Local Laws Review

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Council’s biggest ever review of our Local Laws has reached another milestone!

We received more than 23,000 submissions on the Local Laws Review Questionnaire and now we are ready to share with you our findings.

Council’s Local Laws regulate a wide range of local issues from animal-keeping and advertising signs through to festivals and parking. They are designed to respond to the needs of our residents and help improve the liveability of our communities for everyone.


Stakeholder and community participation

Between 1 March and 5 September 2021, we reached out to more than 150 not-for-profit and government organisations, more than 40 peak representative bodies of local business and all members of our community.

Summaries of what we learned from more than 23,000 submissions and how we intend to respond are now available for you to read.


Next steps

The consultation outcomes will be used by Council to inform the drafting of our proposed new local laws.

These proposed new local laws will be made available for public comment later this year, with the aim of finalising the local laws by the end of 2022.

If you would like to be notified when the proposed new local laws are available for comment, and you haven’t already done so, please register for project updates.

Council’s biggest ever review of our Local Laws has reached another milestone!

We received more than 23,000 submissions on the Local Laws Review Questionnaire and now we are ready to share with you our findings.

Council’s Local Laws regulate a wide range of local issues from animal-keeping and advertising signs through to festivals and parking. They are designed to respond to the needs of our residents and help improve the liveability of our communities for everyone.


Stakeholder and community participation

Between 1 March and 5 September 2021, we reached out to more than 150 not-for-profit and government organisations, more than 40 peak representative bodies of local business and all members of our community.

Summaries of what we learned from more than 23,000 submissions and how we intend to respond are now available for you to read.


Next steps

The consultation outcomes will be used by Council to inform the drafting of our proposed new local laws.

These proposed new local laws will be made available for public comment later this year, with the aim of finalising the local laws by the end of 2022.

If you would like to be notified when the proposed new local laws are available for comment, and you haven’t already done so, please register for project updates.

  • Advertising devices or signs

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    What’s the current situation?

    Council’s Local Laws regulate permanent signs on public land (e.g. billboards on public land) and temporary signs on both public and private land (e.g. real estate signs). Council’s signage locals law provides for:

    • 24 types of self-assessable signs
    • 25 types of licensable signs
    • 4 types of exempt signs.

    Self-assessable signs under Council’s Local Law can be subject to more than 30 conditions and requirements.


    What are the concerns with the current situation?

    Many of the current signage requirements are mandatory and may be outdated or inappropriate given changes in the advertising industry since these laws were introduced more than 10 years ago.

    Now permanent signage is regulated by the Moreton Bay Regional Council Planning Scheme to some degree, the need to continue to regulate permanent signs such as pylon signs, awning signs, high rise building signs etc. under Council’s Local Laws is questionable.

    We asked the community: “Should Council be easing restrictions, or imposing more restrictions, on temporary signage across the Region (e.g. event information signs, garage sale signs, real estate signs, etc)?” Of the 451 survey respondents, 37% supported Council increasing restrictions in relation to temporary signage across the region and 35% were in favour of Council easing restrictions.

    In response to the question: “Should Council be easing restrictions, or imposing more restrictions, on temporary signage across the Region (e.g. event information signs, garage sale signs, real estate signs, etc)?” 36% of survey respondents said “increase restrictions”, 35% said “ease restrictions” and 29% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should Council be easing restrictions, or imposing more restrictions, on temporary signage across the Region (e.g. event information signs, garage sale signs, real estate signs, etc)?


    How does Council intend to address these concerns?

    Council will simplify and update its signage regulation under the local law as follows:

    • Self-assessable signs - some “high volume” temporary signs (e.g. garage sale signs) will be self-assessable and the conditions applying to these signs will be thoroughly reviewed. The effect of this is that there will not be an application process to display these signs so long as the relevant self-assessable conditions are being adhered to.
    • Licensable signs - will only relate to temporary signs that aren’t self-assessable. Licensable signs will generally have higher impacts than self-assessable signs and so it is considered they should go through an application process and be assessed against high-level criteria (e.g. visual amenity, road traffic safety) before being displayed.
    • Permanent Public Land signs - will be dealt with via contractual arrangement (outside the local law process). The regulation of these signs will be considered further during future planning scheme amendment processes.


    Examples of popular community sentiments

    “There are way too many signs in the region which is dangerous and has adverse environmental and visual amenity impacts.”

    “Reduce numbers allowed, allow one type at a time, and restrict positioning to where they don’t cause a distraction”.

    “Event signs removed the day after the event.”

    “Fines for unsafe placement if signage. Notice to remove old unsightly signage.”

    “More self-assessable signs and more exempt signs.”

    “Temporary event signage, sport signs, etc should be able to be self-assessable and have fewer restrictions.”

    “The regulation of signs is overly complicated. Simplification is required.”

    “Especially in the current economic climate, businesses should be allowed to advertise their businesses using this inexpensive method.”

  • Alcohol on public land

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    What’s the current situation?

