What are the By-Laws?
The Adelaide Hills Council has the power to adopt by-laws to respond to and deal with matters relevant to the Council’s area. By-laws also assist the Council in managing land that it owns and is otherwise responsible for (including roads) in the interests of ratepayers and the wider community.
By-laws that are adopted by the Council have status as subordinate legislation and are binding on all persons within the Council’s area.
Why is the Council undertaking a by-law review?
Any by-law that is adopted by the Council must be published in the Government Gazette and will expire on 1 January following the seventh anniversary of the date of publication in accordance with section 251 of the Local Government Act 1999. This means that once adopted, a by-law continues in operation for between 7 and 8 years depending on the date that it was published in the Government Gazette.
The Council has seven by-laws, which will expire on 1 January 2019.
Given the expiry date is fast approaching, the Council is undertaking a review of the by-laws to determine whether or not new by-laws should be adopted in the same terms or, whether amendments are required, including as a result of the legislative change that has occurred since the Council adopted its current by-laws.
What is the scope of by-law making powers.
The Council cannot make by-laws about anything and everything - the scope of the Council’s by-law making powers is limited by the Local Government Act 1999. The Council’s existing by-laws address matters that are within the scope of the Council’s by-law making powers.
Any by-law that is adopted by the Council must also comply with the rules and principles set out in sections 248 and 249 of the Local Government Act 1999. This includes that a by-law must avoid unreasonable duplication or overlap with other legislation.
What is the proccess to adopt new By-Laws?
The process to adopt new by-laws is as follows:
The Council’s lawyers work with Council staff and seek feedback from Council Members to draft the proposed by-laws. The proposed by-laws are prepared taking into account the applicable rules and principles and giving consideration to amendments that are required to best address the Council’s needs;
The proposed by-laws are endorsed by the Council and are subsequently released for public consultation by notice published in the local paper that invites members of the public to provide submissions in relation to the proposed by-laws for the Council’s consideration;
Following the close of the public consultation period and after giving consideration to the submissions received by the public, the proposed by-laws can be adopted by the Council, provided that they have first been certified by a legal practitioner to confirm that they are not in conflict with the Local Government Act 1999 and are within the Council’s power; and
Once adopted by the Council, the new by-laws must be:
Referred to the Legislative Review Committee of Parliament for scrutiny, which Committee has oversight of all subordinate legislation; and
Published in the Government Gazette. Notice of the Council’s decision to adopt the by-laws must also be published in the local newspaper.
The new by-laws commence operation 4 months after the date that they are published in the Government Gazette