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Last updated: 1/05/2018 10:14 PM
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What legislation covers local government elections?What legislation covers local government elections?<p>The principal legislation covering local government elections is:</p><ul><li>Part 4 of the <em>Local Government Act 1995</em>;</li><li><em>The Local Government (Elections) Regulations 1997</em>; and</li><li><em>The Local Government (Constitution) Regulations 1998</em>.</li></ul>
What is the new Cat Act 2011?What is the new Cat Act 2011?<p>From 1 November 2013, the full <em>Cat Act 2011</em> takes effect and will require all cats that have reached six months of age to be:</p><ul><li>Microchipped</li><li>Sterilised, and</li><li>Registered with the local government.</li></ul>
Under section 3.25 of the Act, a local government can issue a notice requiring a person to do something on land. If the local government is unaware of contractual arrangements between the owner and the occupier of that land, they may serve the notice on tUnder section 3.25 of the Act, a local government can issue a notice requiring a person to do something on land. If the local government is unaware of contractual arrangements between the owner and the occupier of that land, they may serve the notice on tSections 3.26(4) and (6) of the Act state that a person who receives a notice from a local government requiring something to be done on land can apply for a court order against the person they consider to be legally responsible for doing the specified work.<br><br>The application can be for reimbursement of either:<ul><li>the cost involved in doing the specified work; or</li><li>any fine received as a result of not doing the specified work.</li></ul><p>LGA s3.26</p>
Does a council have a role in appointing an acting CEO to replace the CEO during periods of leave?Does a council have a role in appointing an acting CEO to replace the CEO during periods of leave?<p>Yes. The Act establishes that a person is not to be employed in the position of CEO unless the council believes that the person is suitably qualified for the position, therefore the appointment of a person to act in that position must be a decision of the council. A person appointed to act in the position of CEO is being employed in that position with all its functions and delegated authority. </p><p> This can be via a policy document that details who steps into the role, or by resolution of council each time the CEO goes on leave.</p><p> LGA s5.36; AR r18A</p>
Is it correct that a copy of every local government's budget must be sent to the Department of Local Government?Is it correct that a copy of every local government's budget must be sent to the Department of Local Government?<p>Yes. Regulation 33 of the <em>Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 1996 </em>states that a copy of a local government's adopted budget must be submitted to the Director General of the Department of Local Government within 30 days of the date it is adopted by the council. </p><p> LGA s6.2; FMR r33</p>
What is the purpose and effect of the Cat Act 2011?What is the purpose and effect of the Cat Act 2011?<p>Our new cat laws are about encouraging responsible pet ownership and reducing the number of unwanted cats in the community and the number that are euthanised each year.</p><p> The full <em>Cat Act 2011 </em>will take effect from <strong>1 November 2013</strong> and will require all cats that have reached 6 months of age to be:</p><ul><li>Microchipped</li><li>Sterilised, and</li><li>Registered with the relevant local government.</li></ul>
What must be included in a local government's annual report?What must be included in a local government's annual report?<p>Section 5.53(1) of the Act requires local governments to prepare an annual report. Section 5.53(2) prescribes what the annual report is to contain. In addition, other legislation requires local governments to include:</p><ul><li>Statement on National Competition Policy and its application to the local government in the areas of competitive neutrality, structural reform of public monopolies, and legislation review (<em>Trade Practices Act 1974</em>).</li><li>Disability Access and Inclusion Plan implementation (<em>Disability Services Act 1993</em>).</li><li>Record Keeping Plan review (<em>State Records Act 2000</em>).</li></ul><p>LGA s5.53; AR r19B</p>
What are the Regulations?What are the Regulations?The <em>Local Government (Parking for People with Disabilities) Regulations 2014</em> set out requirements for the usage and identification of disability parking bays ('permit parking areas'), including penalties for their improper use. The aim of the Regulations is to provide a consistent regulatory framework on disability parking provisions across Western Australia. The Regulations repeal and replace the prior regulations - <em>Local Government (Parking for Disabled Persons) Regulations 1988</em>.
