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Under section 94(2) of the Local Government Act 2009, a local government must decide, by resolution at its annual budget meeting for a financial year, what rates and charges are to be levied for that financial year.

On 6 November 2017, the Supreme Court delivered a judgement in the matter of Linville Holdings Pty Ltd v Fraser Coast Regional Council. The court found that the Council had failed to validly make and levy rates and charges for each of the 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17 financial years.

To address this issue, the City of Brisbane Act 2010 and Local Government Act 2009 was amended to retrospectively validate:

It is important to note the legislation amendments only rectifies past resolutions to levy rates and charges. It is expected that in future, all local governments will ensure their resolutions to make and levy rates and charges comply with the relevant legislation.

As a matter of best practice, local governments are encouraged to review their rates and charges resolutions that have been adopted by their council and ensure:

To avoid uncertainty, local governments are encouraged to seek their own legal advice when reviewing its rates and charges resolutions and adoption processes.

The Local Government Legislation (Validation of Rates and Charges) Amendment Act 2018 and Explanatory Notes are available on the Queensland Legislation website:

Further information

The Local Government Association of Queensland has recently published guidance material to assist local governments in meeting legislative requirements. Local governments can access the best practice rating & budget resolutions – decisions that must be made, or are ordinarily made, at a budget meeting provide rating and budget resolution templates via their LGAQ accounts at www.lgaq.asn.au.