Norman Waterhouse
Norman Waterhouse



Normans Briefly

In this issue

Welcome to the December edition of our Local Government Briefly.

>   Season's Greetings!
>   Congratulations to Sean Keenihan!
>   2015 Walking the Talk Seminar
>   Town Planning and Development – “Office” under the microscope
>   Local Government – Council member personally liable after losing long-running defamation dispute

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Season's Greetings!

We wish all of our valued clients a very happy Christmas and prosperous 2014. Please note we will be closed over the Christmas and New Year period from COB Tuesday 23 December, and reopening Monday 5 January. We would like to thank you for your support throughout the year and look forward to working with you in 2015.

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Congratulations to Sean Keenihan!

Norman Waterhouse wishes to congratulate our very own Chairman of Partners Mr Sean Keenihan on his appointment as Vice President of the Australia China Business Council (ACBC). Sean is “looking forward to working with all members of the ACBC, from SMEs to multinationals, in creating new opportunities for trade and commercial development between China and Australia.”

Sean will seek to leverage his national role to position South Australia at the forefront of Australia China relations particularly in the SME sector.

Congratulations also goes out to new ACBC president The Hon John Brumby, and Mr Tim Hogan-Doran as national Treasurer.

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2015 Walking the Talk Seminar

Full-day seminar - 10 April 2015
Crowne Plaza Adelaide

Right advice. Right when you need it.
A timely update on important issues impacting your workplace.

Thank you for your recent feedback on the 2014 Norman Waterhouse Walking the Talk seminar. 

We are pleased to announce the following outline of topics to be covered at the 2015 Walking the Talk seminar:

  1. Social media, out of hours conduct, and defamation.
  2. Employer obligations under the Return to Work Act 2014.
  3. The crucial ingredients of employment contracts: what gives employers grief?
  4. Managing absences with an ageing workforce.

In addition, and back by popular demand, the seminar will feature a host of guest speakers and our expert panel Q&A.

We want you to have your say on what you want to hear at the 2015 Walking the Talk seminar. If there are any other suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact Amanda Green on 8217 1306 or

We look forward to seeing you at the Crowne Plaza Adelaide on 10 April 2015.

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Town Planning and Development – “Office” under the microscope

A crucial aspect of assessing a proposed development is correctly determining its status under Section 35 of the Development Act 1993 as complying, non-complying, or merit. A development plan consent purportedly granted for non-complying development, which has arisen from incorrect treatment of the development as merit development, is usually void and of no legal effect.

A difficult question for all planning authorities, including councils, is how do they properly determine whether a proposed land use (which may or may not be defined) is listed as non-complying in the relevant Development Plan?

Click here to read more.

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Local Government – Council member personally liable after losing long-running defamation dispute

The apparent conclusion of defamation proceedings between a New South Wales council member and a billionaire property developer demonstrates an important exception to council member legal protections. It is an exception which also applies in South Australia, and accordingly is something which all council members, both new and re-elected, must understand.

The New South Wales defamation proceedings

High profile property developer Bob Ell commenced defamation proceedings against Cr Katie Milne of Tweed Shire, arising from ‘letter to the editor’-style emails sent by Cr Milne to local newspapers in 2010.

Click here to read more.

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