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.

This early consultation is informing the drafting of our new Local Laws. Read the summary below of what we learned from more than 23,000 submissions and how we are responding.

Previous consultation findings

We asked the community for feedback on thirty important Local Law matters and here is what you told us and how we are responding.


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Many of the current signage requirements are mandatory and may be outdated or inappropriate given changes in the advertising industry since these laws were introduced more than 10 years ago.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

 We asked "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, 35% were in favour of Council easing restrictions and 29% didn'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.”

Group of people sitting on grassed area drinking from alcohol bottles


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.

We asked “Should the consumption of alcohol on ALL public land remain prohibited?”. Of the 772 survey respondents, 61% said “no”, 37% said “yes” and 2% didn'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.”

Photo of two cats and two dogs

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 cats or dogs 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”.

We asked “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, 27% said “no” and 2% didn't have an opinion.

Should Council continue to cap the maximum number of animals on a property?


When we asked: "Should the maximum number of animals be based on lot sizes?", 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. When we asked: "Should Council be able to allow additional animals in some circumstances?", 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."

Man and lady sitting in a tent


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”.

We asked “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, 25% said “no” and 2% didn'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

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 regi
on 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.”

Flower stand on sidewalk


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.

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.


We asked “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, 33% said they should be able to and 12% did not 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.”


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”.

We asked “Should Council designate certain areas for busking?”. The majority of 554 survey respondents (54%) answered “yes”, 37% said "no" and 9% didn'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”

A tent in bushland


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.

We asked “Should camping be allowed on public land in certain designated areas?”. Of the 982 survey respondents, 72% said camping should be allowed, 24% said it should not and 4% didn'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.”

Rockwall


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.

We asked “Should Council or landholders pay to maintain seawalls that benefit private properties?”. Of the 701 survey respondents, 52% said land holders should pay, 41% said Council should pay and 7% didn'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.”

Photo of a drone in flight

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.

We asked “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, 24% were in favour of the notion and less than 1% didn'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.


We asked “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, 14% were against that notion and 4% didn'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.”

Photo of house with driveway


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.

Graphic showing driveway on private land and driveway crossover between driveway and public carriageway.

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.

Photo of a driveway crossover requiring maintenance

Example of driveway crossover requiring maintenance


Another 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.

We asked “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, 44% were against the notion and 5% didn'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”


Photo of a group of friends sitting on the grass eating food at a festival


What’s the current situation?

All festivals or events open to the public (whether on public or private land) require application to, and assessment and approval by Council. All applicants must provide certain documents in support of the application, including detailed site plans, proof of liability insurance and risk management plan assessed and verified by a suitably qualified person.

These requirements apply regardless of the size, scale or nature of the event. No events are exempt from this application process. The same requirements that apply to a regional event (e.g. Kitefest) also apply to a teddy bear’s picnic (for example).


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Numerous stakeholders raised concerns the current approval process is too onerous for smaller, lower-impact events, and requirements and conditions of approval need to be commensurate with the size, scale, impacts and risks associated with the event.

However, many stakeholders acknowledged the need for all events to have some form of an approval (even if they were low risk).

We asked the community: “Should Council allow certain public events to go ahead without needing a formal application, assessment and approval process?” Of the 331 survey respondents 55% said “no” and 37% said “yes”.

We asked “Should Council allow certain public events to go ahead without needing a formal application, assessment and approval process?” Of the 331 survey respondents 55% said “no”, 37% said “yes” and 8% did not have an opinion.

Should Council allow certain public events to go ahead without needing a formal application, assessment and approval process?


Via Councillor social media, the community was then asked whether they would like to see the rules for certain events relaxed. The responses were overwhelmingly in favour of relaxing the current rules.

Other stakeholders, including MBRIT, suggested all events should require some approval because all events carry a certain level of risk, but a tiered approach to risk assessment should be introduced.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council intends to distinguish between “low risk” and “high risk” events in the local law. Less onerous processes and conditions will apply to low risk events.

Council has already engaged a specialist independent event risk assessor to help build an Event Risk Framework, risk matrix and online risk calculator tailored to the Moreton Bay region that will help inform which events are “low” vs. “high” risk. The new local laws will give effect to these tools; all of which will be made available to the public in due course.

By doing this, Council hopes to make it easier for residents and groups to hold community events that will help bring the region together.

Council intends to be the first Council in South East Queensland to successfully distinguish between “low” vs. “high” risk events.


Examples of popular community sentiments

“Make the application process easier and less red tape”

“Possibly introduce a modified simple application process for low risk events”

“If you truly want people to build community in the region, you'll make it easier for them to do things as a community”

“A community thrives when it can get together and do things. impromptu parties and gatherings to fund raise for someone who lost a house in a fire, or a small running event by a local club, or a band setting up in a park to play music for a charity fund raiser should all be just allowed to happen.”

“The public's ability to use the area also needs to be considered. As always, there is a balance. There should be a way to easily register with minimal overhead for community and charity groups”


What’s the current situation?

Currently, recreational fires are prohibited on properties of 3000m2 or less.

Fires are only allowed if contained in a properly prepared barbeque or similar cooking apparatus, using clean and dry combustible material for the purpose of cooking food.

Fires on properties larger than 3000m2 are allowed if certain health and safety conditions are met, including that the fire must only be alight during the daytime and neighbours must be notified.

Fires on these larger properties are not limited to the purpose of cooking food.


What are the concerns with the current situation?

We asked the community: “Should Council allow backyard fires in braziers and/or firepits?”. Of the 1220 survey respondents, 88% said “yes” fires should be allowed and 10% said “no”.

We asked “Should Council allow backyard fires in braziers and/or firepits?”. Of the 1220 survey respondents, 88% said “yes” fires should be allowed, 10% said “no” and 2% didn't have an opinion.

Should Council allow backyard fires in braziers and/or firepits?


Many respondents said backyard fires and firepits offer an affordable form of social recreation and allowing them would provide an opportunity to educate people on fire safety.

Other respondents were concerned about the potential smoke-related health impacts of allowing backyard fires.

Most respondents cited the need for conditions to be imposed on fires to ensure public health and safety (e.g. having them a safe distance from buildings and structures, ensuring they are contained and that measures are taken to minimise smoke impacts).

Council also received submissions from several State departments, and research and health organisations that raised some concerns about the potential health impacts of allowing backyard fires and firepits.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council plans to amend the Local Laws to allow recreational backyard fires (on residential and rural properties) subject to compliance with guidelines aimed at mitigating adverse impacts (e.g. restrictions on material that can be burnt, setbacks from buildings and other structures).

Any smoke nuisance caused by backyard fires will continue to be investigated by Council under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld).


Examples of popular community sentiments

Respondents in favour of allowing backyard fires:

“Having a family or friends gathering around a campfire is one of the most beautiful relaxing and connecting recreational activities that are 'free', and easy to access to almost everyone (So many other things cost money and are not designed for people to actually communicate with each other and connect... Cooking around a small and safely operated fire in the backyard can create such valuable family time). With good practice a fire pit can be used safely and with minimal/almost no smoke (and just my personal opinion... I'd rather smell the neighbour's wood fire than hearing their TV/computer games).”