I am a foster carer. Do I need to register the cats in my care?I am a foster carer. Do I need to register the cats in my care?<p>The Cat Regulations prescribe that cats in the custody of one of the following organisations are exempt from registration:</p><ul><li>Cat Haven</li><li>RSPCA WA</li><li>Australian Customs and Border Protection Service</li><li>A cat management facility, and</li><li>A veterinary clinic or veterinary hospital. </li></ul><p>Custody also includes cats in foster care arranged by one of the above organisations, as ultimately, the responsibility of the cat is still with that organisation. </p><p>If the organisation from which you foster cats is not on the prescribed list, you or the organisation will need to talk to the relevant local government about registering the cat/s you foster.</p>
Is the registration fee paid for a cat transferable?Is the registration fee paid for a cat transferable?<p>Yes, it is transferable in two circumstances</p><ul><li>When you retain the cat and move to another local government area; and</li><li>When you sell or give away your cat</li></ul><p>In both circumstances you (and the new owner) must notify the local government of the change, but no additional registration fee is payable until the current registration period ends.</p>
What is the voting requirement for a council, or one of its committees, to make a valid decision?What is the voting requirement for a council, or one of its committees, to make a valid decision?<p>The Act states that a decision of a council or committee only has effect when it is made by a simple majority or, where required, by another kind of majority. </p><p> The other kinds of majority are an absolute majority and a special majority. Sections 1.9 and 1.10 state that these kinds of majority are required for any decision under the Act or its Regulations where there is a footnote in the legislation to indicate such a requirement. </p><p> It should be noted that, on most matters, a decision made by a committee is only a decision to make a recommendation to the council, which then makes a final decision on the matter. The only exception is when the council has delegated to one of its committees the power to make a decision on a matter. </p><p> Also see questions and responses relating to simple and special majorities later in this section. </p><p> LGA s5.20; s5.16</p>
Section 9.10 of the Act talks about 'authorised person' but there is no such definition in the Act. Can this 'authorised person' be an outside contractor?Section 9.10 of the Act talks about 'authorised person' but there is no such definition in the Act. Can this 'authorised person' be an outside contractor?<p>There is no reason why this cannot be so. Historically, some local governments have used contractors for dog control, security and other activities. At times, if specialised knowledge or skills are warranted, the authorised person might be drawn from a range of professions and may come from the local government itself, or externally. </p><p> LGA s9.10</p>
When do local governments have to invite tenders for the supply of goods or services?When do local governments have to invite tenders for the supply of goods or services?<p>Regulation 11(1) of the <em>Local Government (Functions and General) Regulations 1996</em> states that whenever a contract for the supply of goods or services is expected to be worth more than $100,000, tenders must be invited, unless an exemption applies under regulation 11(2). </p><p> LGA s3.57; F&GR r11(1)</p>
What is the purpose and effect of the Cat Act 2011?What is the purpose and effect of the Cat Act 2011?<p>Our new cat laws are about encouraging responsible pet ownership and reducing the number of unwanted cats in the community and the number that are euthanised each year. The full <em>Cat Act 2011</em> will take effect from 1 November 2013 and will require all cats that have reached 6 months of age to be:</p><ul><li>Microchipped</li><li>Sterilised, and</li><li>Registered with the relevant local government.</li></ul>
Why has a consultation paper been released and where do I find it?Why has a consultation paper been released and where do I find it?<p>The consultation paper is an invitation for public comment on proposed changes to caravan parks and camping grounds legislation, which includes replacing the current <em>Caravan Parks and Camping Grounds Act 1995</em>. </p><p>It contains detailed information on the proposed changes and guidance questions to assist people wishing to submit comments on all or part of the paper.</p>
Who is responsible for administering and enforcing the Cat Act 2011?Who is responsible for administering and enforcing the Cat Act 2011?The local government is responsible for administering and enforcing the legislation.
