16-18 Council decision-making prior to the September 2016 local government elections

What’s new or changing

  • Clause 393B of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 limits councils’ ability to exercise some of their functions in the four weeks preceding the date of an ordinary local government election (the caretaker period).

What this will mean for your council

  • Councils are expected to assume a “caretaker” role during election periods to ensure that major decisions are not made which would limit the actions of an incoming council.
  • Councils, the general manager or any other delegate of the council (other than a Joint Regional Planning Panel or the Central Sydney Planning Committee) must not exercise the following functions during the caretaker period:
    • Entering into any contract or undertaking involving an expenditure or receipt by the council of an amount equal to or greater than $150,000 or 1% of the council’s revenue from rates in the preceding financial year (whichever is the larger);
    • Determining a “controversial development application”, except where a failure to make such a determination would give rise to a deemed refusal, or such a deemed refusal arose before the commencement of the caretaker period;
    • Appointing or reappointing the council’s general manager (except for temporary appointments).
  • In certain circumstances, these functions may be exercised with the approval of the Minister.

Key points

  • “Controversial development application” means a development application under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 for which at least 25 persons have made submissions under section 79(5) of that Act by way of objection.
  • The caretaker period for the September 2016 ordinary local government elections commences on Friday 12 August 2016 and ends on Saturday 10 September 2016.

Where to go for further information

  • For further information, contact the Office’s Council Governance Team on 4428 4100.Tim Hurst
    Acting Chief Executive