In the media

Government grant assessment criteria "must be above suspicion"
The ALGA has renewed calls for public grants to councils and community organisations to be assessed against transparent criteria and awarded on merit. It comes amidst allegations that some state and commonwealth government grants and funding programs, including the Safer Communities Fund, have been "gerrymandered" (11 February 2021). More...

Future water plans must factor in climate change
The Productivity Commission says hotter, drier weather in years to come will mean a reduction in water availability for most of the country. It says state and territory governments should establish waterway managers with formal oversight responsibility for wetland and waterway management, and that decisions about government-held environmental water should be made by independent bodies (11 February 2021). More...

Bushfire adaptation measures "need local and national focus"
The need for improved local and national adaptation measures to limit the growing fire risk in south-eastern Australia has been reiterated in another scientific study (05 February 2021). More...

Budget support for councils will drive post-COVID recovery: ALGA
In its 2021-22 Pre-Budget Submission, ALGA has urged the Morrison Government to prioritise local jobs, infrastructure investment, and community wellbeing initiatives (04 February 2021). More...


Brisbane approves wave of waterfront developments
Brisbane's city skyline will continue to transform with a wave of major development projects receiving the official tick of approval. Council's decisions reflect major development taking place in Brisbane CBD (09 February 2021). More...

Brisbane historic riverside mansion Lamb House protected from development under planning changes
The Brisbane City Council approves planning amendments preventing the heritage-listed, riverside mansion "Home," also known as Lamb House, from being developed (09 February 2021). More...

Tony Williams declared Rockhampton's new mayor, ending months of uncertainty
Tony Williams has snagged the Rockhampton mayoralty with 59 per cent of the vote after exclusions and the distribution of preferences and 25 per cent of first preference votes (04 February 2021). More...

Moreton Bay courts big tech for innovation hub
Moreton Bay Regional Council launched its Regional Economic Development Strategy with the 460ha site at The Mill, a key piece of greenfield development, earmarked for an innovation and tech precinct (03 February 2021). More...

Spending, jobs, foot traffic on the rise as data shows Brisbane economy "bouncing back" from pandemic
The Brisbane economy is starting to "bounce back" from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with retail spending in the 2020 November-to-December period one of the biggest in a decade, new data shows (02 February 2021). More...

Queensland councils call on Federal Government to establish a national reinsurance pool
The peak body representing Queensland's 77 councils is urging the Federal Government to establish a national reinsurance pool to help reduce the cost of insurance premiums in North Queensland and across northern Australia (02 February 2021). More...

In Practice and Courts

ALGA pre-budget submission 2021-22
Australia's communities have been through challenging times in the past 12 months. Now more than ever, Federal Government support for local governments to assist our communities is vital for creating local jobs and strengthening community wellbeing (1 February 2021). Read more here.

LGs eligible for environmental safe havens funding
Councils have been advised that they can apply for Commonwealth grants to build safe havens for threatened native wildlife species. Local government agencies/bodies can apply for grants ranging from $500,000 up to $1.8 million. The cut-off for grant applications is 11 January 2021, and projects eligible for grants must be completed by 31 May 2023. Click here for more information.


Gold Coast Coastal Adaptation Plan
The City of the Gold Coast has released its draft Coastal Adaptation Plan for feedback. The plan outlines a long-term strategy for how the Gold Coast responds to the impact of climate change. Community engagement runs from 19 January to 19 February 2021. To read the draft plan or to provide feedback, please click here.

City of the Gold Coast: Express DA service
The City of the Gold Coast has announced a range of incentives to support the property industry. The City of Gold Coast is introducing a new fast track service, called Express Development Application (Express DA). Express DA will commence on the 27 October 2020 and replace the existing RiskSmart service. As part of the city's economic support during COVID-19, the City is offering a 50 per cent discount on Express DAs for 12 months (from 27 October 2020 to 27 October 2021). Have your say.

Rockhampton Regional Council expands development incentives policy
Rockhampton Regional Council has expanded its development incentives policy to include multi-residential unit developments within close proximity to the CBD. The policy will apply to DA's lodged between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021. For more information, please click here.

PCA: New Sunshine Coast planning scheme
The Sunshine Coast Council will begin community consultation on a new planning scheme later this year. The changes are expected to align with newer state and local planning policies including the South-East Queensland Regional Plan which is set to be renewed next year. The new planning scheme is expected to be delivered in 2024 (February 2021). Read more here.



Island Resorts (Apartments) Pty Ltd v Gold Coast City Council [2021] QCA 19
LOCAL GOVERNMENT – POWERS, FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES OF COUNCILS GENERALLY – PARTICULAR POWERS AND FUNCTIONS – MISCELLANEOUS POWERS – where the appellant owns properties within the local government area of the respondent – where one of the respondent's functions as a council is to levy general rates on all rateable land within its local government area – where the respondent considers that land used for tourism and tourism-related business and industry should generate a greater contribution to general rate revenue than land that is not used for a commercial purpose – where residential lots used to provide rental accommodation to "permanent residents" were categorised as Category 2T and residential lots used to provide rental accommodation to "itinerants" were categorised as Category 3T – whether the primary judge erred in not finding that deciding rating categories based on whether the rateable land was rented to an "itinerant" or "permanent resident" was characterising land solely on the basis of the personal characteristics of the occupant from time to time – whether the primary judge erred in not finding that the differential general rating categories 2T and 3T characterised land based upon the personal characteristics of a person who may occupy the land from time to time – whether the primary judge erred in not finding that the respondent impermissibly took into account an irrelevant consideration – whether the appeal should be dismissed.
Judicial Review Act 1991 Qld s 20(2)(e), s 23(a); Local Government Act 2009 Qld s 4(2), s 92, s 93, s 94, s 96; Local Government Regulation 2012 Qld s 80, s 81.

Powe v David Hansen on behalf of Logan City Council [2021] QDC 12
CRIMINAL LAW – PLANNING ACT OFFENCES – APPEAL FROM MAGISTRATES COURT – interpreters not sworn – inadmissible evidence tendered – whether miscarriage of justice.
Justices Act 1886 Qld; Local Government Act 2009 Qld; Oaths Act 1967 Qld; Planning Act 2016 Qld; Sustainable Planning Act 2009 Qld.

We Kando Pty Ltd v Maranoa Regional Council [2021] QPEC 1
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – ORIGINATING APPLICATION – application to further change a development approval for a regulated waste storage facility.
PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT – APPEAL – appeal against the decision of the respondent to refuse an application to extend the currency period for the regulated waste storage facility.
Planning Act 2016 Qld ss 78A, 81, 87 and Schedule 2.
Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 Qld ss 43 and 45.

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.