Local Government Law

Local Government Law & Practice

We have the necessary experience and expertise to offer the following range of services within a local government specific context:

Advice Work

Some examples of our work involving councils include providing advice in relation to:

  • compulsory land acquisition disputes, involving providing detailed advice on a range of valuation issues and acquisition procedures
  • the drafting and negotiation of planning agreements
  • the implications of the PPP provisions in the Local Government Act 1993 and developing new models for the delivery of services and community infrastructure
  • the operation of the Model Code of Conduct and Code of Meeting Practice
  • council’s role as the owner of public land
  • the application of various council policies intended to impose restrictive trade practices in selecting “local” contractors
  • WH&S issues relating to its use of a quarry involving a detailed examination of WH&S and mining law
  • licensing issues relating to the provision of children’s services by the councils including in respect of breach of licence terms; termination of employment and termination of carer’s services
  • liquor licensing
  • politically sensitive governance related issues, including breach of conduct complaints against Councillors and staff and the application of the Local Government Act 1993 and Code of Conduct to Council meeting practice and procedure
  • the operation of s. 356 of the Local Government Act 1993 so far as the section related to the application of a possible rebate on rates to be imposed upon an area of crown land
  • a council’s compliance with an Instrument made under s.458 of the Local Government Act 1993
  • the legal status of a committee of council and decisions of that Committee
  • the status of payments made under certain contracts of employment including those of the General Manager of a council
  • the trapping of domestic animals and establishment of Wildlife Protection Areas on public land
  • the prosecution of a private landowner for the unauthorised destruction of trees on public land
  • the removal of unauthorised structures on a public road
  • liability to a council contractor under a contract for service
  • ability to prevent unauthorised busking on council land
  • liability in tort for rock falls emanating from council owned land
  • a dispute over an Agreement for Cash Collection Services from council parking meters
  • the operation of the PPP provisions in the Local Government Act 1993
  • the operation of a council’s Local Traffic Committee and including powers of the Committee and effectiveness of decisions made by the Committee
  • application of native title legislation and common law
  • the legal status of a land contract awarded under tender
  • the lease of council owned facilities including swimming pools, sporting complexes and golf courses
  • the categorisation and permissible use of land

Court Advocacy and Negotiations

Schmidt-Liermann Lawyers have:

  • acted for a major property developer in relation to complex contract renegotiations involving the staged purchase of a significant area of land from the State Government including providing advice and negotiating on behalf of the developer in relation of breach of contract matters, settling contract disputes and  preparing variations of contracts
  • acted for a council in defending a Class 2 application before the L&E Court opposing the declaration of a public road
  • acted for a public trust in negotiations with a council and the Department of Environment and Planning in respect of a range of Development Consent issues and conditions to allow the staging of a series of non-sporting events at a Sports Stadium, including providing detailed advice on the operation of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1997, and Local Government Act 1993 resulting in the overturning of the original council decision by the Department of Planning.
  • acting for a number of private clients in Class 1 proceedings before the L&E Court successfully overturning council decisions to refuse development consent
  • acting for council in prosecutions under the Companion Animals Act 1998

Transactional Work

Some examples of Our Work in this area include preparing:

  • voluntary planning agreements (VPA's)
  • deeds of agreement between Council and private developers in connection with the funding of certain works pursuant to the PPP provisions in the Local Government Act 1993
  • instruments of delegation for a council client
  • powers of attorney
  • tender documents
  • civil construction works contracts
  • service contracts
  • contracts for the supply of goods
  • codes of Conduct for councils
  • leases and licences