17-11 – Council decision-making prior to the September 2017 local government elections

Category: Circular to CouncilsStatus: Active
Circular Details: 17-11 / 14 June 2017 / A547255Contact: Council Governance Team – 4428 4100
Previous Circular: 16-18Attachments: Nil
Who should read this: Councillors / General Managers / All council staff for the 46 councils with elections on 9 September 2017Action required: Information / Council to Implement
PDF Version:Council Circular 17-11 – PDF

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 a 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 2017 local government elections commences on Friday 11 August 2017 and ends on Saturday 9 September 2017.

Where to go for further information

  • For further information, contact the Office’s Council Governance Team on 4428 4100.

Tim Hurst
Acting Chief Executive