Recent changes to local government legislation
The purpose of this bulletin is to inform councils of the changes to local government legislation to:
- increase National Competition Policy (NCP) business activity thresholds by the consumer price index (CPI) for the 2016-2017 financial year
- clarify how-to-vote card publication requirements during local government election caretaker period
- provide for Brisbane City Council (BCC) to manage malls, including by local law
- prescribe Redland Investment Corporation Pty Ltd and Local Government Infrastructure Services Pty Ltd as local government entities for membership eligibility of the Local Government Superannuation Scheme (LG super scheme).
Increase to significant business activity and business activity thresholds
The City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 (CBR) section 16 and the Local Government Regulation 2012 (LGR) section 19 prescribe significant business activity thresholds and the CBR section 29 and the LGR section 39 prescribe business activity thresholds for the purposes of applying the NCP code of competitive conduct.
On 11 December 2015, the Local Government Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 2) 2015 (the amendment Regulation) amended the CBR and the LGR to increase the significant business activity and business activity thresholds by the CPI for the 2016-2017 financial year. The explanatory notes can be found at the Queensland Legislation website.
The threshold increases are:
|CBR, section 16(2) (significant business activity)||$9,000,000||$9,200,000|
|CBR, section 29(1) (prescribed business activity)||$318,000||$325,000|
|LGR, section 19(2)(a) (significant business activity - combined water and sewerage services)||$13,600,000||$13,750,000|
|LGR, section 19(2)(b) (significant business activity - other)||$9,000,000||$9,200,000|
|LGR, section 39(1) (prescribed business activity)||$318,000||$325,000|
Publication of how to vote cards during caretaker periods
On 20 November 2015, the Local Government and Other Legislation Amendment Act (No. 2) 2015 (the amendment Act) amended the City of Brisbane Act 2010 section 92D and the Local Government Act 2009 (LGA) section 90D to enable an accepted how-to-vote card to be available for inspection at the local government's public office during the caretaker period for a local government election, consistent with the Local Government Electoral Act 2011 (LGEA) section 179. The LGEA requires accepted1 how-to-vote cards to be available for public inspection at the local government's public office, the place of nomination, and on the electoral commission's website.
The explanatory notes can be found at the Queensland Legislation website.
1 Under the LGEA, the electoral commission accepts how-to-vote cards if satisfied that the cards are unlikely to mislead or deceive an elector in voting and comply with certain administrative requirements.
Minor amendment to repeal an obsolete reference
On 20 November 2015, the amendment Act repealed the obsolete reference in the LGEA to mayoral first-past-the-post voting as a consequence of the change made on 1 January 2015 to the voting system for mayors in undivided local governments from first-past-the post to optional-preferential voting.
Repeal Brisbane City Council mall provisions and consequential amendment to the State Penalties Enforcement Regulation 2014
From 1 January 2016, the amendment Regulation repeals chapter 3, part 3, division 2 which prescribes particular matters connected with managing vehicles and traffic on BCC malls. The amendment Regulation provides BCC with a general power to manage malls, including by local law, consistent with the LGR section 58. On 4 November 2014, BCC made the Public Land and Council Assets Local Law 2014 which includes the governance of malls.
The amendment Regulation provides for CBR transitional arrangements relating to offences, infringement notices, mall traffic restrictions, mall traffic permits, vehicles removed or moved from a mall, and appeals against a decision of the chief executive officer to refuse to deliver possession of a vehicle to an entitled person.
As a consequence of the repeal of the CBR BCC mall provisions, including the repeal of the offence for contravening a mall traffic restriction, the amendment Regulation repeals the related infringement notice offence/fine from schedule 1 of the State Penalties Enforcement Regulation 2014. The offence is retained in BCC's local law section 84.
Prescription of local government entities
The LGA section 218(2)(d) provides that an employee of a local government entity is eligible to become a member of the LG super scheme. The LGA section 216A defines a local government entity and provides that a local government entity must be prescribed by regulation. The amendment Regulation amends the LGR schedule 6 to prescribe Redland Investment Corporation Pty Ltd and Local Government Infrastructure Services Pty Ltd as local government entities.
- The Electoral Commission of Queensland
- The Local Government Association of Queensland
- Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel
- BCC local law
- LG Super
Any further enquiries on this matter should be addressed to:
Mr Tim Dunne
Local Government and Regional Services
Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
PO Box 15009
Brisbane QLD 4002