    Under State law, a person must not consume alcohol in a “public place”, which includes land Council owns and controls (e.g. parks, foreshores, reserves etc.). Doing so is an offence that can be enforced by Police. However, this doesn’t apply if the area is a “designated public place”.

    Council may designate a public place as a place where alcohol may be consumed. In the designation, Council can nominate specific days and times when alcohol can be consumed in the area.

    There are currently no designated public places in the Moreton Bay region. This means consuming alcohol on public land (e.g. at parks, reserves, foreshores, etc.) is currently an offence in the Moreton Bay region, for which the Police may issue fines or prosecute persons.

    Other neighbouring Councils have designated public places in parks where a person could consume alcohol with a picnic or BBQ at certain times (e.g. between 10am-8pm). Those persons would not be committing an offence under State law if they comply with those requirements.

    While those designated public places in other local government areas are established pursuant to a State law, conditions that may apply to them (e.g. requirement to be eating food while consuming alcohol) would need to be established under a local law.

    Declaring a designated public place would not mean public intoxication is lawful in those places. It is still unlawful for a person to be intoxicated in a public place, which would include a designated area. This offence can be prosecuted by Police.


    What are the concerns with the current situation?

    Some concerns were raised that Council’s current prohibition is overly restrictive, considering the sociable consumption of alcohol in public areas already occurs. And if that consumption becomes anti-social, there are already State laws in place that Queensland Police Service could enforce.

    Other concerns were raised that Council’s relaxation of the current prohibition could lead to a spike in anti-social behaviour. Stakeholders noted adverse health impacts associated with alcohol and suggested Council not encourage alcohol consumption by relaxing the current prohibition.

    We asked the community: “Should the consumption of alcohol on ALL public land remain prohibited?”. Of the 772 survey respondents, 61% said “no” and 37% said “yes”. In other words, the majority of survey respondents no longer want the consumption of alcohol to remain prohibited on all public land.


    In response to the question: “Should the consumption of alcohol on ALL public land remain prohibited?” 61% of survey respondents said “no”, 37% said “yes” and 2% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should the consumption of alcohol on ALL public land remain prohibited?


    How does Council intend to address these concerns?

    Council will consider designating some public areas where alcohol can be consumed in the future (e.g. some parks). Any decision about “which areas” will be designated for alcohol consumption will be subject to further consultation internally with Council departments, and externally with key stakeholders and communities, and risk assessments.

    A placeholder local law will be prepared to allow Council to prescribe rules for those areas in the future, if a genuine need arises.


    Examples of popular community sentiments

    Respondents who wanted to remove the current prohibition

    “We need a BYO allowed park somewhere in Moreton Bay... so sick of going to New Farm all the time. Too far away.”

    “Go to your local waterfront park on a nice day and the alcohol will be flowing freely. So may as well regulate some places as acceptable and actually enforce where it isn’t acceptable.”

    “If someone becomes drunk and disorderly, we already have laws to deal with that. Don't punish all for the badly behaved few.”

    Respondents who wanted to retain the current prohibition

    “Alcohol is a wonderful thing but results in unsavoury behaviour more often than not. Consumption in public places should only be permitted at approved events with appropriate crowd control. It should not be an open invitation”

    “Too many people drink too much, and it is a really bad example for children to see adults drinking all the time. Do we really want our kids to grow up thinking its "normal" to be drinking all the time? Surely you can go to the park without having to drink and these people also drive home putting us all at risk and setting a very bad example for their own kids! Definitely NO.”

  • Animal number caps

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    What’s the current situation?

    A person can keep one dog, or one cat, but cannot keep two dogs or two cats on a property under 300m2.

    For multi-level unit complexes, a person can keep one dog and one cat, but cannot keep two dogs or two cats.

    Minimum property size to keep horses, ponies, donkeys, cows, steers, alpacas, llamas and camels is 6001m2.

    Minimum property size for pigs is 40,000m2.

    Minimum property size for ducks is 3001m2.

    A property over 20,000m2 can have up to 10 peacocks.

    Keeping animals at caravan parks is prohibited.


    What are the concerns with the current situation?

    We asked the community: “Should Council continue to cap the maximum number of animals on a property?”. Of the 1591 survey respondents, 71% said “yes” Council should continue to cap animal numbers and 27% said “no”.

    In response to the question: “Should Council continue to cap the maximum number of animals on a property?”, 71% of survey respondents said “yes”, 27% said “no” and 2% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should Council continue to cap the maximum number of animals on a property?

    The majority of respondents (54% of those that shared their opinion on this matter) suggested property sizes in the Local Laws do not necessarily need to be revised, while 72% thought Council should have the power to allow additional animals in exceptional or compassionate circumstances. For example, where residents move from another local government area where they were allowed to keep their animals, where a resident moves to a smaller property, where a resident’s circumstances have changed due to financial hardship or injury or illness, or where a resident needs to care for an animal due to the death of a family member.

