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The Tasmanian Parliament has passed the Local Government (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2013 which provides:.
The Local Government Act 1993 has recently been amended to mandate councils to develop and implement several documents that underpin the councils financial and asset management framework. The documents now required under the Act are:
The Act also requires councils to review their long-term financial management and strategic asset management plans, financial management and asset management strategies and asset management policy, at least every four years. Council general managers are also required to notify the Director of Local Government (as soon as practicable) when their respective plans, strategies and policies have been adopted by the council.
In addition to the development of the above documentation, the amendments to the Local Government Act now also require councils to:
A key aspect with respect to all the amendments is that they provide a power for the Minister for Local Government to make orders with respect to the aforementioned plans, strategies and policies, audit panels and sustainability indicators.
The Local Government (Content of Plans and Strategies) Order 2014 (S.R. 2014, No. 35) outlines the minimum requirements of a council's respective financial and asset management plans, strategies and policies, including the classes of assets for which council asset management plans and strategies must apply.
The Local Government (Management Indicators) Order 2014 (S.R. 2014, No. 36) prescribes and defines the financial and asset management sustainability indicators that councils must now report on in their annual financial statements submitted to the Auditor-General.
The Local Government Audit Panels - A Practice Guide has been developed by the Local Government Division, to assist councils in establishing and maintaining audit panels..
The legislation amends the Building Act 2000 to provide general managers with appropriate discretionary powers to order building owners to carry out building work (or other work) to remedy the adverse effects of dilapidated buildings on local communities.
These powers are subject to building owner rights to make representations regarding building notices and to appeal against a building order.
Guidance material for general managers on the new legislative powers for councils to deal with dilapidated buildings is now available. The guidance material is in the form of a Building Regulation Advisory Note issued to councils by the Director of Building Control, who is responsible for administering the Building Act 2000.
The Advisory Note is designed to assist general managers in navigating the dilapidated buildings process, and provide guidance on the types of buildings the provisions may apply to and when the legislative powers may be exercised.
The guidance material was developed as a joint effort by Building Standards and Occupational Licencing, Department of Justice, the Local Government Association of Tasmania and the Local Government Division, Department of Premier and Cabinet.
The legislation provides additional powers under the existing nuisance provisions of the Local Government Act to allow councils to issue infringement notices if a person fails to comply with a nuisance abatement notice and does not appeal against the notice to the Magistrates Court.
This is intended to enhance the ability of councils to deal with nuisances, such as junk or car-wrecks in front yards, by providing an incentive for people to comply with nuisance abatement notices.
The changes to the electoral provisions of the Local Government Act include:
Queries about the Local Government (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2013 can be directed to the Local Government Division either by email to email@example.com or by telephone on 6232 7022.