“This an iconic Aussie lifestyle pastime that should not be lost. Backyard campfires would have been a circuit breaker for many families during recent COVID lockdowns. To protect Asthma sufferers, combustibles should be limited to dry wood and charcoal only. NO toxic materials or green grass etc. Fire size and burning time limits could also be imposed.”

“Backyard fires are a great way to teach children fire safety and the joys of camping in a safe controlled environment. Fires provide a focus for social gatherings and for people to enjoy their homes.”

Respondents not in favour of allowing backyard fires:

“Research is increasingly showing that smoke from backyard fires is a significant health hazard, and it affects neighbouring properties. As a matter of public health policy backyard fires should be prohibited.”

“Me and my family recently had quite a bit of health issues due to my neighbour’s fire pit. It’s the smoke that’s the problem especially if they aren’t using the correct fire wood. I’m not against people gathering and enjoying the warmth of a nice fire. Maybe the law can change to gas fire pits as gas fire pits do not produce smoke.”

“It’s impossible to keep the smoke from these fires out of the house through open windows. Houses in the Redcliffe region are on small blocks and often 2 storeys. Smoke from adjacent blocks permeates our house through open windows. Fire pits should be restricted to larger blocks without adjacent housing. Isn’t this why backyard incinerators were banned.”


What’s the current situation?

Under Council’s Local Laws, firework displays can be approved on public land as part of an event or festival approval. They could also be approved for private events on public land (e.g. weddings) with the written authorisation of the CEO.

Firework displays can also be approved on private land as part of an event open to the public. The Local Laws are silent on firework displays on private land for private events (e.g. parties).

Council’s Local Laws only regulate where firework displays can take place. State legislation regulates how these displays must be carried out. Fireworks are regulated by the Explosives Act 1999 (Qld), the Explosives Regulation 2017 (Qld) and the Queensland Fireworks Code (Code) (which is an instrument made pursuant to the Regulation). This means:

  • only state-licensed fireworks contractors can purchase fireworks and organise a display
  • only state-licensed fireworks operators can operate fireworks displays.
The State Code already places a lot of obligations on fireworks contractors and operators. For example:
  • Fireworks contractors must notify the Explosives Inspectorate, local fire authority and any other relevant agencies at least seven days prior to a firework display occurring.
  • The contractor must notify the local community ‘within a reasonable time’ before the display. The Code says that is generally a letterbox drop at least four days before the display.
  • The contractor must determine the size of the area for notification on the basis of noise and its effect on all people, domestic animals and wildlife. All neighbours up to 200 metres away must be notified at a minimum. For larger displays, neighbours up to 800 metres away may need to be notified. The event organiser must be satisfied the appropriate notification has occurred.
  • If conditions become unfavourable (e.g. wind changes etc.) the operator must delay, postpone or cancel the fireworks display.
  • The contractor must hold adequate public liability insurance policy, which must also cover the fireworks operator.
  • The operator must consider adopting all reasonable and practicable measures available to minimise noise impact on noise-sensitive places. For example, the firing of fireworks on public holidays should occur between 1pm-9pm and the positioning and selection of fireworks should minimise the effect on noise sensitive places. Generally, the frequency of fireworks in residential or rural areas should have a minimum interval of 3 months between events.
The Queensland Explosives Inspectorate (which is part of Resources Safety and Health Queensland) is responsible for administering the State laws relevant to fireworks.


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Council received feedback from stakeholders regarding adverse impacts that fireworks can have on domestic animals and wildlife, as well as the availability of safer and cleaner alternatives.

Council also received feedback from many members of the community demonstrating support for fireworks at events within the region.

We asked the community: “Should fireworks be permitted at approved public events (e.g. festivals) or private events so long as the displays are carried out by licenced professionals?” The majority of the 670 survey respondents (70%) supported fireworks at approved public or private events.

Should fireworks be permitted at approved public events (e.g. festivals) or private events so long as the displays are carried out by licenced professionals?


Via Councillor social media, the community was then asked “Fireworks at public and private events? Yes or no?” The overwhelming majority of respondents supported fireworks at these events.

Some external stakeholders, such as RSPCA, wanted the rules around fireworks clarified to help protect domestic animals, while others such as Dayboro and Pine Rivers Show Societies, wanted to see fireworks continue to be allowed if done in accordance with State law.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council will only regulate fireworks at public events and festivals (e.g. by requiring documentation to prove the display will be conducted by licensed professionals under State law).

The CEO will no longer have the power to allow fireworks at private events on public land (e.g. weddings on public land).

Council will continue to not regulate fireworks at private events on private property (e.g. birthday parties in private backyards). The State law regulating fireworks displays will still apply to the fireworks contractors and operators conducting firework displays at these events.


Examples of popular community sentiments

“It is not the council’s place to ban something that brings joy to most people to satisfy the few. Appropriate notifications and the current rules are enough to minimise risk to animals. Most issues are caused by those already operating outside the rules. More rules will not change this, but bigger penalties might.”

“State laws already cover this. Stopping creating so many micro laws and conditions.”

“We notify residents who live close by, by mail drop and online. The world is forever changing. Fireworks are slowly phasing out with more things being done with laser lights, but the magic of fireworks I hope are never lost.”

“As much as I adore fireworks, the impact on pets, native animals and people with sound sensitivity or PTSD are too high. It is time to move on and consider safer alternatives such as laser light shows or drone display.”

“Public events only. Private events are too small a space.”

“Ban them, they are outdated and need to just stop.”

“Alternative spectacles exist that are not invasive, don’t cause pollution or panic to domestic and wild animals and are more cost effective.”

Photo of litter dumped on the roadside


What’s the current situation?

Council’s Local Laws contain a littering offence but it is State legislation (Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011) that is primarily relied on by Council to regulate littering and illegal dumping.


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Concerns were raised about illegal dumping and littering in the region and steps that can be taken to reduce the impact of this activity.

We asked the community: “Should Council be able to fine someone for illegal dumping if Council forms the reasonable belief that they did it?”. Of the 685 survey respondents, 87% said Council should fine those caught illegally dumping and 12% said they should not.

Should Council be able to fine someone for illegal dumping if Council forms the reasonable belief that they did it?


Some respondents said illegal dumping is becoming a big problem, particularly in rural areas, there is nothing done about it and Council needs to be better at prosecuting offenders.

Other respondents said more resources needed to be dedicated to investigating illegal dumping offences to obtain sufficient proof of the offence.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council plans to remove the littering offence from its Local Laws (as it is better regulated under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011) and strengthen its investigation and prosecution processes and procedures for littering and illegal dumping.


Examples of popular community sentiments

“We need to be a lot better at prosecuting people who illegally dump rubbish. Finding ways to make this easier is a must.”

“There is too much illegal dumping and appears currently nothing being done about it.”

“Council should develop a specialised prosecution unit that has teeth and new powers to investigate and commence proceedings against offenders in this matter… There needs to be a clear message illegal dumping will not be tolerated.”

