Essential Guides: NSW Local Government Law

Our series of NSW Local Government Guides are comprehensive yet simple to understand guides on how to deal with certain legislation and issues that NSW Local Government and Councils often face.

  • Voluntary Planning Agreements

    This Guide will assist local councils to understand the benefits and the requirements which apply to the making of a voluntary planning agreement under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPA Act). Read More.

  • Weed control under the Biosecurity Act Post Bushfires

    This Essential Guide provides a brief overview of some of the responsibilities and functions given to local councils under the Act to manage weeds in their local government area.  Read More.

  • Prevention Notices and “Reasonable Suspicion”

    This Essential Guide discusses the concept of “reasonable suspicion” under the  Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) as it applies to the giving of a prevention notice in the context of a pollution issue. Read More.

  • Lapsing of a Development Consent

    Updated June 2020 – COVID 19:  This Essential Guide provides guidance to councils on maintaining development consent.  A development consent can add significant value to land and can be costly to obtain. It is therefore important to understand when it will lapse. This guide will assist you in determining when this will occur.  Read More.

  • Building Information Certificates

    An application for a Building Information Certificate (BIC) is typically made when a building or structure has been erected unlawfully.  Read more.

  • Rebuilding after the bushfires: What approvals are required?

    Updated March 2020: Many of our Council clients will soon be faced with inquiries from people who wish to rebuild following the NSW bushfires.  This simple guide is intended to assist Councils in dealing with inquiries about the approvals needed to rebuild. Read More.

  • Temporary Use and Clause 2.8 of the Standard Instrument LEP

    This Essential Guide will assist local councils to apply the temporary use provisions in cl. 2.8 of the Standard Instrument LEP.  Prohibited development can be approved under the Standard Instrument LEP if it will only be temporary. Understandably, however, this is only possible if the development will not adversely impact on the future development of the land or on the residents of surrounding land. Read More.

  • Hoarding

    This Essential Guide provides guidance to councils on the options which are available to them under the Local Government Act 1993 (LG Act) to address hoarding in their communities. Read More.

  • Acquisition of Land by NSW Councils

    Whilst the NSW State Government has published a number of resources to guide stakeholders through the acquisition process, this brief commentary will discuss the key steps involved and provide some practical guidance for council staff. Read More.

  • Stopping the Clock

    This essential guide will look at when the development assessment clock stops and what events will restart it. Read More.

  • Investigating Staff Misconduct Complaints (Including Workplace Bullying)

    This essential guide will look at how to best investigate staff misconduct complaints, including workplace bullying. Read More.

  • Expert Witness Survival Guide

    This essential guide covers the admissibility of expert opinion evidence and 10 golden rules for giving expert evidence. Read More.

  • Delegation of Council Functions

    This essential guide offers an overview of the fundamentals of the delegation and sub-delegation of Council functions under legislation and the common law. Read More.

  • Drafting Conditions of Development Consent

    This essential guide addresses how to draft conditions of development consent that are clear, valid and enforceable under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Read More.

  • Competitive Neutrality For NSW Councils

    This essential guide looks at competitive neutrality and the importance of creating a level playing field between in-house and external tenderers in a tender process. Read More.

  • Development Control Orders Under the EPA Act

    This Essential Guide will assist local councils to determine when it is appropriate to give an order, how to give a valid order, and what to do in an emergency.

  • Enforcement of Development Control Orders Under the EPA Act

    This Essential Guide outlines the options available to councils to enforce compliance with a development control order, and the advantages and risks of the different enforcement options available.

For further information about, or assistance with any information contained in these Local Government Guides, please contact Alice Menyhart, Alan Bradbury or Andrew Brickhill on (02) 6274 0999.

The content contained in these guides are, of course, general commentary only. They do not constitute legal advice. Readers should contact us and receive our specific advice on the particular situation that concerns them.