    Some respondents raised concerns the current Local Laws do not take into account individual circumstances and the keeping of an animal should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Submissions were also received from animal welfare groups and breeder representative organisations. Some animal welfare groups were supportive of regulating the keeping of animals via number caps on the basis that number caps minimise risk of animal welfare issues, however there should be flexibility to approve keeping additional animals in certain circumstances. Other animal welfare groups submitted the keeping of animals should be based on the welfare of the animals and not a prescribed number cap based on property size. There was support for increasing the number caps for animals (assuming number caps remained) and removing prohibited locations for keeping animals, such as caravan parks.


    How does Council intend to address these concerns?

    Council intends to:

    • continue regulating the keeping of animals via number caps and property size
    • provide discretion for Council to allow the keeping of animals in exceptional or compassionate circumstances
    • remove the prohibition for keeping of cats and dogs for those persons who live in caravan parks and relocatable home parks, subject to conditions
    • amend the number cap or minimum property size for the following animals:
      • Cats and dogs:
        • Increase the number of cats and dogs allowed to be kept on properties under 300m2 to two animals (i.e. two dogs or two cats or one dog and one cat).
        • Increase the number of cats and dogs allowed to be kept in multi-unit complexes to allow the keeping of a second animal with approval. This means a person can keep up to two cats, or two dogs or one cat and one dog, subject to permission of the body corporate
        • Residents in caravan parks and removable home parks allowed to keep one cat or one dog with approval of the park owner or body corporate.
      • Horses, ponies, donkeys, cows, steers, alpacas, llamas and camels: reduce the minimum property size from 6,001m2 to 6,000m2. This proposed change will allow many of the region’s rural residential lots to keep these animals.
      • Pigs: reduce the minimum property size from 40,000m2 to 20,000m2.
      • Ducks: reduce the minimum property size from 3,001m2 to 3,000m2
      • Peacocks: impose a ratio of one peacock to 20,000m2 for properties over 20,000m2. Currently you can have up to 10 peacocks on properties over 20,000m2.
      • Aviary birds: number of birds allowed to be kept will be revised, based on the Code of Practice - Aviculture.


    Examples of popular community sentiments

    Respondents who supported keeping animals caps:

    “Clearly someone living on <300m2 is likely to present more nuisance than someone living on >20,000 m2 by reason of proximity to neighbours and the provision of sufficient space for animals to exist happily. It therefore makes sense to retain the lot size-based quota system.”

    “Lot sizes are becoming smaller and for those of us with two existing pets, buying in Moreton [Bay region] becomes difficult when the choice is between keeping a second family dog or not.”

    “I think the caps should be raised or more flexible, if they’re retained. Adhering to minimum living standards should be the focus rather than numbers”.

    Respondents who did not support animals caps:

    “Caps should be lifted and case-by-case situations review. If caps are retained, then they should be brought into alignment with Brisbane City Council”.

    “If people are responsible pet owners and have the capacity to love and care for their animals, why does there need to be a limitation. It should only be affected if they cannot maintain their property due to the animals, or there are extreme complaints or abuse of the animals.”

    “I understand that you do not want some places to become over run with animals but I think you will find that people will have extra animals and just not register them. All my pets are rescues and I am a responsible pet owner but I would like to be able to rescue more."

  • Bush camping for a fee

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    What’s the current situation?

    Generally, bush camping or “basic camping” is where landowners allow members of the public to hire parts of their farms, or rural residential lots, so they can stay in tents or self-contained vehicles such as RV’s, with little or no amenities.

    Some residents are allowing camping on their private properties in return for a fee (almost like Airbnb, but for camping).

    Online platforms such as “Hipcamp” offer bush camping listings across the Moreton Bay Region, interstate and internationally.

    Any commercial caravan park or camping ground requires approval under the Local Laws, regardless of its size or scale. Such an approval necessitates minimum standards be met, including in relation to facilities, amenities, etc.

    The same standards for commercial caravan parks or camping grounds currently apply to bush camping, but many of the mandatory conditions are not conducive to bush camping.

    Under Council’s Planning Scheme, bush camping of any size or scale requires a development approval. In most cases, these approvals have not been sought.


    What are the concerns with the current situation?

    We asked the community “Should residents be allowed to let other people camp on their land in return for a fee (almost like Airbnb, but for camping)?”. Of the 987, 73% of survey respondents said “yes” residents should be able to let people camp on their land in return for a fee and 25% said “no”.

    In response to the question: “Should residents be allowed to let other people camp on their land in return for a fee (almost like Airbnb, but for camping)?”, 73% of survey respondents said “yes”, 25% said “no” and 2% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should residents be allowed to let other people camp on their land in return for a fee (almost like Airbnb, but for camping)?

    Some respondents said people who own property, especially farmers, should be allowed to share their land, bush camping provides a second income stream for farmers and bush camping is a great for tourism in the region.

    Other respondents raised concerns about noise, hygiene, environmental controls, safety and insurance.