“Council should not be setting themselves up as prosecutors or judges. There are areas where illegal dumping is a known problem. Spend some money on cameras and get the proof. Start Council pick-ups again and the problem will become much less, i.e. Use some common sense.”

“I would be all for fining, but it needs to be legally proven that a particular person is responsible. If not, it leaves it open to perceptions and perception without facts is imagination.”

“No! People are entitled to the presumption of innocence. If someone is guilty of illegal dumping, the council should prove that beyond any doubt. If they'd actually like to do something about illegal dumping rather than use it as a way to raise money, they should make the regulations around transfer stations and the landfill facilities less burdensome so that people don't find it more convenient to dump waste illegally.”


What’s the current situation?

If a resident lives within a State Government mapped koala habitat area, they need to tether or contain their dog if they are aware a koala is on their property.

Koalas can be found anywhere in the region (with the exception of Bribie Island).


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Stakeholders raised concerns about attacks on koalas by domestic dogs.

We asked the community: “Should residents who own dogs in koala areas be required to take extra steps to prevent their dogs attacking koalas?”. Of the 1027 survey respondents, 72% said “yes” extra steps should be required and 23% they should not.

Should residents who own dogs in koala areas be required to take extra steps to prevent their dogs attacking koalas? 72% Yes, 23% No, 5% I don't have an opinion

Should residents who own dogs in koala areas be required to take extra steps to prevent their dogs attacking koalas?


Some respondents said you should not be allowed to keep a dog in a koala area, or the dog should be restrained at night or kept in a dog run and escape measures should be provided for the koala (e.g. escape poles in backyards).

There were also suggestions for a strong need for greater awareness and better education for those who own dogs in koala areas.

Council also received submissions from animal welfare and rescue groups that supported having additional requirements for keeping a dog in a koala area and raised concerns around the mapping of koala areas and the need for greater education and enforcement by Council.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Retain Council’s power to impose additional requirements on residents keeping dogs in koala areas.

Expand the obligation for a dog owner to tether or contain their dog if they are aware of a koala on their land. This obligation will now apply to all dog owners, regardless of whether or not they live within a state government mapped koala habitat area.

Increase education for dog owners about responsible pet ownership and ensure greater awareness for those persons who live in mapped koala areas (e.g. advising dog owners they live in a koala area and of their additional obligations).


Examples of popular community sentiments on this issue include:

Respondents who think residents who own dogs in koala areas should be required to take extra steps to prevent their dogs attacking koalas:

“If you live in a marked koala area you must be prepared to have no dogs or keep them restrained or in a kennel or in a fenced area away from trees and locked indoors at night. If you don’t or can’t do that then no dogs or don’t choose to live in that area.”

“Awareness and better education needs to be promoted and sent to the homeowner/tenant”

“If dogs are kept outside at night then owners should be required to install special fencing to exclude the koalas from their yard. Equally they should be installing measures to facilitate a koala’s escape from their yard (e.g. refuge poles or trees against the fence line).”

“Everyone should be responsible. It should be the other way around. Dog owners are all responsible for ensuring their dogs do not attack koalas, doesn't matter where you live. If I don't live close/in a koala habitat but walk my dog in one, I don't have to be responsible?

”Respondents who think residents who own dogs in koala areas should not be required to take extra steps to prevent their dogs attacking koalas:


"The existing Local Laws provide adequate protection where a resident is aware that a koala is present. If the resident is unaware of this fact, then it is difficult to see how they can reasonably foresee the need to take any steps.”

“The idea of protecting local wildlife is a good idea however the council should be the one fronting the cost rather than make the property owner do so. It comes to me as unjust and unfair to make such a change that would require the owner to make the change.”


What’s the current situation?

Currently a person may only keep one rooster on a property more than 6,000m2, with approval. If the property is 20,001m2 or greater, an approval is not required. However, the cap does not change regardless of how large the property is..


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Stakeholders raised concerns about how restrictive the number cap was for keeping roosters. Other stakeholders raised concerns about nuisance caused by roosters.

We asked the community: “Should residents be allowed to keep roosters on rural residential lots?”. Of the 1034 survey respondents, 68% said that residents should be allowed to keep roosters on rural residential lots, while 28% said they should not.

Should residents be allowed to keep roosters on rural residential lots? 68% Yes, 28% No, 4% I don't have an opinion

Should residents be allowed to keep roosters on rural residential lots?


There were mixed responses on how many roosters should be allowed to be kept with many suggesting just one rooster and others suggesting there be an animal-to-land-ratio imposed or the keeping of additional roosters be allowed with approval only.

Some respondents suggested strict number caps result in the dumping and abandonment of roosters, the current rules were too restrictive and as long as there are measures in place to reduce nuisance, a person should be able to keep them on rural residential properties. Other respondents considered it’s not realistic to keep roosters on residential properties due to the noise, but Council should provide support to residents to rehome the rooster.

Animal welfare groups raised concerns about the welfare of roosters and the difficulties in rehoming roosters given the strict number caps on keeping roosters in the region. There was support for allowing the keeping of multiple roosters and suggestions for minimum standards for keeping roosters to reduce noise impacts.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council intends to:

  • reduce the minimum property size from 6,001m2 to 6,000m2 with approval
  • introduce an animal-to-land ratio of 1 rooster to 20,000m2 for properties over 20,000m2, without the need for approval
  • introduce minimum standards for the keeping of roosters to mitigate noise nuisance. Nuisance complaints will not be investigated unless there is non-compliance with these minimum standards. In other words, if the rooster is allowed to be on the land and complies with minimum standards Council does not intend to take any enforcement action to stop a rooster’s natural behaviour.


Examples of popular community sentiments

Respondents who think roosters should be allowed to be kept on rural residential lots:

“Making it easier to keep roosters will reduce the numbers being dumped and abandoned in local bush land.”

“As long as the coop is away from the neighbouring house, I don’t see an issue. Roosters are currently being dumped in parks in this area as people are unable to keep them on their property.”

“I don’t think Council should ask owners to dispose of a rooster due to noise complaints on rural residential property if the owner is complying with the requirements on caps. It’s ridiculous that people move to rural residential areas and complain about animal noise and it is the owner of the animals that is required to capitulate."

Respondents who think roosters should not be allowed to be kept on rural residential lots:

“I don’t think it’s realistic for residential properties to have roosters, however I do think there needs to be support given to residents to help them rehome roosters. Sometimes you buy chickens and they just end up being rooster. There needs to be a reasonable time given for owners to ethically rehome.”

“Roosters are too noisy to be on rural residential lots with other housing nearby. However, for lots over 6001m2 (or another higher arbitrary figure) the laws might consider that a minimum distance from the houses on other blocks is a compensating factor, e.g. no closer than 60m to a house.”

“Absolutely not, they serve no purpose on acreage lots as most acreage lots around are not for animal reproduction.”


What’s the current situation?