What are the major changes?What are the major changes?<p> The State Government has recently passed which amends the <em>Dog Act 1976</em> to:</p><ul><li>Improve community safety, through increased controls over dangerous dogs and higher penalties to encourage more responsible dog ownership</li><li>Enable nuisance behaviour, including barking, to be more effectively dealt with</li><li>Recognise assistance dogs as an extension of the guide dog provisions</li><li>Require mandatory microchipping, lifetime dog registrations and impounding provisions. </li></ul><p>These changes became law on 1 November 2013.</p>
What is a Dangerous Dog?What is a Dangerous Dog?<p>Dangerous dogs can be of any breed; however, some breeds are more prone to attacking than others. This Act now recognises three categories of dangerous dogs:</p><ul><li>those that are of a breed specifically bred for its aggression, known as restricted breeds;</li><li>those individual dogs that have shown themselves to be aggressive and are consequently declared to be a dangerous dog; and</li><li>commercial security dogs that are trained to demonstrate aggressive behaviour when actively working.</li></ul>
Why do some local governments have councillors elected for the whole district, and others for separate wards?Why do some local governments have councillors elected for the whole district, and others for separate wards?<p>Under section 2.2 of the Act, councils are able to divide their district into wards with councillors being elected on that basis. Councils use wards to establish smaller areas which have interests and other characteristics in common. This can help to ensure that council is representative of residents across the whole district, but councillors elected in wards are not elected to represent just that ward. Where councillors are elected by voters in a particular ward, they must still represent everyone in the district, in accordance with their role under section 2.10.</p><p> LGA s2.2; s2.10; Sch 2.2 cl8</p>
Who can microchip cats?Who can microchip cats?<p>Vets, vet nurses or people with the following qualifications from a registered training provider:</p><ul><li>ACM40412 Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing;</li><li>LGAREGS404A Undertake Appointed Animal Control Duties and Responsibilities;</li><li>LGA40504 Certificate IV in Local Government (Regulatory Services);</li><li>ACM30210 Certificate III in Animal Technology;</li><li>ACMSS00001 Microchip Implantation for Dogs and Cats Skill Set;</li><li>ACM30410 Certificate III in Companion Animal Services;</li><li>ACM40110 Certificate IV in Animal Control and Regulation;</li><li>ACM40210 Certificate IV in Captive Animals;</li><li>ACM40310 Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services.</li></ul>
How do you appoint an Acting CEO when the position of CEO becomes vacant?How do you appoint an Acting CEO when the position of CEO becomes vacant?<p>The process to be followed to appoint an Acting CEO, or designated senior employee, is similar to that required to fill the position permanently, other than two specific exemptions. </p><p> One exemption applies where a CEO or senior employee already employed by another local government is to fill the position on a part-time job-share basis. The other exemption is where the position is to be filled by someone acting in the position for a period of no more than 12 months. </p><p> The requirements including the exemptions are detailed in AR r18A.</p><p> LGA s5.36; AR r18A(1)(a); s5.37(3)</p>
Depreciation is a non-cash expense. Must it be included in a local government's budget?Depreciation is a non-cash expense. Must it be included in a local government's budget?<p>Yes. The local government's budget is based upon accrual accounting principles and Australian Accounting Standards, not cash accounting. The total anticipated depreciation on non-current assets within each program should be included, as required by regulation 27(n) of the <em>Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 1996</em>. </p><p> LGA s6.2; FMR r27(n)</p>
How will this affect Pet Shops?How will this affect Pet Shops?When a cat is sold, the Pet Shop must ensure the cat is microchipped and sterilised prior to the transfer. Where a cat cannot be sterilised due to its young age, the Pet Shop must issue a prepaid sterilisation voucher to the new owner to have the cat sterilised at a later date.
Is the local government required to make available printed copies of the annual report?Is the local government required to make available printed copies of the annual report?<p>Yes. Section 5.54 requires council to accept, by absolute majority, the local government's annual report, a copy of which is to be included in the minutes of the meeting at which it was accepted. </p><p>Section 5.55 states that the local government's CEO must give local public notice of its availability once it has been accepted by the council. </p><p> To reduce costs, the report could be produced in electronic format and made available on the local government's website, provided that it is also available in printed form on request and to meet the local government's statutory obligations. It could also be produced in an abridged form for distribution in the community provided that it is clearly identified as an abridged version, and with a notation that the full annual report is available in printed form on request. </p><p> LGA s5.54; LGA s5.55; LGA s5.94(c); LGA s5.96</p>
Why have the Regulations been changed?Why have the Regulations been changed?The Regulations have been changed as part of a national initiative to standardise disability parking provisions across Australia. The changes include updates to outdated and inconsistent terminology, the introduction of the new disability parking permit, increased penalties as a deterrent to illegal parking and improved identification mechanisms for bays.
