Councils recognise their (relatively new) statutory obligations under the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 and their role in ensuring clean and high amenity communities.
For many councils, their expanded role in responding to nuisance issues in the community has required significant additional resourcing.
The LGA will continue to advocate for ongoing support, including financial assistance, from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to enable councils to effectively fulfil their obligations.
The Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 (LNLC Act) came into effect (in its entirety) on 1 July 2017. Prior to the introduction of the LNLC Act, local government was responsible for managing some nuisance and litter issues through specific provisions of the Local Government Act 1999 (in particular, in relation to illegal dumping, bill posting and unsightly conditions).
However, the implementation of the LNLC Act significantly expanded the role of local government in responding to nuisance issues in the community. Local government is now responsible for responding to community complaints relating to noise, smoke, dust and odour.
Previously, the EPA was responsible for responding to complaints of this nature and the EPA continues to provide support to local government bodies in fulfilling this new role. The EPA remains responsible for responding to complaints relating to EPA licensed facilities.
In July 2019, after councils had experienced two years of administering the legislation, the EPA commenced a minor review of the LNLC Act by releasing a discussion paper.
The LGA submission to the review is available here.
As at January 2020, the EPA has not yet finalised or communicated any outcomes of the review.
The LGA is currently undertaking a project to seek to quantify the resourcing implications for local government of their new responsibilities under the LNLC Act. Information on this project will be made available to councils once it has been finalised.
The EPA and LGA have worked collaboratively to provide a number of fact sheets, guiding documents and model procedures to assist councils in administering and enforcing the LNLC Act.
These guiding documents are available below.
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 13 - Continuing Offences
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 15 - Abatement Notices
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 14 - Defence of Due Dilligence
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 6 - Vehicle Owner Liability
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 16 - Civil Remedies
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 17 - Civil Penalties
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 7 - Cost Recovery Processes
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 9 - Nuisance (Dust)
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 10 - Nuisance (Odours)
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 5 - Unsightly Conditions
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 19 - Nuisance Management Plans
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 11 - Nuisance (Noise)
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 12 - Nuisance (Smoke)
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 4 - Local Nuisance
- LNLC Act - Factsheet 22 - Insanitary Conditions