State laws (the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 and the Summary Offences Act 2005) currently regulate motorbike riding on both private and public land. Queensland Police have extensive powers to deal with motorbike noise as a result of a complaint if they are reasonably satisfied the noise is excessive based on various criteria.

Council’s Local Laws do not prohibit or further regulate the riding motorbikes on private land (e.g. backyards) but they do generally prohibit the riding of ‘vehicles’ on public land owned or controlled by Council (e.g. parks, reserves).


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Some concerns were raised by members of the community that the noise impacts of recreational motorbike riding in private backyards on rural properties was adversely affecting amenity. Associated general nuisance, such as dust, and safety considerations were also raised by some. Certain stakeholders suggested imposing conditions on this activity (e.g. minimum lot sizes, setbacks, limiting motorbike engine size, timeframe restrictions, etc.).

Other stakeholders mentioned they live on larger blocks in order to be able to ride motorbikes in their backyards for recreational purposes.

We asked the community: “Should the riding of motorbikes be allowed on private (rural residential) properties?”. Of the 851 respondents, 74% were in favour of riding motorbikes on private properties (and 25% were against).

Should the riding of motorbikes be allowed on private (rural residential) properties? 74% Yes, 25% No, 1% I don't have an opinion

Should the riding of motorbikes be allowed on private (rural residential) properties?


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Riding motorbikes on Council land (parks, reserves) will remain prohibited.

Riding motorbikes on private land (e.g. backyards on rural properties) will remain allowed.

However, material will be prepared to clarify it is Queensland Police’s role to enforce motorbike noise issues (both on public and private land). This will hopefully assist to reduce public confusion regarding who’s responsible for this matter and give the community more effective recourse if this nuisance is impacting them.

Material will also be made available to let the community know about facilities and land where motorbike riding can occur (e.g. certain forestry areas, raceways or nearby moto parks).


Examples of popular community sentiments

Respondents who wanted to allow the riding of motorbikes on private (rural residential) properties:

“There is no safer place for young ones to learn to ride than their own backyard where they are familiar with the environment and surroundings”

"They are already subject to noise restrictions via the police. You don’t need to get involved”

“This is why people buy larger properties”

Respondents who wanted to prohibit the riding of motorbikes on private (rural residential) properties:

“I live on a rural property and arrogant and self-centred, irresponsible neighbours ride their motorbikes and quads with no respect for their neighbours. IT NEEDS TO BE BANNED ASAP!!!!”

“Motorbikes should not degrade the environment nor impact the amenity and quiet enjoyment of the community.”

“I hate taking rights away from property owners, but living rural, we have not only the property owners riding loops around the area but also the city people coming out to the country riding around. Some weekends it sounds like a racetrack for hours on end. Not what we moved here for. The noise also spooks my farm animals, maybe there could be some area created (State forestry perhaps) where there is no neighbours, for people to ride their motorbikes around.”



What’s the current situation?

The State Government sets rules about parking in their Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Road Rules) Regulation 2009.

Under these rules, caravans, boats and trailers (large vehicles) may be parked on roads long-term.

Council does not restrict the parking of these vehicles on roads.


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Concerns were raised about people parking large vehicles on roads long-term, instead of parking these vehicles on private properties or arranging alternative storage resulting in the obstruction of traffic and sight lines, loss of street parking, hazards for cyclists and pedestrians and general impact to amenity.

We asked the community: “Should large vehicles (e.g. RVs, boats, trucks, trailers) be permitted to park on residential streets?”. Of the 732 survey respondents, 66% said they should not be permitted to park and 31% said they should.

Should large vehicles (e.g. RVs, boats, trucks, trailers) be permitted to park on residential streets? 66% No, 31% Yes, 3% I don't have an opinion

Should large vehicles (e.g. RVs, boats, trucks, trailers) be permitted to park on residential streets?


Of those who thought these vehicles should be able to park on the street, 37% said there should be a time limit. The most suggested time limit was one week. Another 58% said there should be no time limit.

Some respondents said the long-term parking of large vehicles blocks narrow streets, is unsightly and should be banned.

Other respondents considered it was okay as long as the registration was paid and road rules were complied with.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council plans to amend the Local Laws to restrict the parking of these large vehicles for long periods of time on roads across the region, except for certain permitted purposes.

Those purposes will take into account the need for these vehicles to be parked on the road for short periods of time. For example, to pack a caravan for a trip or to park a trailer if it is used in daily employment.

Regulating the purpose for which the vehicle is parked, as opposed to the time limit is considered beneficial in order to avoid “loopholes” where vehicles are regularly moved in order to restart the relevant time limits.


Examples of popular community sentiments

Respondents who thought these vehicles should not be parked on streets

“Too often boats and caravans block the smaller streets. Debris gets caught under them long term and it becomes unsightly. If you don't have the space to keep your own toys on your land than don't have them. If it's temporary parking for a day or two that's fine, but not a regular occurrence or long term. Should be a restriction on the time they can do this for.”

“These larger vehicles have the capacity to not only block the street but interfere with the line of sight for people leaving or entering driveways.”

“Unsightly, dangerous and limits traffic safely passing. Should be banned absolutely.”

“All vehicles should be parked within the property boundaries. Parking them on the roads is a nuisance to other road users and creates traffic hazards to motorists. How are emergency services supposed to respond if they can’t navigate the street’s because they are choked with parked vehicles, trucks, caravans, boats etc. I have seen many roads in new developments where you can only just get a medium sized car down a road due to all the vehicles parked on the roads. Dangerous!!”

Respondents who thought these vehicles should be parked on streets

“As registration are paid by all vehicles then they have equal rights to the roads. Cars are okay to park on the streets then so are trailers, etc.”

“The problem has most likely arisen because of 400m2 house blocks which council has approved. Also, in the Hills District many blocks are very steep and there is no way a boat or van can safely access the property. Registration gives right if road use.”

“They need to remain registered and insured and apply all road parking rules to not block vision around corners, etc. They should be able to park on the nature strip where they are not blocking a footpath.”


What’s the current situation?

The State Government sets rules about parking in the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Road Rules) Regulation 2009. Parking on the road verge is prohibited in a built-up area, unless there is a sign allowing it. This includes parking with two wheels on the road and two wheels on the verge (two-up/two-down parking).

Council has not installed any signs allowing two-up/two-down parking in built-up areas. This is consistent with the approaches of other South East Queensland Councils.


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Concerns were raised about parking and access in narrow streets where a car could be lawfully parked on either side of the road, but present traffic and safety issues for other road users.

We asked the community: “Should Council allow cars to park with two wheels up on a road verge in narrow streets?”. Of the 973 survey respondents, 85% said cars should be allowed to park two-up two-down in narrow streets and 14% said they should not.

Should Council allow cars to park with two wheels up on a road verge in narrow streets? 85% Yes, 14% No, 1% I don't have an opinion

Should Council allow cars to park with two wheels up on a road verge in narrow streets?


Some respondents said some streets are too narrow to have cars parked on the road and cars parked on the road can obstruct emergency vehicles. It was suggested two-up two-down parking provides greater visibility for oncoming cars and pedestrians.

