — published LW 28 October 2020
Protection of the Environment Operations (Waste) Amendment Regulation 2020 (2020-645) — published LW 30 October 2020
Water Sharing Plan for the Namoi and Peel Unregulated Rivers Water Sources Amendment Order 2020 (2020-646) — published LW 30 October 2020
Environmental Planning Instruments
Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Definitions) Order 2020 (2020-636) — published LW 28 October 2020
State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) Amendment (Outdoor Dining—City of Sydney) 2020 (2020-638) — published LW 29 October 2020
State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Definitions) 2020 (2020-637) — published LW 28 October 2020
Electoral and Other Legislation (Accountability, Integrity and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2020 (Qld)
The key policy objective of Chapter 2 is to improve the actual and perceived integrity and public accountability of State elections and ensure public confidence in State electoral and political processes
Commencement: (1)Chapter 2 commences as follows— (c)the following provisions commence on 1 July 2022—
(4)Chapter 5 commences as follows— (b)the remaining provisions of chapter 5 commence on 12 October 2020.
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.