    Council also received submissions from tourism associations, online “bush camping” platforms, the Queensland Government (e.g. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) and caravanning representative bodies. Some of these entities were supportive of Council introducing a fit-for-purpose and simple regulatory framework for the operation of bush camping and supported agri-tourism and agribusinesses diversifying income. Others raised concerns around standards and expectations for access, amenity and maintenance.


    How does Council intend to address these concerns?

    Council plans to consider bush camping at a planning level. If changes are made to the Moreton Bay Regional Council Planning Scheme regarding bush camping, Council will then consider whether the Local Laws should regulate the operation of bush camping facilities.


    Examples of popular community sentiments on this issue included:

    Respondents who supported ‘bush camping’ for a fee

    “People who own property (especially farmers) should be allowed to share their land with others. Charging a fee isn’t necessarily about making money but rather about ensuring the campers value the land by paying for the privilege to camp on it.”

    “There needs to be more flexibility within the Planning Scheme to allow various styles of accommodation for campers, not just caravan parks.”

    “If residents of the region have large land holdings they may be used for farming, why can’t we allow them to open up their property to campers, to provide another income stream to their farm”

    Respondents who did not support ‘bush camping’ for a fee:

    “Camping should only be permitted in appropriate locations with sufficient amenities and controls in place. If it were to be permitted, I’d like to see caps of one family/group per property to mitigate.”

    “If a landowner wishes to operate a campground for a profit/fee, then the same rules and legislation as campgrounds should apply to them. Different from friends and family camping on private land.”

    “Camping attracts noise, drinking, rubbish. Camp sites would lower property values and create conflicts between residents. Terrible idea.”

  • Businesses on public land

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    What’s the current situation?

    To conduct a business on public land (e.g. parks, foreshores, etc.) for profit, a person must obtain an approval from Council.

    There are more than 25 criteria that must be satisfied before an approval can be granted to conduct business on public land (including minimum 500-metre setbacks from bricks and mortar commercial premises selling similar goods).

    These approvals can be granted by Council for up to 12 months. The term of any renewal for that approval is for 12 months. Currently, these renewal terms are “automatic” (e.g. if you comply with your approval and pay a renewal fee, you could technically operate a business on public land indefinitely via multiple back-to-back annual approvals).


    What are the concerns with the current situation?

    Council’s Local Laws try to separate commercial uses into several categories (e.g. itinerant vending, sale of goods, display of goods, etc.). Currently, there is no “fit for purpose” schedule to assess or approve personal trainers (for example) and so officers are forced to assess applications against criteria which aren’t suitable for the relevant business.

    There are currently more than 20 mandatory conditions that must be imposed on these approvals. This includes a condition the business must not operate within a 500m radius of certain things (e.g. schools, commercial premises selling similar goods, etc.). These mandatory conditions may lead to outcomes which are not necessarily supported by local communities.

    The Local Laws do not consider strategic objectives (i.e. providing businesses in places where there is a community need).

    When approvals are granted, there are limited grounds for Council to refuse their renewal. Effectively, Council could only refuse the renewal where:

    • conditions of an approval are not being complied with; or
    • Council has given reasonable written notice it does not intend to renew the relevant “class” of approvals.

    We asked the community: “Should Council be making it easier for businesses to operate on public land temporarily?”. Of the 687 survey respondents, 68% said Council should make it easier for temporary businesses to operate on public land. 25% said “no” to making it easier.


    In response to the question: “Should Council be making it easier for businesses to operate on public land temporarily?” 68% of survey respondents said “yes”, 25% said “no” and 7% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should Council be making it easier for businesses to operate on public land temporarily?

    A majority of the community were concerned about cutting down red tape, having a less onerous application process and less onerous conditions to operate a business on public land. Concerns were also raised about the recent hardships businesses have faced due to COVID-19.

    Other stakeholders were concerned about balancing the requirement of red tape to ensure things like public safety and the public enjoyment of public land. Concerns were also raised about the costs or overheads for established bricks and mortar businesses compared to businesses operating temporarily on public land.

    We also asked the community: “Should businesses on public land be able to operate there indefinitely (i.e. other business will not have the opportunity to use that spot until the current business chooses not to renew their permit)?” Of the 641 survey respondents, 54% said business should not be able to operate indefinitely on public land and 33% said they should be able to.


    In response to the question: “Should businesses on public land be able to operate there indefinitely (i.e. other business will not have the opportunity to use that spot until the current business chooses not to renew their permit)?” 55% of survey respondents said “no”, 33% said “yes” and 12% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should businesses on public land be able to operate there indefinitely (i.e. other business will not have the opportunity to use that spot until the current business chooses not to renew their permit)?

    Some stakeholders said public land should be to the benefit of the public. Hence, Council should have more flexibility to determine the approval term of businesses on public land. They also suggest an expression of interest or other competitive process should occur after the expiry of the original approval term.