Other respondents said two-up two-down parking obstructs postal officers, pedestrians, prams and cyclists. Concern was also raised about damage to footpaths, gutters and underground infrastructure as well as obstructing the mowing/maintenance of the road verge. It was suggested two-up two-down parking be subject to certain conditions that address these concerns.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

  • Council plans to introduce a policy to guide decision-making on where two-up two-down parking may be allowed in the future. Decisions will be informed by an assessment of (for example):
  • the need and circumstances giving rise to the request (e.g. repeated access issues, access issues for emergency services, requests from all residents in the street)
  • risk to underground infrastructure
  • risk to pedestrian access
  • cost and ongoing maintenance of the infrastructure required to support the two-up two-down parking
  • impact on residents.

Council plans to amend the Local Laws to allow Council to impose conditions on two-up two-down parking in future if needed (e.g. minimum clearance from footpath).


Examples of popular community sentiments

Respondents who support two-up two-down parking:

“Many of our streets are too narrow to have cars parked on the road”

“It is common sense to park with two wheels on a pavement in narrow streets. Keeping a road clear should supersede the rights of the grass to grow on the pavement.”

“Especially in newer estates the roads are very narrow… this is a safety issue, and parking two wheels would help mitigate this.”

Respondents who do not support two-up two-down parking:

“Posties, pedestrians, prams, kids on bikes, Telstra pits, water meters, footpaths, gutter drainage, private property and the parked cars will all increase in danger or damage. Ratepayers do not want to be paying for damaged infrastructure or damage to private property or sued for an increase in trips/falls/injuries.”

“The practice restricts pedestrian movement and results in unsightly damage to grass and infrastructure.”

“It can make it very difficult for the property owner to mow their footpath adequately when vehicles are frequently parked with wheels on the verge."



What’s the current situation?

Under Council’s Local Laws, a person must not take shopping trolleys from a shopping centre precinct and leave it in a public place without consent of the trolley owner.

Also, the owner or occupier of a shopping centre precinct must take ‘all reasonable precautions’ to ensure shopping trolleys remain within the precinct.

Nowhere in the current Local Laws is the term ‘all reasonable precautions’ defined. This requirement is rarely (if ever) enforced because of practical difficulties in determining what a “reasonable precaution” is for a shopping centre precinct to take. It is also difficult for Council officers to catch persons in the act of taking trolleys.

Council’s Local Laws do not currently require retailers to implement a “containment system” on their shopping trolley fleet (e.g. a coin-lock mechanism or wheel-lock mechanism).

Other South East Queensland Councils have passed local laws which require a “containment system”. Other South East Queensland Councils (e.g. Ipswich) report the prevalence of dumped shopping trolleys in their local government area reduced by 70-75% following the introduction of those requirements.

In five months between July and December 2020, Council officers seized and impounded 584 shopping trolleys on Council-controlled land. This was during 6-8 patrols. More patrols would likely have resulted in significantly higher numbers of shopping trolleys being seized and impounded.

Dumped shopping trolleys can make streets and public spaces look untidy. They can also have negative social, environmental and safety impacts. For example, trolleys left on the street or kerbside create safety risks for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians (because they can impact sight lines). Dumped trolleys can also clog rivers, drains, creeks and culverts contributing to flooding issues.

While some retailers appoint contractors to collect dumped shopping trolleys, this solution is not always effective. Officers also report on average, around 50% of impounded trolleys are recovered by their owners. Council scraps the remainder of impounded trolleys and therefore no ‘release’ fees are paid by the owner.


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Some concerns were raised by members of the community that Council and retailers need to be doing more in this space and cite environmental, amenity and road safety concerns.

Other stakeholders said people determined enough will dump trolleys regardless of any containment mechanism, and there are social factors which impact on this issue (e.g. a person’s inability to transport their groceries by other means). Some stakeholders raised the concern this additional cost imposed on shop owners would be passed onto its customers.

There were suggestions other preventative measures, such as greater fines issued to those caught taking a shopping trolley, may be a more suitable solution to address trolley dumping.

We asked the community: “Should Council have the power to direct supermarkets to put wheel-lock mechanisms on their trolleys to prevent trolley-dumping?” Of the 451 respondents, 58% were in favour of Council having the power to require retailers to implement wheel-lock mechanisms. 36% of respondents were against the notion.

Should Council have the power to direct supermarkets to put wheel-lock mechanisms on their trolleys to prevent trolley-dumping? 58% Yes, 36% No, 6% I don't have an opinion

Should Council have the power to direct supermarkets to put wheel-lock mechanisms on their trolleys to prevent trolley-dumping?


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

A new local law will require all retailers with more than a certain number of trolleys (e.g. a fleet of more than 30 trolleys) to install wheel locks (or other approved mechanisms) on trolleys to better prevent trolley dumping.

The intent of this is so small business owners aren’t disproportionately affected by these laws. In addition, there will be a notice period (e.g. six months) to allow retailers some lead-in time to transition to these new arrangements.


Examples of popular community sentiments

Respondents who wanted to allow Council to direct supermarkets to put wheel-lock mechanisms on their trolleys:

“Presently supermarkets make very little effort to contain their trolleys. There isn't any signage in store warning shoppers not to take them! The supermarkets push responsibility to third party contractors to collect. The trolleys remain unclaimed for weeks despite multiple reporting. Eventually they find their way to the waterways. It is a form of environmental pollution by multinational companies and should be stopped.”

“Allow a reasonable alternative method where it's practical.”

“This requirement should be dependent on the size of the supermarket, number of trollies and number of dumping incidents. Potentially the requirement should be triggered at a certain number of dumping incidents during a specified timeframe.”

Respondents who did not want to allow Council to direct supermarkets to put wheel-lock mechanisms on their trolleys:

“The cost to the supermarkets is high enough, trolleys are not cheap, are trying to make the already high cost of living even higher, this will be passed onto us the consumer.”

“Owner of the trolley should be held responsible for how it is used. Up to them how to police it.”

“Fine people responsible. Too many rules and regulations already inhibit developing common sense, accountability and pride in the community.”


What’s the current situation?

Council’s Local Laws do not regulate “short-stay letting” (e.g. residents advertising their properties on online booking platforms such as Airbnb, Stayz and Vrbo so other people can hire their property for short periods in return for a fee).

The number of active short-stay lettings in the Moreton Bay region is comparably lower than in other South East Queensland regions. Data suggests during April 2021, around 671 short-stay lettings were listed in the Moreton Bay region (although more may have been made available via local agents and other channels). Whereas other figures suggest the active number of short-stay letting listings in the Noosa and Sunshine Coast local government areas is around 5,356 (combined).


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Other local and state governments are moving to regulate short-stay letting. The driver for this appears to be the impacts that more tourist accommodation creeping into residential areas can potentially have, including impacts on:

  • residential amenity (increased issues with noise, parking, etc.)
  • housing supply and affordability (because less permanent rental accommodation may become available in popular tourist areas and have flow-on impacts for communities).

