Local Law Community Impact Statement (LLCIS)
Melton City Council
Proposed General Local Law (2015)
1.
Background
The Local Government Act 1989 (The Act), Part 5 details the authority, restrictions and
procedure for Councils to make local laws for the good governance and amenity of the
municipality. Specifically, Clause 111 allows that a Council “may make local laws for or with
respect to any act, matter or thing in respect of which the Council has a function or
power under this or any other Act.”
The current General Local Law has been in effect within the municipality since 2005, and
under s.122 of The Act, will automatically be revoked ten years from the date it came into
operation.
Consequently, Council has reviewed the General Local Law 2005 and has developed a
revised version. The proposed General Local Law 2015 takes into account various changes
to superior legislation over the last ten years, and also includes a number of changes to
reflect contemporary standards and expectations of local amenity and enjoyment of the
municipality.
In accordance with clause 223 of the Act, Council invites submissions from interested parties
and members of the community to comment on the proposed General Local Law 2015 for
the consideration of Council.
Following this public consultation period, in accordance with defined statutory process,
Council will consider those applications in any final determination and making of an updated
General Local Law 2015 at a future Ordinary Meeting of Council.
This Community Impact Statement observes clause 111A of the Act to assist the community
understand the proposed Local Law and its intent.
2.
Objectives
The objectives of the proposed Local Law are to:
1) provide for the peace order and good government of the Municipal District of Melton
City Council in a way that is complementary to Council’s Plan; and
2) provide for those matters which require a Local Law under the Act and any other Act;
and
3) provide for the administration of Council powers and functions; and
4) prohibit, regulate and control activities, events, practices or behaviour in places so
that no detriment is caused to the amenity of the neighbourhood, nor nuisance or
danger to a Person or their health and safety nor detrimental effect to a Person’s
Property nor impede free and safe movement by any Person, and in particular a
Person with a disability; and
5) revoke Council’s General Local Law 2005, effected 24 October 2005.
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3.
Comments on the proposed Local Law
Measures of
Success of
Proposed
Local Law
Council will measure the success of the proposed Local Law by
monitoring the effectiveness of the dissuasion and penalty of undesirable
conduct and rectification of undesirable impacts on the local community.
Legislative
Approach
The Local Government Act provides Council with the authority to make
local laws, while recognising them as subordinate instruments.
Consequently, some inclusions within General Local Law 2005 have
been removed in recognition of superior legislation that has come into
effect over time. The processes for making a Local Law are set out in
Part 5, clauses 111-124 of the Act.
Risk
Assessment
Currently in effect, General Local Law 2005 is due to automatically expire
under s.122 of The Act on October 24, 2015.
To not make a new General Local Law would remove the ability of
Council to regulate or prevent many acts considered undesirable by the
local community. In the immediate and short term, any absence is likely
to be unremarkable or unnoticed, but long term absence would
deleteriously impact the liveability and amenity of the municipality.
Council will seek public comment prior to deciding whether or not to
adopt the proposed Local Law.
Restriction of
competition
No National Competition Policy implications arise.
Penalties
Penalty provisions apply across 120 infringements, set out in Schedule 1
of the proposed General Local Law 2015.
Penalties have been expanded from the existing Local Law, as many
infringements currently do not have penalties applied or have insufficient
monetary value. This has the effect of severely limiting the deterrence,
rectification or punitive impact of breach notices.
Council Officers considering that the penalties proposed are sufficient to
act as a deterrent for most offences and to reflect the seriousness of
those offences.
Performance
Standards or
prescriptive
The proposed Local Law does not contain any performance standards.
Comparison
with
neighbouring
and like
Councils
Each Council in Victoria is entitled under the Act to set its own local laws.
Charter of
Human Rights
Council is obliged under the Charter of Human Rights and
Responsibilities Act 2006 (the Charter) to act compatibly with human
rights, and to consider human rights when making local laws.
Part of the process in reviewing the Local Law included a review of Local
Laws for neighbouring and like Councils. Council is confident that the
substance of the proposed Local Law is of the same or superior standard
of General Local Laws made by other Councils.
The rights enshrined under the Charter have been fully considered in
each clause of the proposed Local Law, which is considered wholly
consistent with the general purpose and intent of the Charter.
Rights pertaining to property and fair hearing have been appropriately
protected within the proposed local law.
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Consultation
meetings
Initial consultation has been undertaken with Councillors and staff to
identify potential changes and improvements to the proposed Local Law.
Amendments to superior statue and regulation have also necessitated
changes.
Emergency services, including the Victorian Police and CFA were also
approached to provide feedback in the development of the proposed
General Local Law.
Public consultation will be undertaken in accordance with clause 223 of
the Act.
All submissions and any proposed changes will be considered by Council
prior to the Local Law being made.
Submissions
Submissions are invited from the community in regards to the proposed
Local Law in accordance with clause 223 of the Act.
Council will undertake the formal submission process once Council has
completed its initial research and has adopted a draft for the formal
public comment required.
There is no set format for submissions but they must be in writing.
Persons not able to make a written submission need to contact Council
to make alternate arrangements.
Council will receive and consider all written submissions, and hear any
person making a submission if a person so requests at a meeting of
Council or representatives of Council. Council will set a time and place
for submission to be heard
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4.
