Norman Waterhouse

 

 

Normans Briefly

In this issue

Welcome to the March edition of our Local Government Briefly.

>   Walking the Talk - Industrial Relations in the Real World
>   Employment – Summary Dismissal Based on the Opinion of Serious Misconduct
>   Environment & Planning – Exceptions to non-complying development
>   Governance – SACAT era begins for local government with valuation review jurisdiction
>   Employment – Out-of-hours Facebook posts can constitute conduct “at work”
>   Regulatory – An expensive reminder of councils' duties as prosecutor
>   Environment and Planning – Development (Assessment) Amendment Bill 2015
>   Property, Infrastructure and Development – Modernising the Gawler Park Lands

Walking the Talk - Industrial Relations in the Real World

Walking the Talk - Industrial Relations in the Real World
Following our highly successful industrial relations conference in 2014, the Norman Waterhouse Employment and Industrial Relations Team invites you to join them again for a full day of in-depth and interactive analysis of workplace issues on the 10th of April 2015.

Please click here to view the program and register.


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Employment – Summary Dismissal Based on the Opinion of Serious Misconduct

A recent decision of the Supreme Court of New South Wales has demonstrated how carefully drafted employment agreements can provide employers with greater opportunity and scope to summarily dismiss employees for serious misconduct. 

In Bartlett v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited [2014] NSWSC 1662, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) successfully defended against a claim in excess of $9 million for an alleged breach of an employment contract for the termination of a senior executive.

Please click here to read more.



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Environment & Planning – Exceptions to non-complying development

Christadelphian Bible Camp Inc v The Barossa Council [2015] SAERDC 6

It has been a long held view at Norman Waterhouse that the Better Development Plan approach to describing non-complying development does not oust the silent exception which applies to the continuation of an existing use (the so-called “Mercedes College principle” which was recently re-considered by the Full Court in Caltex Australia Petroleum Pty Ltd v City of Holdfast Bay (2014) 119 SASR 388).

That view has been recently confirmed by Judge Costello in the Environment, Resources and Development Court.

Please click here to read more.



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Governance – SACAT era begins for local government with valuation review jurisdiction

The fledgling South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) is set to change the way appeals against state and local government administrative decisions are handled. While we have kept our readership informed of the key points of the new regime, so far that discussion has been in circumstances where the SACAT had not yet received from Parliament any jurisdiction to deal with local government-related decisions.

Please click here to read more.



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Employment – Out-of-hours Facebook posts can constitute conduct “at work”

The full bench of the Fair Work Commission recently confirmed that the definition of ‘at work’ is not limited to a purely physical workplace. In fact, the definition may extend and include employees making Facebook posts outside working hours. This was found to be the case in Bowker & Ors v DP World Melbourne Limited & Ors [2014] FWCFB 9227.

The facts and arguments

Three employees (the Applicants) made an application to the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) for an order to stop bullying against DP World Melbourne Limited and their union, Maritime Union of Australia (the Respondents) under section 789FC of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the Act). The Applicants alleged various acts of bullying from the Respondents and this included the Respondents’ unreasonable and insulting comments on Facebook.

Please click here to read more.



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Regulatory – An expensive reminder of councils' duties as prosecutor

Following unsuccessful environmental prosecution proceedings, the Kogarah City Council in New South Wales (the Council) was ordered to pay two defendants’ costs, totalling $60,000. The Council was then unsuccessful in a legal bid to overturn that order, and was required to pay the defendants’ further costs of the appeal.

What went wrong?

The Council commenced prosecution proceedings under relevant New South Wales legislation against a commercial tree lopping company and an individual for causing the felling and removal of six trees, without development consent or a permit.

Please click here to read more.



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Environment and Planning – Development (Assessment) Amendment Bill 2015

On 25 February 2015, the Minister for Planning introduced the Development (Assessment) Amendment Bill 2015 (the Bill) into Parliament. The Bill will amend the Development Act 1993 (the Act) and Development Regulations 2008 (the Regulations) in four material respects.

Granting of development consents – New Section 33(3a) to the Act

The Bill introduces a new Section 33(3a) to clarify that a relevant authority is not required to grant consents under Section 33 in any particular order.

Please click here to read more.



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Property, Infrastructure and Development – Modernising the Gawler Park Lands

On 18 March 2015 the Local Government (Gawler Park Lands) Amendment Bill 2015 (GPL Bill) was laid before the South Australian Parliament. This marks a major milestone in the Town of Gawler’s journey to address issues arising from inconsistencies between historical restrictions on, and current uses of, the Gawler Park Lands (Park Lands). 

The Park Lands consist of approximately 130 acres surrounding the historical core of Gawler. They are principally located along the banks of the North and South Para Rivers and were part of the plan of the Gawler township drawn up by Colonel William Light (in his capacity as a surveyor in private practice) in 1839. The Park Lands were transferred to the Corporation of the Town of Gawler in 1864 on trust for the purposes of park lands or a public park. This situation is unusual and is a consequence of Gawler being a ‘private’ town. Plans of townships laid out by the State Government generally made provision for park lands and other community lands by dedication under the legislation relating to Crown lands.

Please click here to read more.



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