We asked the community: “Should Council regulate short-term accommodation providers such as Airbnb?”. Of the 450 respondents, 42% were in favour of regulation (and 50% were against).

Should Council regulate short-term accommodation providers such as Airbnb? 50% Yes, 42% No, 8% I don't have an opinion

Should Council regulate short-term accommodation providers such as Airbnb?


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

There will be no local law in the Moreton Bay region about this issue at this stage.

Council will first consider whether planning and rating mechanisms are needed to address this issue and they may revisit the need for a complementary local law in the future.

Other laws (e.g. laws relating to parking) will continue to be enforced in relation to all properties (including short-stay rental properties).


Examples of popular community sentiments

“This is a valuable source of income for some people. If Council start regulating it, then it will become unprofitable and those people will have to look elsewhere for money. People that utilise the gig economy usually do so to make ends meet not because they want to get rich. Regulating this industry will cause people who are already on the poverty line to fall below it”

“There are means already in place to control noise and illegal parking”.

“We should be encouraging any business, including short-term accommodation, any regulation should be about minimising immediate impact on the neighbours, otherwise stay out of the way of developing and emerging businesses.”

“Pay a registration fee to offset the cost of regulating - noise to neighbours - parking restrictions - numbers on property - no parties - no groups in residential areas”.

“If operating a business, should be treated so”.

“Airbnb shouldn’t be allowed in areas with shortage of rental properties for residential purposes”.




What’s the current situation?

Under Council's Local Laws, the slaughtering of animals is deemed a local annoyance and hazard.

Animals kept in accordance with Council’s animal Local Laws must only be slaughtered on lots greater than 3000m2 (chickens, sheep and goats can be kept on 3000m2 lots but cannot be slaughtered, for example).

Slaughtering can only occur to provide meat for the consumption of the occupiers of the premises. The practice must be suitably screened so it is not visible to neighbouring land. Slaughtering must also not cause a nuisance to neighbouring land (odour, vermin, flies, etc.) and biproducts must be dealt with in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1994.


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Council was unsure whether the current regulation of animal slaughtering reflected current community sentiment.

We asked the community: “Should residents on larger (greater than 3000m2) blocks continue to be permitted to slaughter their animals for their own consumption on their property?” Of the 652 respondents, 83% were in favour of residents on larger blocks being permitted to slaughter their animals for their own consumption on their property and 12% of respondents were against the notion.

We asked “Should residents on larger (greater than 3000m2) blocks continue to be permitted to slaughter their animals for their own consumption on their property?” Of the 652 respondents, 83% were in favour of residents on larger blocks being permitted to slaughter their animals for their own consumption on their property and 12% of respondents were against the notion. 5% didn't have an opinion.Should residents on larger (greater than 3000m2) blocks continue to be permitted to slaughter their animals for their own consumption on their property?


Some respondents said this rural practice is why they own larger blocks and is a part of their rural lifestyle choices. They also pointed out there is existing State legislation regarding the humane killing of farm animals (which is not regulated by Council).

Other respondents pointed to biosecurity considerations, ethical considerations surrounding the humanity of this practice and enforcement (i.e. agencies are not checking whether the killing is humane). Respondents also mentioned professional abattoir services exist within the region that should be used instead.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council will continue to allow “home killing” of animals in accordance with its current Local Laws.

State Government factsheets on humane killing (regulated under State law) will be made available to the community.


Examples of popular community sentiments

Respondents who think residents on larger blocks should be able to slaughter their animals for consumption:

“Yes they should be allowed. Their animal, their land.”

“...You should refer to statistics to see how many biosecurity issues have occurred in our shire. If low, or zero, suggest you leave this one alone. Stop trying to police everybody on everything”

“This is a very humane way for animals to be slaughtered as they do not have the stressful trip to the abattoir. As long as the slaughter is not obvious to the public, this should be permitted.”

Respondents who think residents on larger blocks should not be able to slaughter their animals for consumption:

“How necessary is this? Transport the animal to a proper facility.”

“Some people would not do this humanely. A better option would be to support a mobile small-scale slaughter yard/van that can humanely kill a beast on someone's property. They have these in some rural/semi-rural communities throughout Australia.”

“…Whilst home slaughter is subject to animal cruelty provisions contained in the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001, breaches are difficult to detect in suburbia let alone on large rural properties. People who kill animals on residential properties are not trained, and even if they are employed in industries that kill animals, they do not have tools or equipment to ensure an efficient and painless process.”


What’s the current situation?

Council does not currently regulate smoking under its Local Laws. While some other Councils do designate and regulate “smoke-free places”, many Councils defer to the State’s regulation of this matter. They do this primarily via Queensland Health’s environmental health officers pursuant to the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 (Qld).

Under state regulation, smoking (including e-cigarettes) is already banned inside eating and drinking venues, schools and education facilities, hospitals and healthcare facilities, and within certain distances of the following:

  • public skate parks and playground equipment
  • public transport waiting points (bus stops, taxi ranks)
  • campsites
  • organised under-18 sporting events
  • non-residential building entrances
  • patrolled areas of beaches
  • public swimming facilities
  • major sports or events facilities.

The types of public outdoor spaces where Council could conceivably designate and regulate as a smoke-free area (because these areas are not currently regulated under the State Act) include the following:

  • parks (all areas - not just near playgrounds)
  • sporting fields (not just for under-18 events)
  • beaches / foreshores (not just patrolled areas)
  • footpaths (not just areas near entrances)
  • designated ongoing wet areas (if these areas are designated by Council in future).


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Some stakeholders desired further regulation of smoking at outdoor public places in the region where State bans do not apply.

Other stakeholders said it would be unfair and oppressive to prevent people smoking in all public places.

We asked the community: “Should Council ban smoking in public places not covered by State bans?” The majority of 561 survey respondents (75%) answered “yes”.

Should Council ban smoking in public places not covered by State bans? 75% Yes, 23% No, 2% I don't have an opinion

Should Council ban smoking in public places not covered by State bans?


Via Councillor social media, the community was asked whether smoking should be banned in council-controlled areas. The responses were in favour of introducing further smoking bans in the region.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council will continue to not regulate smoking on public land and will not have a local law on this issue. Instead, Council will make further material available to educate smokers about local government-controlled areas where current bans already apply (e.g. near children’s playgrounds, under-18 sporting events and patrolled beaches).

This will not stop Council from lobbying the State to amend the State law to include all sports fields (for example). This is considered preferable to introducing a local law, as it keeps all smoking bans in the one law (the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998), which means they will all be administered by Queensland Health’s environmental health officers (EHOs). EHOs are trained and qualified to regulate and enforce laws in this area.

It will also ensure consistency by not having different bans at state and local levels. Council welcomes any evidence of smoking being a genuine issue in specific public places within the region, because this will assist with lobbying the State Government.


Examples of popular community sentiments

“Banning smoke in all Council-controlled areas would be a public safety measure. Secondary smoking is known to be harmful and those who do not smoke should not be adversely impacted by someone else's personal choice. Wind can move both items directly from a cigarette as well as anything they expel from their body and blow it in to the airway of another person. In Council areas this risk should be eliminated.”

