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Amendments to the Local Government Regulation 2012 and City of Brisbane Regulation 2012

Purpose

This bulletin provides local governments with an overview of recent amendments to the Local Government Regulation 2012 and City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 which were approved by the Governor-in-Council on 31 January 2013.

Overview

1) Local Government's Expenses Reimbursement Policy

Section 186 (c) of the Local Government Regulation 2012 (LGR) and section 178 (c) of the City of Brisbane Regulation 2012 (CBR) had required a local government's annual report to include a copy of its expenses reimbursement policy. As the LGR and CBR already require a copy of the policy to be available at a local government's office and on a local government's website, the requirement to include the policy in a local government's annual report is considered unnecessary. The amendment removes the requirement for a local government's annual report to include a copy of the local government's expenses reimbursement policy.

2) Outdated references to equal employment opportunity

The equal employment opportunity (EEO) provisions were repealed in the Local Government Act 2009 (LGA) by the Local Government and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2012 as local governments already must comply with EEO matters through their own policies, local government principles and state/Commonwealth industrial relations and anti-discrimination laws. EEO references remained in the LGR and CBR and the amendment removes the outdated references.

3) Minutes of local government meetings

Section 272 of the LGR sets out the requirements for minutes to be taken at each meeting of a local government. The repealed Local Government Operations Regulation 2010 (LGOR) allowed a local government to exempt a committee that only advises or make recommendations (i.e. a committee which does not make decisions on behalf of the local government) from taking minutes. The amendment reinstates this exemption which was not transferred to the LGR.

4) Exemption from going to tender or auction

Section 236 of the LGR and section 226 of the CBR allow for the disposal of non-current assets of a local government without having to go to tender or auction in certain prescribed exemption circumstances. For the disposal of land, the exemptions are subject to the requirement that that the land be disposed of at market value. Inadvertently, the market value requirement prevented a local government from gifting land or disposing of an interest in land to a community organisation which was, for example, previously allowed under the former Local Government Finance, Plans and Reporting Regulation 2009. This amendment to the LGR and COBR enables the following to occur without the need for market value consideration if the:

  • valuable non-current asset is disposed of to a government agency or community organisation
  • disposal of land or an interest in the land is disposed of to a person whose restored enjoyment of the land is consistent with Aboriginal tradition or Island custom
  • Minister exempts a local government from complying with section 227 of the LGR or section 217 of the CBR.

5) Reporting missing local government property

Section 120 of the previous Local Government Operations Regulation (LGOR) 2010 provided that a local government must immediately give written notice to the auditor-general if the local government becomes aware that property of a local government is missing and the property has a total value of $1,000 or more. Also, if the local government suspects that the property may have been stolen, the local government must immediately give written notice to a police officer. The provision was not transferred to the LGR and the Queensland Audit Office requested that the provision be reinstated. The amendment reinstates the provision in the LGR.

Further information

For any further enquires on these matters, please contact the department on 13QGOV (13 74 68).