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17-11 Council decision-making prior to the September 2017 local government elections

Date: Wednesday 14th June 2017
Category: Council Circular

Circular Details

17-11 / 14 June 2017 / A547255

Previous Circular

16-18 Council decision-making prior to the September 2016 local government elections

Who should read this

Councillors / General Managers / All council staff for the 46 councils with elections on 9 September 2017


Council Governance Team - 4428 4100 –

Action required

Information / Council to Implement

PDF Version of Circular

17-11 Council decision-making prior to the September 2017 local government elections


What’s new or changing

  • Clause 393B of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 limits councils’ ability to exercise some of their functions in the four weeks preceding the date of a local government election (the caretaker period).


What this will mean for your council

  • Councils are expected to assume a “caretaker” role during election periods to ensure that major decisions are not made which would limit the actions of an incoming council.
  • Councils, the general manager or any other delegate of the council (other than a Joint Regional Planning Panel or the Central Sydney Planning Committee) must not exercise the following functions during the caretaker period:
    • Entering into any contract or undertaking involving an expenditure or receipt by the council of an amount equal to or greater than $150,000 or 1% of the council’s revenue from rates in the preceding financial year (whichever is the larger);
    • Determining a “controversial development application”, except where a failure to make such a determination would give rise to a deemed refusal, or such a deemed refusal arose before the commencement of the caretaker period;
    • Appointing or reappointing the council’s general manager (except for temporary appointments).
  • In certain circumstances, these functions may be exercised with the approval of the Minister.


Key points

  • “Controversial development application” means a development application under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 for which at least 25 persons have made submissions under section 79(5) of that Act by way of objection.
  • The caretaker period for the September 2017 local government elections commences on Friday 11 August 2017 and ends on Saturday 9 September 2017.


Where to go for further information

  • For further information, contact the Office’s Council Governance Team on 4428 4100.


Tim Hurst

Acting Chief Executive

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