“Please include the ban on vaping too. Vaping produces harmful toxic air quality to the people around even though it may smell nice. The statistics show there are less smokers, but I’m sure some of these smokers have turned to vaping instead, which is equally harmful, if not worse. I know of many who stopped cigarettes but started vaping.”

“I am allergic to cigarette smoke and sometimes have to leave public Council areas such as beach fronts or parks due to being unable to avoid cigarette smoke”

“The State Government ban is already pretty comprehensive. It hasn't stopped people smoking. If you make it too difficult for them, they will disregard all regulations regarding smoking.“

People are entitled to smoke - you are not the police!”

“As it’s not illegal to smoke. Leave the smokers alone for god sake. As long as they are considerate to others. Leave them alone. I am a non-smoker.”


What’s the current situation?

The local Law does not provide Council with discretion to allow a person to keep a support animal in circumstances where they ordinarily couldn’t (e.g. if it did not comply with the animal number caps).

In this context, support animals are not necessarily trained to accompany a person with a disability, but they may nevertheless support a person with a disability.


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Council received general feedback in support of greater flexibility to approve the keeping of support animals.

We asked the community: “Should Council allow a person to keep an animal in circumstances where they ordinarily couldn’t, provided their medical practitioner certifies the animal is helping to alleviate a medical condition (even if the animal is not recognised under State laws as a guide, hearing or assistance animal)?”. Of the 959 survey responses, 68% said “yes” and 29% said “no”.

Should Council allow a person to keep an animal in circumstances where they ordinarily couldn’t, provided their medical practitioner certifies the animal is helping to alleviate a medical condition (even if the animal is not recognised under State laws as a guide, hearing or assistance animal)?


Some respondents said existing Guide, Hearing and Assistance Animal legislation is overly restrictive, it is costly to get an animal formally certified and the law needs to accommodate more types of animals as support animals.

Some respondents said a medical practitioner should certify the animal is required as a support animal and concerns were raised about people being able to abuse the system.

Submissions were also received from animal welfare groups about the difference between assistance dogs and emotional support animals. They submitted support animals should continue to be included in the animal number caps.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council plans to amend the Local Laws to provide discretion for Council to allow the keeping of animals in exceptional or compassionate circumstances where they ordinarily couldn’t.

An example may be where a specialist medical practitioner recommends the keeping of an animal to support a person with a disability.

This is the same general discretion Council will be introducing with respect to the keeping of animals (see Animals number caps).


Examples of popular community sentiments

“It’s tough to regulate, but the law needs to accommodate more types of animals as assistant/companion animals. Sometimes a doctor/psychologist can see how beneficial an unconventional animal might be to a person, so their recommendations should be considered when giving animal permits.”

“As long as there is some form of official acknowledgement the animal is not just a pet or guard animal, if they fulfil a support role, they should not be included in caps and some restrictions. Official animals like guide dogs and trained dogs to alert people of an impending medical event should have no restrictions.”

“Many people on the autism spectrum have companion pets to enable them to balance challenging environments. These are not always dogs, but may be birds, rats or reptiles. Certified companion animals help reduce barriers and allow participation.”

“This is an area that is already open to abuse. Registered assistance animals are highly trained and retested and certified regularly to ensure that they are suitable for the purpose intended. Do not put the burden in GPS to make decisions that should be in the hands of specialist psychiatrists and specialist in the physical disabilities field.”

“Keep it as it is, all assistance animals should only be allowed with a medical specialist certificate, not from a general practitioner.”

“People will abuse the system. If you need an assistance animal, you should move to where that animal is allowed to be kept. You'll open a flood gate and get an assistance rooster in a unit complex or an assistance horse in a residential 600 square meter block.”



What’s the current situation?

Currently a person can apply to Council for approval to occupy a temporary home but only when they are building or substantially renovating a permanent home.

Outside of this scenario, the Local Laws allows a family group to camp (including in a caravan) on a residential property by invitation of the resident but only for up to four days.


What are the concerns with the current situation?

We asked the community: “Should Council allow people to reside in temporary homes (e.g. caravans) at other people’s properties for short periods of time?”. Of the 614 survey respondents, 91% said “yes” Council should allow people to reside in temporary homes at other people’s properties for short periods of time and 7% said “no”.

Should Council allow people to reside in temporary homes (e.g. caravans) at other people’s properties for short periods of time? 91% Yes, 8% No, 1% I don't have an opinion

Should Council allow people to reside in temporary homes (e.g. caravans) at other people’s properties for short periods of time?


Many respondents said the region needs more options for temporary and affordable accommodation given the current housing crisis, with many people also citing the COVID-19 pandemic as exacerbating this issue. Feedback on how long the timeframe should be for the stay varied from one week to one year.

Other respondents raised concerns it would be difficult to regulate these kinds of temporary homes and it may result in adverse impacts for neighbours (e.g. unsightly caravans and unwanted noises and smells).

Many respondents highlighted the need for conditions to be placed upon temporary homes to regulate timeframes, sanitation and waste disposal, noise, access to facilities and amenities, impacts on neighbours and other matters.

A submission was also received from a State department supporting a streamlined approach to facilitating diverse housing solutions.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council plans to amend the Local Laws to allow temporary homes on wheels (e.g. caravans) on other peoples’ properties for four weeks in any 52-week period, without requiring an approval.

Council also plans to allow people to apply to occupy temporary homes on wheels for periods longer than four weeks in compassionate circumstances.


Examples of popular community sentiments

Respondents in favour of Council allowing people to reside in temporary homes (e.g. caravans) at other people’s properties:

“Given the terrible housing shortage currently, if someone is generous enough to allow someone to stay on their plot of land, all I can say is ‘good on them!’ Caravans, tiny homes, converted buses, converted horse boxes, etc. As long as the conditions are sanitary, who are we to judge? Would you rather make someone homeless just because you don’t think having a caravan, etc on land looks ‘tidy?’ Good gracious...”

“If not causing any negative impact to neighbours or the environment, people should be able to do what they want with their own land.”

“Allowing flexibility on this issue would go a long way towards alleviating the current housing crisis in our region. It would enable us to be more resilient when faced with a range of issues as we would have a broader range of alternative housing options at our disposal. It would provide time to find longer-term solutions without people being forced into homelessness. It would provide alternatives for people going through domestic violence issues by giving them more options for temporary accommodation. It would allow carers looking after elderly or sick people to stay now and then as required. It would allow grandparents who may need to help look after grandchildren now and then to have their own space and help throughout certain stages, i.e. pregnancy, unemployment, health issues of children or parents, etc."

Respondents not in favour of Council allowing people to reside in temporary homes (e.g. caravans) at other people’s properties:

“Properties are not designed for this purpose, there are services available for homelessness. It would be hard to regulate people living in a temporary home, and people might jump from lots of properties to avoid having a permanent residence.”

“I have reported this exact matter on a neighbouring property. Unsightly, no toilet facilities, right up against the fence and nothing has been done about it.”

“Only for very short times and that would be hard to control, so ban it altogether.”