    Other respondents are concerned businesses need long-term arrangements to build a client base and successfully promote themselves. They also indicated any renewal of an approval should involve community and customer feedback.


    How does Council intend to address these concerns?

    A lot of prescription or “red tape” will be stripped out of the Local Laws. Some businesses will become ‘self-assessable’ to avoid a lengthy application process. These businesses could include those on public land as part of an approved Council program (e.g. Council’s Pop-Ups Program, Healthy and Active Program, etc.) subject to some criteria being satisfied.

    For other businesses, Council will introduce greater flexibility in its Local Laws to decide the type of business that can be on public land, what criteria they need to satisfy, how they can be conditioned, how long they can be there, and how their permits are renewed.

    This flexibility will be supported by a policy document that will guide officers and the community on how the broad discretion will be used. The overarching principle will be that businesses on public land must have a “community benefit” and this will require an analysis of many factors, including community and economic need.


    Examples of popular community sentiments

    Respondents who think it should be easier for businesses to operate on public land temporarily:

    “Small businesses need less red tape to operate”.

    “Make a booking system available and where a location is popular, put a cap on the number of times a business can set up there, so other business can take a turn.”

    “Cut down on the conditions, allow them to operate closer to bricks and mortar businesses but make it clear that if they receive valid complaints by the already established businesses then they will have to move away by 500m. This should motivate them to alter their business as to not directly conflict with the established ones i.e. take certain food items off their menu, not undercut their prices, be respectful of where they park and put up their promotional material.”

    “Less onerous application process, and less restrictions and costs for the permit”

    Respondents who think business on public land should not be easier for businesses to operate on public land temporarily:

    “I believe government should get out of the way of small businesses, but I don't think the list of requirements is too onerous on the business.”

    “The red tape is to protect the public safety and hygiene and needs to be maintained.”

    “[No] Otherwise, the concept of public land ceases to exist, and it becomes owned and operated by small enterprises. Public land means open and accessible to the public and not limiting use and accessibility to a small business or entrepreneurs”

    “Bricks and mortar business often pay rates and other fees and charges in addition the huge capital cost of establishment. Unless safeguards are in place to protect the integrity of the town plan then we will all move our business to council land. I think the safeguards are adequate but don’t need to be lessened.”

    Respondents who think businesses on public land should not be able to operate there indefinitely:

    “Businesses need certainty, but public land should be to benefit the public. Council should have grounds to review a renewal, and consider what is best for the community, which may include not renewing or automatically renew if no other interest or more beneficial requirement.”

    “The permit should be for 12 months and should only be auto renewed where there are no other expressions of interest.”

    “Competition creates better businesses.”

    “On public land, a set time period for operation is appropriate. A new tender process should apply at the expiry of the time period.”

    Respondents who think businesses on public land should be able to operate there indefinitely:

    “One of the most important elements of a business is building a client base. If the initiative to apply to stay happens it should be honoured. Maybe more spaces should be allocated for business on public land especially during these COVID times. As well, I would rather we develop a culture of expanding earning money opportunities rather than relying on government benefits.”

    “I don't think someone should be able have a permit indefinitely, but you should be able to apply for longer periods of time instead of just annually. For example offer 1, 3 or 5 year permits. This would help reduce the volume of paper work and renewal applications each year. The process could also be kept fair to other operators who may want to operate by having a review system in place at renewal of extended permits. The review could involve local community feedback and customer reviews.“

    “It’s a win / win situation, a business needs to have continuation and permanency to be able to keep operating. Council benefits from the fees. Open up more spots for new businesses if needed. Small businesses are doing it tough already. No need to make it harder on them by moving them around.”

  • Busking

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    What’s the current situation?

    Busking is not currently regulated by Council. Council refers to busking on local government land and roads as an ‘non-regulated activity’ and provides that buskers must not cause a nuisance to others including businesses and members of the public.

    Buskers wishing to undertake a non-regulated activity in front of a business/shop are recommended to consult the business/shop owner/manager prior to undertaking the activity.


    What are the concerns with the current situation?

    Some Councils regulate busking in a way that is likely to encourage the practice (e.g. public areas are dedicated for busking, councils obtain public liability insurance on behalf of buskers using those areas, no fees apply to buskers who book those areas, etc.). If Council wanted to encourage busking in this way, a local law would be appropriate.

    Other Councils take slightly different approaches (e.g. they require audition tapes to be submitted, approvals to be obtained, assessments against pedestrian safety and nuisance criteria, etc.).

    Some stakeholders raise that having designated areas for busking would reduce public nuisance in limiting noise to particular spaces, reduce the impact to pedestrians and could incentivise the practice across the region.

    Other stakeholders told Council designating spaces or permits for busking would be too onerous and would be creating more red tape. They mentioned the practice is largely self-regulating, if there are noise nuisances or a lack of an audience, buskers will simply move along.

    We asked the community: “Should Council designate certain areas for busking?”. The majority of 554 survey respondents (54%) answered “yes”.