Amendments to the previous Local Law
Set out below are details of selected, significant amendments to the existing General Local
Law 2015. The following does not comment on any non-substantive changes in which
content is essentially duplicated.
Extended definitions
and preliminary
provisions.
To update the local law to recognise contemporary legislation,
standardise and clarify terminology, and broaden scope to
address contemporary amenity issues, the proposed general
local law has expanded this section.
Updated formatting and
arrangement of
contents
In order to provide for a more accessible and easily understood
document in which consistency and standards are applied
across all provisions, formatting has been changed and
improved.
Additionally, content currently applied to respective areas in
which application is required more broadly, only one inclusion is
proposed. For example, Objection to Notices under existing
Local Law s.507, Unsightly and Dangerous Premises, is
proposed to be included under Part 8, Enforcement and Permit
under the proposed Local Law.
Incorporation of
Documents
Clause 9 of the proposed General Local Law references further
documents to be read in conjunction with the Local Law. These
include Council’s “Nature strip Guidelines Booklet” and Codes
of Practice made under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act
1986, and Domestic Animals Act 1994 respectively. These
additional documents will be made available publically following
the making of the Local Law under s120 of the Act.
Simplified antisocial
behaviour restrictions.
To prevent duplication and to simplify the local law, several
clauses in the current Local Law have been consolidated under
Part 3, Behaviour and Use of Roads, Public Places and Council
Land including Reserves.
Illegitimate use of Council Assets is now treated under Clause
35, Interference with Council Assets. This eliminates provisions
relating to antisocial behaviour under current clauses 333, 334,
335, 341, 342 and 352.
Removal of Divisions
pertaining to respective
Council sites.
To prevent duplication and simplify the local law, Divisions and
references to particular Council sites and facilities have been
removed. For example, Division 5, Melton Waves Leisure
Centre in the current Local Law has been removed, as
consolidated provisions within the proposed Local Law act as a
“catch all”. Accordingly, Division 6, Library, within the current
local law has also been deleted. However, given the particular
nature of the site, Part 7, Division 3 Melton Recycling Facility is
a new inclusion.
Removal of Council
administrative or
procedural actions
Where administrative or procedural actions are more
appropriately and flexibly managed through Council policies,
conditions of use and procedures, many have been removed in
the proposed Local Law. For example, Membership and
Conditions of Borrowing under Division 6, Library, have been
deleted. As a further example, matters to which Council must
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give regard in issuing a Street Trading Permit under cl.402 (3)
Street Traders have also been deleted.
Special events
In order to respond to risk and safety issues arising from
events, event planners must now provide Council with risk
control measures and plans to ensure the safety and wellbeing
of attendees and the public more broadly under clause 50,
Special Events. This includes a requirement for appropriate
Public Liability Insurance coverage.
Garage Sales
Currently inadequately managed under the existing Local Law,
proposed clause 51 Garage Sales contains controls in relation
to location, frequency, hours of operation, signage and
obstruction. This will allow Council Officers to appropriately
regulate an increasing public amenity issue.
Appeals limited to one
application
Under the current local law, a Notice to Comply for an alleged
breach of the Local Law may be appealed twice, firstly to the
Authorised Officer as an Objection to Notice under cl.507.3, and
then to the Chief Executive Officer under Appeal against
Notices under s.507.4. The proposed local law removes the
second appeal option, allowing only one right of appeal under
cl.106 Objection to Notice to Comply.
Prevention and
rectification of
unsightly, dilapidated
and dangerous
premises
A new clause in response to common complaints in relation to
poorly maintained properties, clause 64 Unsightly, Dilapidated
and Dangerous Premises compels owners and/or occupants of
properties to maintain a minimum standard of appearance in
relation to their premises. Authorised Officers may issue a
Notice to Comply in instances where the exterior of a building
has lapsed into disrepair or been damaged by fire or storm.
Authorised Officers may direct corrective action in order to
render the property safe or to regain appropriate visual amenity.
Penalties apply.
Restrictions on storage
on private and public
land.
New clauses 65, 66 and 67 restrict the storage of Shipping
Containers, Portable Self-Storage Containers, Heavy Vehicles,
Unregistered Vehicles and or Machinery, particularly on
residential land or surrounding areas. Penalties apply.
Fire Hazards
Clause 71 is a new inclusion, responding to significant
legislative change over the last decade in regard to emergency
management and fire more specifically. This clause outlines
responsibilities of property owners in minimising fire risk and
mitigating consequence through a number of potential
obligations including clearing properties and maintaining fire
breaks. Rural property owners face more onerous obligations in
line with increased likelihood and consequence of bush fire.
Animal Control
Part 6, Animal Control, has been significantly altered to simplify
and consolidate provisions. Clauses in relation to impounding of
animals and power to sell or destroy have been removed in
deference to provisions within the Domestic Animals Act 1994
and Livestock Management Act 2010. Terms have been
broadened to ensure all animal types are captured by the Local
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Law, adjustments and new provisions respond to weaknesses
which to date have prevented the appropriate censor of
inadequate animal control.
Clause 80, Animal Litter, expands the responsibilities of owners
to remove animal deposits in public places, with penalties now
applying.
Penalties
Penalties have been applied to a far wider range of
infringements, and the value of any penalties adjusted to
provide either appropriate sanction or dissuasion.
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Local Law Community Impact Statement (LLCIS) Melton City