What’s the current situation?

Under Council's Local Laws, a person can be served with a compliance notice to cut and remove vegetation if an authorised person forms the opinion an allotment is overgrown to such an extent it affects the visual amenity of the allotment, is likely to attract pests or presents a risk to the health and safety of the public.

A person can also be served with a compliance notice to remove objects or materials (e.g. severely rusted vehicles or machinery parts, refuse or scrap metal) or take other specified action, if an authorised person forms the opinion the objects or materials brought onto or allowed to accumulate on an allotment affects the visual amenity of the allotment, is likely to attract pests or presents a risk to the health and safety of the public.

Council’s Local Laws also regulate some miscellaneous matters that relate to “backyard issues” including noise standards for things like pool pumps and air conditioning equipment.


What are the concerns with the current situation?

During the initial phases of this project, some concerns were raised with Council’s current regulation of overgrown and unsightly allotments, including:

  • inadequate provisions dealing with “unsightly pools” (e.g. stagnant or green pools) that were visible from neighbouring properties
  • declaration of noise standards in Local Laws may be unnecessary given the noise standards in State law (for example, Council’s Local Laws allow pool pumps to be a lot noisier than the State law does - and most other Councils defer to the State laws)

We asked the community: “Should Council have the power to direct a resident to clean their unsightly pool or to tidy up their backyard?”. Of the 682 respondents, 73% were in favour of Council having the power to direct a resident to clean their unsightly pool or tidy up their backyard and 26% were against the notion.

Should Council have the power to direct a resident to clean their unsightly pool or to tidy up their backyard? 73% Yes, 26% No, 1% I don't have an opinion

Should Council have the power to direct a resident to clean their unsightly pool or to tidy up their backyard?


The majority of respondents said their main concerns with unsightly pools and backyards are health hazards, attracting or harbouring of pests, amenity and safety. The community also said, due to the nature of this issue, consideration needs to be given to compassionate circumstances, such as financial capacity to remedy the situation.

Other respondents raised concerns about the subjectivity of what is ‘unsightly’ and with the concept of Council enforcing any local laws on private property.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council will:

  • begin to regulate unsightly pools (e.g., stagnant or green pools) for amenity reasons (not just public health reasons)
  • remove local regulation of prescribed noise conditions for things like pool pumps or air conditioners (and will rely on the State noise conditions instead)
  • continue to regulate overgrown allotments and the accumulation of objects or materials (for amenity reasons)
  • continue to regulate dilapidated fences (adjoining public land).


Examples of popular community sentiments

Respondents who think Council should be able to direct residents to clean their unsightly pool or backyard:

“The question is a matter of health, for the individual and the community. Untidy yards lead to vermin of some form. The standard would be difficult to establish, I would guess that the council could employ a contractor and add that to the rate notice.“

“Overgrown and unsightly properties impact on the amenity of our region, I feel Council could probably handle this better.”

“If the property has so many large stored objects, such as shipping containers, rusty old vehicles, or machinery, that affect the public amenity, Council should have the power to get the owner to remove them. Green swimming pools are a health hazard (mosquitoes, etc.) and should be rectified too.”

Respondents who think Council should not be able to direct residents to clean their unsightly pool or backyard:

“Here we go again: ‘Power’ being the operative word here...Keep out of people’s front yards, backyards, pools, etc. They are not your property or domain to decide whether they are ‘tidy’ or not- It’s an entirely subjective subject anyhow as to what constitutes ‘unsightly.’”

“Private property is just that and council does not have the right to trespass on anyone’s freedoms in their own home and yard.”

“Certainly the power to order a pool be cleaned to prevent water borne issues, but your idea of a clean backyard could be very different to mine."


What’s the current situation?

Council currently has no Local Laws requiring residents to mow the verge outside their property (i.e. the grassed area between their property boundary and the carriageway). Council has not adopted a formal policy on the responsibility for verge mowing, but our website contains the following statement:

It is accepted practice for owners of residential properties to maintain their footpaths, including mowing… Council will only mow footpaths in residential areas along park frontages and footpath linkages between cul-de-sacs where there are health and safety issues or for drainage maintenance.

Since January 2020, Council has recorded more than 270 requests to attend to overgrown verges.

Examples of customer requests for overgrown vegetation maintenance in November 2021

Examples of customer requests for overgrown vegetation maintenance in November 2021


To address health and safety issues posed by overgrown verges, Council officers or contractors might mow a strip through the verge to allow pedestrians to walk without needing to step into the road. Adverse amenity impacts caused by the balance of the overgrown verge may remain.


What are the concerns with the current situation?

Numerous stakeholders were concerned with the lack of ability to enforce appropriate amenity standards for verges. Some stakeholders raised public health and safety concerns where overgrown verges were affecting pedestrian and driver sight lines and forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.

Other stakeholders were of the view that as it is Council land, Council should be responsible for maintaining verges. Concerns were raised about some residents not being physically or financially able to mow their verges and the potential for some residents (e.g. in rural areas) to be more adversely affected if they were required to mow their verge.

We asked the community: “Should Council be able to require residents to mow untidy or overgrown road verges outside their properties?” The majority of the 624 survey respondents (52%) answered “yes”.

Should Council be able to require residents to mow untidy or overgrown road verges outside their properties? 52% Yes, 45% No, 3% I don't have an opinion

Should Council be able to require residents to mow untidy or overgrown road verges outside their properties?


Via Councillor social media, the community was asked whether Council should be able to require residents to mow overgrown verges. The responses were in favour of Council having the power to direct a resident to mow an overgrown verge.


How does Council intend to address these concerns?

Council will introduce a “direction notice power” to compel the small minority of residents who do not mow their verge, to do so (for neighbourhood amenity reasons).

This power will be supported by a policy to guide officers on when the power may be used. For example, it will be a last resort, to be used in situations where the grass is very overgrown and pedestrians couldn’t walk through or traffic sightlines may be impacted. Personal circumstances can be considered before the power is exercised.

The power is not intended to affect any rural property owners who are already on “mowing schedules” (e.g. property owners who have large frontages that are already subject to slashing).


Examples of popular community sentiments

“Yes, residents should be required to keep road verges neat and tidy. Allows for safe travel by pedestrians and enhances neighbourhood appeal.”

“Yes. Some are especially bad, especially when pushing a pram. It can be hazardous”

“Unfortunately, there are people that have no pride in their property… They leave their verges to be firstly very unsightly, but after a while to the level of a health hazard. The council should have the ability to make people mow their verge.”

“Absolutely... all verges should be kept tidy. You should make residents mow them regularly and if they refuse, council should mow them and charge the resident.”

“I know an elderly couple where their verge is covered in council infrastructure. They are too old now to cut around all the concrete and boxes. In this instance you should consider the location difficulty.”

“Public land is a public asset and should be managed as such.”

“Given that the property boundary ends at the survey peg, the land is hardly the responsibility of the landowner.”

“Council gets paid for this service“

Some properties (like mine) have over 1.3km of 'verge'. Plus, untidy is very subjective.”