The City is in the process of updating its local laws. Many were made in 1999, and were contemporary in their day, but require updating to the point where replacement in many instances is warranted.
The City’s Health Local Law currently deals with waste. It was made in 1999 and has been updated as required.
Part 5 of the City’s current Health local law deals with waste and refuse. It is affected by the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act (WARR) which came into force on 1 July 2008.
This Act repealed various provisions of the Health Act that dealt with the powers of local governments in relation to the collection and removal of rubbish, and had the effect of transferring the powers of a local government to make local laws about waste to the WARR Act (item 4 of Schedule 4).
Provisions about liquid waste are dealt with under the Environmental Protection (Unauthorised Discharges) Regulations 2004, and litter or dumping under the Litter Act 1979.
Local laws are however subject to review by the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee (JSC).The Committee has recently formed the view that notwithstanding earlier versions of this local law made by other local governments that sought to also deal with waste from commercial premises, the WARR Act only allows local governments to make local laws about refuse from residential premises.
- Waste collection and removal from residential property can be regulated under the proposed Waste Local Law, which contains greatly improved enforcement provisions not available for local laws made under the Health Act; and
- Waste collection and removal from non-residential property will need to continue to be regulated under the existing Health Local Law 1999. Any local laws that were previously made by a local government under the old provisions of the Health Act 1911 that were in force on 1 July 2008 remain in force under the saving and transitional provisions of the WARR Act.
The situation is not ideal, but given that most issues encountered by the City relate to residential property, the new Waste Local Law should assist.
The draft local law is divided into 4 Parts:
- Disposal of refuse – this Part deals with rubbish receptacles, placement on streets for collection, the use of receptacles and what may be placed in them, and other provisions to ensure that waste is able to be removed efficiently.
- Operation of Waste facilities;
- Dealing with the need to require waste receptacles on building sites (which currently sits in the City’s Private Property Local Law 1999); and
- Enforcement provisions – including a Schedule of modified penalties that may be imposed as listed in Schedule 1. These provisions are a significant improvement on the provisions allowable under the existing Health Local Law and include provisions such as:
- For a minimum be imposed if a matter proceeds to a court hearing - ther local governments have had a rather disappointing experience of magistrates occasionally imposing a fine less than the original modified penalty;
- Provisions tying modified penalties in Schedule 1, to the amounts set out in the City’s proposed Penalty Units Local Law. This will allow for ease of updating modified penalties in future without the need to amend a whole raft of local laws.
The proposed new Local Law repeals those clauses in Part 5 of the City’s Health Local Law 1999 that deal with residential waste collection and removal.
In itself, the City’s Health Local Law 1999 may be reviewed when the Public Health Bill becomes law, but for now it is considered that provisions allowing the City some measure of control over commercial premises should be retained until that occurs.
Comments can be emailed to email@example.com, mailed to the Chief Executive Officer, City of Wanneroo, Locked Bag, WANNEROO WA 6946, or made in person at the City of Wanneroo, Administrative Centre, 23 Dundebar Road, Wanneroo.