Author Archives: frances richards

About frances richards

frances richards. special counsel. Frances has practiced as a specialist local government, planning and environmental lawyer for over 15 years. Frances has worked in-house in local government and in private legal practice in Australia and the UK during her career, including 10 years as a partner in a national law firm. Frances has conducted training seminars for local government and private clients on the regulatory and enforcement functions of local government and risk management. Frances has acted for local and state governments, local government entities, statutory corporations and private developers. Frances has conducted litigation for clients in the Local Court, Land and Environment Court, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in NSW. Frances authored a report to the state government on the national regulation of the aquaculture industry. Frances has particular experience advising local government clients relating to the provision of waste management services and infrastructure including the procurement of services and infrastructure. Frances has investigated and authored reports on complaints about conduct and reviewed governance, probity and compliance frameworks for local government clients.

Securities for enforcement of planning agreement and consent obligations

The Department of Planning and Environment has indicated that it is updating its policies and procedures for the safekeeping, release and monitoring of financial securities for enforcement of obligations under  conditions of development consent and planning agreements (PA’s). It has also … Continue reading

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ICAC – new guidelines for direct negotiations

The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption has published new guidelines for public sector organisations ‘Direct negotiations: guidelines for managing risks‘ (‘2018 Guidelines‘). The 2018 Guidelines replace the guidelines published by the Commission in 2006 (‘2006 Guidelines‘).

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Complying development certificate for dwelling found invalid for lack of retaining wall certification

The Building Professionals Board (‘BPB‘) recently investigated a complying development certificate (‘CDC‘) issued by an accredited certifier for the erection of a dwelling.  The CDC was issued without an engineer’s certificate for a retaining wall to support the excavation for … Continue reading

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Public Sector Agencies’ – Civil Liability for Child Abuse

On 26 October 2018 the NSW Parliament passed legislation to introduce a statutory duty on both public sector agencies and private organisations to prevent the abuse of children. 

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Is it a bird or is it a plane? – the use of drones for enforcement activities

In September 2018 the Department of Planning and Environment (‘DPE’) released guidelines for the DPE compliance unit for the operation of remotely piloted aircraft , also known as drones or unmanned aircraft (‘Drones’) in compliance and enforcement functions.

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Western Sydney Airport – development in protected airspace

The protected airspace for Western Sydney Airport was declared under the Airports Act 1996 (Cth) and the Airports (Protection of Airspace) Amendment Regulation 1996 (Cth) on 19 October 2017. Development that infringes on protected airspace may require approval from the Australian … Continue reading

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Inland Code for exempt and complying development

The NSW Department of Planning & Environment (‘DPE’) has announced that in regional NSW, approvals for new homes, home renovations and farm buildings will be made easier and faster when the Inland Code commences on 1 January 2019.

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Existing use rights – what land do they attach to and which controls apply?

The Land and Environment Court (LEC) has recently considered what land can be considered to have the benefit of existing use rights and the application of development standards and controls in development control plans (DCPs) in the merit assessment of … Continue reading

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Local government child protection compliance obligations

On 23 June 2018 the NSW Government responded to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.  The responses announced include committing to applying child safe standards to make institutions safer for children. Councils provide services for children … Continue reading

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Auditor-General’s Local Government Sector-Wide Audit Reports in 2018

At the end of June 2018, the Audit Office of New South Wales published the third  in a series of sector-wide financial and performance audit reports of councils in New South Wales by the Auditor-General. The reports were published between … Continue reading

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