Local Government

Kott Gunning has an established local government practice area and has been performing legal services on behalf of a number of urban and regional local government clients for more than 30 years.

We represent and advise our local government clients in the full range of local government matters including:

  • Planning and Development
  • Environmental Health
  • Heritage
  • Property and Leasing
  • Occupiers Liability
  • Employment Relations
  • Contracts & Tendering
  • Statutory Interpretation
  • Drafting of Local Laws
  • Enforcement and Prosecutions

The following is an outline of some of our areas of local government expertise:

Planning and Development

Laurie James, Chairman of Partners is experienced in advising on the preparation of Town Planning Schemes, amendments to Schemes, their relationship with policy, drafting of development approval conditions and providing advice in the interpretation of statutes affecting the development of land.

Kott Gunning has represented local government clients in town planning appeals both to the Minister for Planning and the Town Planning Appeals Tribunal.

Property & Leasing

Through our extensive private sector experience we are able to ensure that our property advice to our local government clients reflects the most recent commercial practices. Our local government team works closely with our property team in advising on the statutory obligations and contractual requirements for the sale and purchase of real property by auction or private treaty. Our recent experience includes a lease for a kiosk/café in a prominent beach front location on a Crown reserve. We also have extensive experience in the preparation of local government leases to sporting and no profit organisations.

Statutory Interpretation

Statutory interpretation is concerned with the meaning to be given to legislation. The partners of Kott Gunning are experienced at providing local government clients advice on the interpretation of local state and federal legislation at short notice. Kott Gunning maintains a comprehensive library of legal resources in hard copy and the latest on line services to assist in statutory interpretation.

Drafting of Local Laws

The Local Government Act 1995 (WA) provides local government with the power to draft local laws in a variety of areas. Laurie James has extensive experience in drafting local laws. Our recent experience includes providing advice on local laws concerning the enforceability of verge treatments and activities on foreshore reserves.

Enforcement & Prosecutions

Kott Gunning appreciates the culture of local government to regard prosecution as a last resort. Wherever possible we will provide advice on measures to encourage compliance. Nevertheless, where prosecution is unavoidable we are experienced at providing preliminary advice where necessary to strengthen the likelihood of a successful prosecution in the areas of planning, health, building, parking and dog controls.

General Law

Our recent local government experience includes:

  • Advice concerning the payment of rates in accordance with the interpretation of an "owner" under section 1.4 and the liability of an owner to pay rates under section 6.44(1) of the Local Government Act 1995.
  • Advice to expand the definition of a prescribed service to include "water supply" under regulation 54(c) of the Local Government (Finance Management) Regulations 1966. When finalised this will enable local government to impose a service charge for "water supply" on owners and occupiers within a defined part of the district pursuant to section 6.38 of the Local Government Act 1995.
  • Advice concerning defamation of elected members and officers.
  • Contract development dealing with consultants in matters ranging from streetscape design projects and heritage precinct studies to salvage rights.