    In response to the question: “Should Council designate certain areas for busking?” 54% of survey respondents said “yes”, 37% said “no” and 9% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should Council designate certain areas for busking?

    How does Council intend to address these concerns?

    Busking will become a “self-assessable” activity under the Local Laws so long as it satisfies some criteria. This may include it being carried out in an area designated (and properly assessed) by Council policy.

    Council intends to help encourage busking by making it easy to book slots at dedicated areas (e.g. via an online app). Supporting information (e.g. a “busker’s guide”) will also be made available.

    To encourage busking in designated areas. Council will consider covering public liability insurance cost for uninsured buskers via the LCIS (Local Community Insurance Services) program.

    There will be general provisions in the Local Laws to deal with any nuisance, etc. There will be no audition process.


    Examples of popular community sentiments

    Respondents who think Council should designate certain areas for busking:

    “Bookings yes, fees no.”

    “Designated space would reduce public nuisance by way of noise reduction and limiting obstruction of pedestrian traffic. It would also allow safe operation of the busker.”

    “Busking areas should be allocated for minimum disruption to residence and businesses but maximum entertainment and enrichment to local areas.”

    Respondents who think Council should not designate certain areas for busking:

    “It’s busking! Come on. Too much red tape in this world if you’re gonna start policing busking”

    “Council should not have designated busking areas. You should be able to busk where you like. If they are bad or annoying, people won't pay them money and they will move on. Let the free market sort it out.”

    “Buskers draw people towards the sound in tourist areas. Designating an area leads to improved business for the ones in those areas but takes it away from others. Allow them to busk where they wish to. They will set up where it is amenable to them and will spread out and share the business around”

  • Camping on public land

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    What’s the current situation?

    Under the Local Laws, Council can allow camping on public land. However, there are minimal areas of public land where camping is allowed.

    There is also no power under the Local Law for Council to condition the use of camping areas or to issue permits.


    What are the concerns with the current situation?

    Council is aware of demand for more designated camping areas on Council-controlled land, particularly for those travellers using self-contained vehicles and looking for budget friendly overnight stops.

    We asked the community: “Should camping be allowed on public land in certain designated areas?”. Of the 982 survey respondents, 72% said camping should be allowed and 24% said it should not.


    In response to the question: “Should camping be allowed on public land in certain designated areas?”, 72% of survey respondents said “yes”, 24% said “no” and 4% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should camping be allowed on public land in certain designated areas?

    Respondents said there are not enough caravan parks for travellers and allowing camping would attract more travellers to the region and help reduce illegal camping. It was suggested Council designate camping areas in rural areas, near the bush, rivers and green space and provide rest stops.

    Other respondents raised concerns about noise, litter and the cost of maintaining the areas.

    Council also received submissions from tourism associations who expressed some amenity, access and maintenance concern. Caravanning associations were supportive of designating camping areas, noting the current need for basic, low cost campsites for short-term stays.


    How does Council intend to address these concerns?

    Council plans to amend the Local Laws to allow Council to designate Council controlled land for camping, impose conditions for camping, and introduce a permit scheme for camping on Council controlled land in certain circumstances.


    Examples of popular community sentiments

    Respondents who supported camping on public land

    “Free overnight camping should be available for travellers. Many are self-contained. It would encourage more people to visit our area bringing in more tourist money as we have many beautiful places to visit. It would need to be managed to not allow long term camping and people trashing the facilities and camping areas.”

    “Camping should be restricted to 24 or 48-hour stopovers and restricted to self-contained vehicles only if there are no facilities. There are not enough caravan parks for travellers or registered camping areas in the Moreton Bay region.”

    “More public camping areas where there is no disturbance to surrounding property owners but cap the number of campers allowed per area. Use a registration system. Trial it first. Discontinue if an assessment at the end of a trial period shows degradation (e.g. litter, damage.)”

    Respondents who did not support camping on public land

    “Camping should only be allowed in campgrounds as a matter of safety and security. People camping tend to take over an area so others can’t comfortably use it.”

    “There’s already designated camping areas with serviced facilities to provide the camping experience and allow the campers to shower, toilet and dispose of their rubbish. Without the facilities campers tend to leave behind a large amount of rubbish that’s left to Council and volunteers to clean up, this is already illustrated by day visitors to our National Parks.”

    “My concern is the disposal of waste, both human and material would not be dealt with in an acceptable manner, and people will camp wherever they please regardless of the nature of the area.”

  • Canal revetment walls and seawalls

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    What’s the current situation?

    Council’s Local Laws do not regulate the maintenance of canal revetment walls or seawalls.

    There is often uncertainty about who is responsible for repairing these walls and the standard to which the walls should be repaired and maintained.

    Council does not have any power to require or direct a person to repair or maintain a revetment wall or seawall. Council must rely on the State Government to enforce maintenance obligations.

    Other Councils have introduced a local law to clarify these matters.


