We specialise in local government law, with a particular emphasis on development (planning, building and environmental law), administrative law as it applies to local government authorities and the mediation of disputes.
Our local government clients include large metropolitan local governments, rural and regional local governments and regional councils.
We are a member of the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) panel of pre-approved legal service providers.
Areas of local government expertise
Our specialist local government law practice includes the following key areas:
- advice to local governments on the scope of their powers under the Local Government Act 1995 and other legislation
- advice to regional local governments on the particular statutory context in which they operate
- planning and environmental law (read more on our Planning and Environment page)
- the management of roads and crown reserves
- major trading undertakings and the preparation of business plans for such undertakings
- major project development including shopping centres, urban in-fill, development, major infrastructure and quarry developments, rates and service charges
- mediation and alternative dispute resolution (read more on our Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution page)
- drafting and review of local laws
- freedom of Information law
- procurement including tendering
- enforcement, including the drafting of directions and the conduct of prosecutions
- compulsory acquisition (read more on our Planning and Environment page)
- audit and probity issues
- advice to local Governments on their powers under specific enabling legislation such as the Bushfires Act 1954, Litter Act 1979, Dog Act 1976 and the Health Act 1911
- native title and Aboriginal heritage (read more on our Native Title and Aboriginal Heritage page)
- advising local governments and regional councils on tendering for major works, works and infrastructure agreements and the resolution of disputes (read more on our Resources, Energy and Infrastructure page).
Examples of our work
- Advising a number of local governments on issues confronting them arising from local government amalgamation
- Valuation and rates reviews
- Drafting of planning schemes and planning policies
- Advising a regional local government on the full suite of legal issues and documentation required for the sinking of a decommissioned warship to create an artificial dive reef for a metropolitan local government
- Mediating a dispute between councillors for a metropolitan local government
- Prosecuting for noise breaches in a high profile, sensitive landmark location for a metropolitan local government
- Successfully challenging the Minister for Heritage in Supreme Court proceedings concerning a landmark heritage site
- Advising both WALGA and an individual local government on the upgrade of bus stop infrastructure in light of the disability access requirements
- Advising a regional council on dispute resolution concerning defective works, and preparing agreement for rectification works and release
- Advising a local government on tendering and contracting requirements for a major works contract.