Why do we need this legislation?Why do we need this legislation?<p>There is a large population of unwanted and feral cats in Western Australia, and figures show that approximately 5,000 cats are euthanised each year. </p><p>Before the introduction of the legislation, the approach for the management of cats was for local governments to establish cat control local laws under the Local Government Act 1995. There are two indicators that suggest this regulatory approach is not achieving a desired outcome.</p><p>Firstly, there remains a significant number of unwanted cats received by cat and animal welfare organisations which are ultimately euthanised. Secondly, cat control local laws have been enacted by only a small number of local governments in Western Australia. While this could indicate that for many local governments, cats are not an issue for their communities, with only a small proportion of local governments regulating the keeping of cats, the effectiveness of a local government enacting a cat local law will be diminished if neighbouring councils do not have similar cat control requirements.</p>
At a council or committee meeting, what is a quorum?At a council or committee meeting, what is a quorum?<p>The Act states that a quorum is at least 50% of the total number of positions on the council or committee whether vacant or not. </p><p> LGA s5.19</p>
If a local government contracts another organisation to prepare and deliver an ongoing programme, the cost of which is more than $100,000 a year but is adjusted annually as part of the budget process, can the contract simply be extended each year to ensurIf a local government contracts another organisation to prepare and deliver an ongoing programme, the cost of which is more than $100,000 a year but is adjusted annually as part of the budget process, can the contract simply be extended each year to ensurNo. The fact that the contract needs to be renewed annually implies that in each year it will involve different projects and expenditure levels. This indicates that each year's contract is separate and unique. Consequently, the value of each new contract would need to be tested against regulation 11(1) of the Local Government (Functions and General) Regulations 1996 to determine whether tenders should be invited.<br><br>LGA s3.57; F&GR r11(1)
How does this affect cat breeders?How does this affect cat breeders?<p>If you are a current cat breeder or wish to become a breeder you must apply for a cat breeding permit from your local government. These permits are valid for 12-months. </p><p>When a cat is sold or given away, you must ensure the cat is microchipped and sterilised prior to transfer. If the cat cannot be sterilised due to its young age, you must issue a prepaid sterilisation voucher to the new owner.</p>
I run a rescue/adoption organisation for cats. How does this legislation affect me?I run a rescue/adoption organisation for cats. How does this legislation affect me?<p>All cats are required to comply with the legislation, which includes cats in foster care. </p><p>As a rescue/adoption organisation you need to check with your local government to make sure you are complying with any necessary legislation, including any local laws.</p>
What does this mean for veterinarians?What does this mean for veterinarians?Veterinarians have a key role in the microchip implanting and sterilisation procedures. Provisions under the new cat laws are already in effect to allow veterinarians and authorised microchip implanters who have undertaken the necessary required training to microchip cats. However, only veterinarians are authorised to sterilise cats.
Why should I comment on the consultation paper?Why should I comment on the consultation paper?You have an opportunity to influence the future of caravanning and camping. It is important that comments from all different perspectives are considered. Comments can be made on all or part of the consultation paper.