    What are the concerns with the current situation?

    We asked the community: “Should Council or landholders pay to maintain seawalls that benefit private properties?”. Of the 701 survey respondents, 52% said land holders should pay and 41% said Council should pay.


    In response to the question: “Should Council or landholders pay to maintain seawalls that benefit private properties?”, 52% of survey respondents said “landholders should pay”, 41% said “Council should pay” and 7% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should Council or landholders pay to maintain seawalls that benefit private properties?

    Some respondents said Council should not have to pay to maintain infrastructure that benefits a specific property and that landowners take on that risk when they buy those kinds of properties.

    Other respondents said seawalls protect the coastline generally, which benefits everyone, and the general public have use of the canals too, so Council should pay for or at least contribute to the cost of maintaining canal revetment wall and seawall infrastructure.

    Submissions were received from two canal property owners associations. One of the associations submitted Council and State Government should be responsible for maintaining infrastructure constructed by a developer, particularly given canals are used by the public.

    The other association raised concern about maintenance not being carried out by neighbours in circumstances where there is a shared section of the canal wall and there being little recourse for the other neighbour when this occurs. They also noted the introduction of any local law making landowners responsible for canal wall maintenance should be supported by a governing body with authority to enforce the law.


    How does Council intend to address these concerns?

    Council plans to introduce local laws that clarify the landowner who receives the benefit of a canal revetment wall or seawall is required to maintain the wall to a specified standard. The local law will provide Council with the necessary enforcement powers.


    Examples of popular community sentiments

    Respondents who said property owners should pay:

    “Rate payers/Council should not need to cover the costs of maintaining seawalls that service private property. That private property owner should be expected to contribute to those costs as the seawall is directly benefiting them and their property/property value.”

    “Land owners chose to buy a higher risk property. As such should accept the risk factors associated with it.”

    “If the seawall is directly benefitting the property (i.e. on the property boundary) then it should be the landowner, just like a fence. Otherwise, Council should maintain.”

    Respondents who said Council should pay:

    “The Council have allowed development in these areas and the Council charges all land owners rates and levies for provision of services. A seawall is a service that should be maintained by Council if not on the owners land.”

    “Under some circumstances Council should pay. If there is significant risk to the environment if it is not maintained, risk to other public infrastructure, etc. Should be better regulation around this.”

    “Shared cost - 40 property 60 Council. I am guessing the land was originally sold and approved by Council without impact of the seas, seawalls have been put in to protect the coastal fringe. The rising sea level is a community problem and is too large a problem, for any individual/family.”

  • Dangerous recreational activities

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    What’s the current situation?

    Under Council's Local Laws, an activity that (in an authorised person’s opinion) is likely to injure, endanger, obstruct, interfere with or inconvenience a person is prohibited on Council-controlled land.

    This means it’s unclear whether activities like golf are permitted or prohibited by the Local Laws.

    For an activity to be prohibited, an authorised person would need to form an opinion it was dangerous. An authorised person may be unable to attend to issues like this at busy parks on a weekend (for example) meaning the dangerous activity could technically occur.


    What are the concerns with the current situation?

    Other Councils place a general prohibition on activities that could harm another public land user, but these activities may be allowed if they’re carried out in an area dedicated for that activity (and presumably, a risk assessment is done before those areas are dedicated).

    We asked the community: “Should ALL recreational activities (e.g. golf, archery, drone flying, etc.) be permitted in public parks?”. Of the 759 respondents, 76% were against permitting all recreational activities in public parks and 24% were in favour of the notion.

    In response to the question: “Should ALL recreational activities (e.g. golf, archery, drone flying, etc.) be permitted in public parks?”, 76% of survey respondents said “no”, 24% said “yes” and less than 1% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should ALL recreational activities (e.g. golf, archery, drone flying, etc.) be permitted in public parks?

    We then asked the community: “Should certain recreational activities only be permitted by exception?”. Of the 559 survey respondents, 82% were in favour of the activity being permitted by exception, and 14% were against that notion.


    In response to the question: “Should certain recreational activities only be permitted by exception?”, 82% of survey respondents said “yes”, 14% said “no” and 4% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should certain recreational activities only be permitted by exception?

    Together these suggest the community does not want to see ALL riskier activities being allowed in public parks, but the majority would be comfortable seeing the activities carried out “by exception”.


    Some respondents were concerned permitting ALL recreational activities in public spaces would greatly increase the safety risks to general footpath users and users of the park. They said these activities should still occur in parks but be limited to designated spaces whereby the risk injury or danger to others is reduced.

    Other respondents said dangerous recreational activities are inherently dangerous whether it is to the person conducting the activity or other users of the park and should be blanket prohibited. They suggested these activities should occur at facilities or clubs dedicated for this purpose without risking injury to others.


    How does Council intend to address these concerns?

    Council will generally prohibit activities that may injure other public land users but introduce a mechanism to allow these activities to occur in “designated places” for that activity in the future (e.g. if a risk assessment is done and there are appropriate conditions to ensure the activity is carried out safely).


