Consolidating local laws
The concept of a consolidated version of a local law is similar to the process of producing reprints of Acts. Each time an amending Act is made, the Office of Parliamentary Counsel prepares a consolidated version which accurately combines the original Act with each of the subsequent amendments. This process makes it easier for anyone referencing the legislation as they don't need to read the original Act and the amendments separately.
Legislative requirement to consolidate
Section 35(1) of the City of Brisbane Act 2010 provides that Brisbane City Council must prepare and adopt a consolidated version of a local law. Accordingly, each time Brisbane City Council makes an amendment to a local law it must prepare and adopt a formal, consolidated version by council resolution.
For all intents and purposes, this consolidated local law then becomes the local law.
Discretion as to whether or not to consolidate
All local governments, other than Brisbane City Council, have the discretion whether or not to consolidate local laws (see section 32 of the Local Government Act 2009).
In deciding whether or not to consolidate amended local laws, local governments may wish to consider how easy or difficult it is for the general public, and staff advising the public, to understand the full scope and application of the local law and its amendments. Some options include:
- adopt a consolidated local law
- update the local government's local law register to show that the local law has been amended, the date of the last amendment and where amendments can be viewed
- produce a comprehensive operations manual for use by call centre or counter staff when responding to public queries; it might include all local laws, subordinate local laws, amendments, forms and guidelines.
Within seven days after adopting a consolidated version of a local law by resolution, the local government must provide the Minister with a copy of the consolidated local law.
While the legislation does not indicate a particular format for providing a copy of this law, a copy in electronic format is preferred.
Refer to sections 32 of the Local Government Act 2009 and 35 of the City of Brisbane Act 2010.
Last updated: Monday, Nov 30, 2020