What does this entail?What does this entail?<ul><li>Registration of cats at six months of age within the district upon proof of sterilisation, and microchipping or production of an exemption certificate from a veterinarian.</li><li>Approval and registration of cat breeders.</li><li>Management of unowned/unregistered cats through impounding.</li></ul>
Can my local government refuse my application to become a cat breeder?Can my local government refuse my application to become a cat breeder?<p>Yes - your application may be refused if:</p><ul><li>your local government deems your premises or facilities to be unsuitable to breed cats in a safe and ethical way;</li><li>you have been convicted of an offence against the <em>Cat Act 2011</em>,<em> Dog Act 1976</em>, or <em>Animal Welfare Act 2002</em> in the past three years; or</li><li>you have been issued an infringement notice under the <em>Cat Act 2011</em> in the past 12-months. </li></ul><p>If you are a member of the Cat Owners Association WA, Feline Control Council of WA or Australian National Cats, you cannot have your application refused unless you have been convicted against the <em>Cat Act 2011</em>, <em>Dog Act 1976</em> or the <em>Animal Welfare Act 2002</em> in the past three years. </p><p>Cat breeders may be subject to conditions placed on them by the local government.</p>
What do owners of dangerous dogs have to do?What do owners of dangerous dogs have to do?<p>They must:</p><ul><li>Keep dogs muzzled and leashed when in public and in the control of a person over 18 who is capable of controlling the dog.</li><li>Ensure the dog wears a prescribed collar which identifies it as a dangerous dog.</li><li>Put up warning signs on each entrance to the property. </li><li>Keep the dog in a child proof enclosure from which it cannot escape and from which it cannot be released without the authorisation of the person responsible for the dog.</li></ul><p>These provisions are designed to increase the safety of the community and to ensure that the owners take increased responsibility for dogs that are known to be potentially dangerous.</p>
Who covers the cost?Who covers the cost?<p>The Government has provided funding to local governments to assist with the implementation of the legislation. </p><p>Cat owners will also contribute through registration fees. The revenue received from registration fees will assist in the cost of administering and enforcing the legislation.</p>
Why do some local governments have a Mayor and others a President?Why do some local governments have a Mayor and others a President?<p>Section 2.4 of the Act establishes local governments as either Shires, Towns or Cities, and under section 2.6 the chief elected official of a Shire is called a President, and the chief elected official of a Town or City is called a Mayor. However, under section 2.8 the roles, duties and functions of Mayors and Presidents are the same. </p><p> LGA s2.4; s2.6; s2.8</p>
Do the microchips used need to comply with any National Codes?Do the microchips used need to comply with any National Codes?<p>Yes, any microchip implanted must comply with one of the following National Codes:</p><ul><li>AS 5018 - 2001 Electronic Animal Identification - National coding scheme, as amended from time to time, or</li><li>AS 5019 - 2001 Electronic Animal Identification - Radiofrequency methods, as amended from time to time.</li></ul>
What happens if a council rejects the recommendation of the local government's CEO for the employment or dismissal of a designated senior employee under section 5.37 of the Act?What happens if a council rejects the recommendation of the local government's CEO for the employment or dismissal of a designated senior employee under section 5.37 of the Act?<p>Section 5.37(2) of the Act states that the CEO must inform the council of any proposal to employ or dismiss a designated senior employee. The council can then accept or reject the CEO's recommendation, but if it rejects the recommendation it must give reasons. It is then up to the CEO to assess the reasons given and decide what action to take. </p><p> Section 5.36(3) requires that the CEO be satisfied that other employees are suitably qualified for their positions, while section 5.41(g) gives authority to the CEO to supervise all other employees, including designated senior employees. It is therefore beyond the power of the council to reject the CEO's recommendation to employ or dismiss a designated senior employee for the reasons of qualification or performance, as the Act gives these functions to the CEO. </p><p> The council is therefore limited to certain principles, which are listed in section 5.40, when giving reasons for rejecting a recommendation of the CEO on these matters. </p><p> The requirement to inform the council does not apply to the renewal of a senior employee's contract, as renewal is not a 'proposal to employ or dismiss' referred to in section 5.37(2). </p><p> LGA s5.37; s5.36(3); s5.40; s5.41(g)</p>
How much information is required in the budget in relation to the sale of assets?How much information is required in the budget in relation to the sale of assets?<p>Regulation 27(d) of the<em> Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 1996 </em>requires disclosures relating to the proposed disposal of assets, including the net book value, an estimate of the sale price and an estimate of profit or loss on the sale. </p><p> It isn't intended that multiple pages of detailed information be provided for the disposal of individual assets. The intention is that the required information be disclosed separately for each class of asset only. </p><p> LGA s6.2; FMR r27(d)</p>