    Examples of popular community sentiments

    Respondents who think ALL recreational activities should be permitted in public parks:

    “Allowing set areas for certain recreational activities, i.e, open area near river of Pine Rivers Park could be allocated for drone flying. But needs to be away from general use areas and signed appropriately that it is the purpose of the area.”

    “Safety of other users becomes an issue and council may become liable for maintaining equipment, etc, and injury to people.”

    “Some parklands are suitable for some of these activities. A park among suburban streets is not suitable, but larger park areas that may back on to bushland or similar would be ok for golf. Drones create a noise nuisance, so should be limited in times and locations.”

    Respondents who think ALL recreational activities should not be permitted in public parks:

    “The current law seems adequate.”

    “Golf is extremely dangerous. Golf driving ranges are there for this purpose. Join an archery club if you want to play Robin Hood.”

  • Driveway crossovers

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    What’s the current situation?

    ‘Driveway crossovers’ refer to the constructed access crossings connecting a private property boundary with the public carriageway. They are constructed within the dedicated road area that Council controls (see diagram below). They do not include the part of the driveway on private land.

    Location of driveway crossover (connection between private property boundary and public carriageway) vs driveway (on private property)Council’s position is property owners are responsible for the construction, maintenance, alteration and repair of driveway crossovers. However, there are currently no provisions in the Local Laws to require a landowner to maintain their driveway crossover if they refuse and if damage has been caused by their construction (for example) rather than a matter beyond their control.Example of driveway crossover requiring maintenanceAnother example of a driveway crossover requiring maintenance

    What are the concerns with the current situation?

    There is no enforceable obligation for property owners to maintain their driveway crossover. When a driveway crossover presents a trip hazard, it falls to Council to take steps to address that hazard (e.g. to “make safe” the area and fix the hazard) to satisfy its duty of care to footpath users.

    Some stakeholders consider property owners should be responsible for driveway crossover maintenance, as opposed to ratepayers-at-large having to cover the cost of driveway crossover maintenance.

    Other stakeholders raise concerns about the application of any such provisions, because the crossover is on public land and could be caused by factors beyond a landowner’s control (e.g. nearby work carried out by a utility provider). The provisions could also have a more significant impact on residents in rural areas, or residents experiencing financial difficulties.

    We asked the community: “Should Council be able to demand residents improve unsafe or unsightly driveway crossovers bringing them up to a particular standard?” Of the 625 respondents, 51% were in favour of Council being able to bring unsafe or unsightly driveway crossovers to a certain standard and 44% were against the notion.

    In response to the question: “Should Council be able to demand residents improve unsafe or unsightly driveway crossovers bringing them up to a particular standard?”, 51% of survey respondents said “yes”, 44% said “no” and 5% said “I don’t have an opinion”.Should Council be able to demand residents improve unsafe or unsightly driveway crossovers bringing them up to a particular standard?

    How does Council intend to address these concerns?

    The Local Laws will clarify residents are responsible for maintaining their driveway crossovers (for safety reasons only - not amenity reasons). Council will have “direction notice” power to require residents to take action to ensure this.

    This power will be a “last resort” and should only be used where the driveway defect has not been caused by a factor beyond the resident’s control (e.g. if a utility provider caused the damage, the resident would not be expected to attend to the defect). Council’s Asset Maintenance department will be involved in the assessment of these issues and issuing these notices.

    Council’s focus on safety is intended to address concerns from residents in rural areas (for example). Driveways in those areas may be less likely to cause a trip hazard or other safety issue. The exercise of the power by Council officers can be further guided by Council policy.


    Examples of popular community sentiments

    Respondents who think Council should be able to demand residents to improve unsafe or unsightly driveway crossovers:

    “This should ONLY happen if it is UNSAFE. Who determines what is unsightly? SAFETY should be the key issue here.”

    “Council should be, and I understand can anyway issue compliance or rectification notices in this regard. However, consideration needs to be given when looking at issuing such a notice the age of the driveway/property if issuing it on the basis of it being unsightly but also the aesthetic look of the area. Unsafe compliance or rectification notices for driveways should be automatically given.”

    “Within reason. Depending on how bad the access/crossover is, it should be something that Council needs to come to an agreement on with the property owner. It might need to be assessed on a case by case basis.”

    Respondents who think Council should not be able to demand residents to improve unsafe or unsightly driveway crossovers:

    “Council should be responsible for driveway crossover as this is council land.”

    “I think they should request driveways be repaired for a certain period of time. Allow resident to save or figure something out. Rates can be lifted to accommodate council doing this on their behalf. I don't think it should be a demand. I think it needs to be flexible and they should provide sufficient time to save.”

    “This is an unfair cost burden on rural properties. If there are problems with a driveway the owner is likely to repair it for their own convenience anyway”

Page last updated: 22 Feb 2022, 06:34 PM