Norman Waterhouse

 

 

Normans Briefly

In this issue

Welcome to the April edition of our Local Government Briefly.

>   SA Heritage Council Appointment
>   Thank you for a successful Walking the Talk 2015 employment and industrial relations conference
>   Employment - Principals’ obligation to independent contractors
>   Corporate and Commercial - Potential project cost savings linked to better procurement policies
>   Regulatory special report - Significant changes proposed for Dog and Cat Management Act 1995
>   Governance - Apprehended bias principles tested before the High Court of Australia in dog management case
>   Environment and Planning - Environment, Resources and Development Court prosecution: childcare facility

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SA Heritage Council Appointment

On 2 April 2015 Norman Waterhouse Partner Gavin Leydon was reappointed as a member of the SA Heritage Council for a further 3 year term. Gavin has been a member of the Heritage Council since it was established in 2005 under the Heritage Places Act 1993.

The Heritage Council administers the Heritage Register, as well as identifying and provisionally listing places of state heritage significance and providing strategic advice to the Minister. The Heritage Council deals not only with built and cultural heritage but also designates State Heritage Places as having archaeological, geological, paleontological or speleological significance and where appropriate, promotes the establishment of significant areas as State Heritage Areas under the Development Act 1993. 

Gavin also continues to be involved in the process of designating and reviewing proposed local heritage places as Presiding Member of the Local Heritage Advisory Committee. LHAC hears objections to proposed local heritage listings in Development Plan Amendments and provides independent advice to the Minister.



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Thank you for a successful Walking the Talk 2015 employment and industrial relations conference

Many of our readers recently attended our annual employment and industrial relations conference: Walking the Talk. We again extend our thanks to those attendees. Many attendees have already completed our feedback survey, which, in our experience, greatly assists in the continuing evolution of Walking the Talk.

Norman Waterhouse owes the ongoing success of Walking the Talk to your input. Importantly, we always take on board suggestions for pertinent topics, as it is these suggestions which form the basis for each year’s program.

Whether or not you were able to join us at this year’s conference, we encourage you to get in contact with any of our practitioners by phone, email or in person, and let us know what topics you would like to hear about at Walking the Talk 2016.

We look forward to seeing you next year.

Sathish Dasan, Partner, Employment & Industrial Relations Team



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Employment - Principals’ obligation to independent contractors

The New South Wales Court of Appeal has recently delivered judgement in the case of Central Darling Shire Council v Greeney [2015] NSWCA 51, which confirms the duty of care a principal owes to its independent contractors.

Whilst in the past Courts have recognised that the duty of care owed by a principal to a contractor is not as stringent as that owed to an employee, there is nevertheless an obligation for a principal to take precautions against serious harm to those that they contract to perform work.

Click here to read more.



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Corporate and Commercial - Potential project cost savings linked to better procurement policies

A recently published report by Deloitte Access Economics has highlighted the potential economic benefits that can be achieved from better procurement practices. The report is a timely reminder for all councils to evaluate their current procurement policies and procedures, to ensure delivery of the most cost effective outcomes.

The report has identified a number of key areas in current procurement policies and practices, which are inefficient and causing unnecessary costs in procurement projects.

Click here to read more.



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Regulatory special report - Significant changes proposed for Dog and Cat Management Act 1995

The State Government has recently opened consultation upon two draft documents relating to dog and cat management.

The first is a draft Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs and Cats in Breeding Facilities, which is envisaged to be enacted under the Animal Welfare Act 1985 (SA). Submission on that document may be provided until 29 May 2015.

The second document, and the focus of this article, is the draft Dog and Cat Management (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2015 (Draft Bill). If the Draft Bill is introduced into Parliament and ultimately passed in substantially its current form, it would amend the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 (SA) (the Act) in many significant ways. In our view, the amendments proposed in the Draft Bill stand to improve certain areas of the Act, including areas, which we, and many of our local government clients, have long considered to be shortcomings of the Act as it presently is. Key amendments for local government are examined below, although interested readers are encouraged to examine the Draft Bill in its entirety.

Click here to read more.



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Governance - Apprehended bias principles tested before the High Court of Australia in dog management case

On 14 April 2015, the High Court of Australia heard the interesting case of Isbester v Knox City Council [2015] HCATrans 79. The High Court has reserved its judgment, which will be delivered later in the year.

The case concerns the following factual circumstances (bearing in mind these are in the context of Victorian, not South Australian, dog management legislation):

  • An officer of the Knox City Council was the complainant in successful prosecution proceedings against Ms Isbester for an offence arising from her dog biting a person and causing injury;

Click here to read more.



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Environment and Planning - Environment, Resources and Development Court prosecution: childcare facility

Norman Waterhouse recently represented the City of Playford in a prosecution concerning the operation of a childcare and early learning centre.

The defendant, a licensed builder and equitable owner of the land, received development plan consent in 2008 to convert a dwelling to a child care and early learning centre. He obtained building rules consent and development approval in 2009 for stage 1, comprising only site works and footings. He subsequently built the entire development and in March 2011 leased the land to a childcare operator.

Click here to read more.



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