What are some of the key changes? What are some of the key changes? <p>Some of the key changes are:</p><ul><li>changes to terminology in the Regulations to standardise and modernise it in line with the <em>Road Traffic Code 2000</em> and Australian Standards;</li><li>increased penalties for all offences and new offences for which penalties can be imposed; and</li><li>changes to identification requirements for permit parking areas.</li></ul>
Can a member of the public obtain a copy of a document they have inspected under the provisions of s5.94 of the LG Act?Can a member of the public obtain a copy of a document they have inspected under the provisions of s5.94 of the LG Act?<p>Under section 5.96 of the Act, if a member of the public requests copies of any information which section 5.94 or another part of the Act or its Regulations requires to be available for public inspection, the local government must provide those copies. If the copies are provided for a fee, the price must not exceed the cost of producing the copies. </p><p>LGA s5.96</p>
What is required for a quorum at a council or committee meeting if one or more positions on the council or committee are vacant?What is required for a quorum at a council or committee meeting if one or more positions on the council or committee are vacant?<p>If for example there are 11 positions on council, a quorum will be 6, even if one or more of the positions is vacant. </p><p>However, s5.7 allows requests to be made to the Minister for Local Government to reduce the numbers required for a quorum at a council meeting. Section 5.15 also allows the council itself to reduce, by an absolute majority decision, the numbers required for a quorum at a committee meeting. </p><p>LGA s5.19; s5.7; s5.15</p>
What is the purpose of the Cat Act 2011?What is the purpose of the Cat Act 2011?Our new cats laws are not only about encouraging responsible pet ownership they are also aimed at reducing the number of unwanted cats in the community and the number that are euthanised each year. Microchipping and registration will also ensure your cat is returned to you if they become lost.
Do local governments have to invite tenders for insurance services?Do local governments have to invite tenders for insurance services?<p>Generally yes, if the contract is worth more than $100,000. </p><p>However, regulation 11(2)(b) of the <em>Local Government (Functions and General) Regulations 1996</em> provides an exemption for insurance services obtained through the purchasing service of WALGA. </p><p> LGA s3.57; F&GR r11(2)(b)</p>
Do all cats have to be microchipped prior to sale?Do all cats have to be microchipped prior to sale?In circumstances where microchipping a cat will negatively impact its health or welfare, a veterinarian can issue a certificate to exempt the cat from being microchipped. This is the only exception.
What happens where microchipping or sterilisation will negatively affect the cat's health?What happens where microchipping or sterilisation will negatively affect the cat's health?<p>A veterinarian can issue an exemption certificate if microchipping or sterilising a cat will have a negative impact on the cat's health or welfare. A certificate cannot be issued for cats that are under 6 months of age. Owners should be advised to return once the cat reaches the minimum age.</p><p>The exemption certificate should state that microchipping and/or sterilisation will adversely affect the health and welfare of the cat and the date that this should be reviewed.</p>
I foster cats for rehoming. What are my responsibilities?I foster cats for rehoming. What are my responsibilities?Each cat (six months old or more) must be microchipped, sterilised and registered with your local government;You need to pay the registration fee, but this is transferable to the new owner when the cat is rehomed;You are bound by any limit to cat numbers set out in a local law;Like any responsible owner, you need to ensure that your premises are suitable and that your cats do not cause a nuisance to neighbours.
What is the Consultation Paper Feedback Form?What is the Consultation Paper Feedback Form?<p>The Consultation Paper Feedback Form has been developed to assist you in preparing your submission. It has four sections: About You, Your Caravan and Camping Experiences, General Comments and Guidance Questions. The latter contains all the proposals and guidance questions from the consultation paper. </p><p>It is recommended that the form is used with the consultation paper. Please note: it is not necessary to answer all sections or all guidance questions for your submission.</p><p>To assist the Department of Local Government and Communities in processing the submissions, please use the feedback form.</p>
Are any dog breeds restricted in WA?Are any dog breeds restricted in WA?<p>Yes, the following breeds have been declared a restricted breed in Western Australia:</p><ul><li>dogo Argentino</li><li>fila Brasileiro</li><li>Japanese tosa</li><li>American pit bull terrier</li><li>pit bull terrier</li><li>perro de presa Canario or presa Canario</li></ul><p>This bill bans the sale, purchase, transfer, breeding and advertising of dangerous dogs. These dogs must be sterilised and microchipped within 30 days of this legislation taking effect; that is, from 30 November 2013. </p><p>There is no intention to require the destruction of restricted breed dogs that are not registered, as is the case in Victoria. The emphasis in the Western Australian legislation is on responsible dog ownership.</p>