12-12 Amendments to the Local Government Act 1993
The purpose of this circular is to advise councils and other stakeholders of recent changes to the Local Government Act 1993. The amendments were made by three separate amending Acts being:
- the Local Government Amendment Act 2012, the majority of which commenced on 4 April 2012. Clause 9 of Schedule 1 which will commence separately by proclamation and the making of a Regulation;
- the Local Government Amendment (Elections) Act 2012, which commenced on 11 April 2012; and
- the Local Government Amendment (Members of Parliament) Act 2012), which commenced on 11 April 2012.
The changes include the following:
- allowing a council to grant a lease or licence over community land for a period of up to 30 years subject to the consent of the Minister;
- providing that the voting system in a contested election is to be optional preferential if only one councillor is to be elected, or proportional if 2 or more councillors are to be elected;
- providing an exemption from compliance with requirements of the pecuniary interest provisions at meetings in relation to the adoption of principal local environmental plans (yet to commence);
- allowing eligible persons to enrol as residential electors for local government elections and cast a provisional vote at an election on polling day, provided the person can produce a NSW drivers licence or Photo Card;
- making other miscellaneous amendments to improve the conduct of local government elections;
- precluding members of the NSW Parliament from also holding office as a councillor or Mayor;
- Providing a regulation making power limiting the exercise of functions by councils in the 4 weeks preceding ordinary elections. Councils will be separately advised of the arrangements to apply during the upcoming ’caretaker’ period once the Regulation is made.
Where to get further information
The amendment Acts can be viewed on the Parliamentary Counsel’s website www.legislation.nsw.gov.au. Alternatively, you may contact the Division’s Council Governance Team at the above number.
Chief Executive, Local Government
A Division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet