It has been a commonly held view of local governments that enforcement proceedings are a last resort because they result in considerable expense to the local government and often do not resolve the problem or result in termination of the offending conduct. However, there has been a complete re-assessment of that view by a number of local governments which have adopted McLeod’s comprehensive approach to enforcement processes.
McLeods’ approach to local government enforcement differs from the way enforcement has traditionally been viewed. We encourage a broad view of local government enforcement as not only involving prosecutions but also service of statutory notices, alternative dispute resolution, superior Court injunctive relief and the review processes encompassed by local government enforcement legislation.
Where prosecution proceedings are undertaken, the level of fines we commonly attain is such that compliance with the local government’s requirements is achieved in a relatively short time. Those fines and the accompanying publicity which often arises promote compliance in the particular enforcement area across the whole of the local government district. In addition, where a local government institutes McLeods’ comprehensive approach to enforcement, the recovery of fines and costs via the enforcement process will almost always exceed the local government’s entire annual legal expenditure, often by a considerable amount.