Ipswich City Council is making some of the biggest changes to its local laws since they were introduced, some decades ago, then overhauled in 2013.
Under the proposed changes, council plans to alter the law relating to election signage. Previously, signs required approval and payment of a bond by the candidate, but that will be amended to only require minimum standards that the candidate must abide by when placing signs in an election.
There will be new parking areas, and people will no longer be able to take dogs into some council-managed conservation estates and nature reserves.
There will be laws ensuring good behaviour at pools, libraries and other council facilities. And building owners or occupiers will be given 14 days to clean graffiti off their premises.
Another interesting change is the addition of pet day care in licensed regulated activity. A pet day care will be classified as the temporary minding of up to 10 animals at a premises, but does not include overnight care, a veterinary clinic use or a service that solely relates to animal grooming.
Council consulted staff, benchmarked across other councils, reviewed the State Government’s model local laws and also conducted an independent external legal review, which has resulted in recommendations that many local laws be amended and some be repealed.
The public will now be given a chance to have a say on the suggested changes with a view to a 1 November 2019 commence date.
Council’s Strategic Policy and Systems Manager Barbara Dart told the Governance Committee hearing last week the community will have three weeks from 17 July to make submissions online, via email or post.
Submissions can be made in the following ways:
- Electronically – using the ‘Have Your Say’ link which will be available during the consultation periods (6am on Wednesday, 17 July to 6am on Wednesday 7 August 2019).
- Hard copy – complete the form provided once the consultation period is open and deliver to council’s Administration Building at 45 Roderick Street, Ipswich during office hours; or send to council at Attn: Candice Johns – Policy Officer, Ipswich City Council, PO Box 191, Ipswich QLD 4305.
Queries can go to [email protected]
“Council introduced a whole new framework of local laws in 2013 which rationalised 52 local laws and subordinates down to 18,” Ms Dart said.
“As part of council’s current Business Transformation Program, a review of council’s existing local laws was included to ensure the laws are contemporary and relevant since it has been more than five years since they were reviewed.
“Council engaged external lawyers to be involved in the review and draft the amended laws which are included in this report.
“The present review focussed on amending the current local laws to identify key issues impacting the city as well as operational and formatting issues.”
Perhaps the most significant changes relate to the structure and layout of the laws to ensure they are easy to read and legislative references are updated where they have changed.
Other changes are in response to protecting the community health, safety and amenity as well as protecting the environment.
In many instances council had sought to bring its local laws in line with other South East Queensland local governments.
Ms Dart described some of the key changes to local laws as “important” to the City of Ipswich, including:
Local Law 1 (Administration)
- Inclusion of stop order provisions to immediately stop an activity that might pose an urgent or serious threat to public health and safety, or risk of property damage or loss of amenity.
Local Law 2 (Council meetings)
- Repealing the law and introducing a new policy that meets the State Government model meetings procedures to strengthen public confidence in the conduct of councillors in meetings and the purpose of those meetings. These includes acts of disorder and late notice of matter on the agenda.
Local Law 3 (Commercial licensing)
- Clearer minimum standards provided for temporary advertising devices including the ability to now have illuminated signage for some types of signs, plus the inclusion of a new sign type ‘Street Pole Banners’ to promote key strategic messages/events of the city.
Local Law 4 (Permits)
- Provisions to allow council to add minimum standards on activities where appropriate, and clearer requirements of what is required in the permit application and approval process.
Local Law 5 (Parking)
- Removal of some existing parking permit categories and additional off street regulated parking areas and some new declared traffic areas.
Local Law 6 (Animal management)
- Clearer requirements of an owner’s responsibilities to have dogs under control in dog off-leash areas to prevent harassment or injury to another person or animal; and prohibiting dogs in some of the city’s conservation estates and areas to protect the wildlife of those areas.
Local Law 7 (Local Government controlled areas and roads)
- Sets out minimum standards for behaviour and entry/use of areas such as council buildings, libraries and public swimming pools.
Local Law 8 (Nuisances and community health and safety)
- Graffiti removal notices given to property owners or occupiers requiring them to remove the graffiti within 14 days; plus laws relating to protecting public safety from people throwing or placing dangerous objects. Council believes quick removal is the most effective way to prevent graffiti reappearing because it reduces the recognition people crave and also shows that the affected area is being monitored and looked after.
Local Law 25 (Extractive industries)
- Repealing this law as there is duplication of state legislation in terms of regulation in managing use (such as road maintenance to mining sites), operations and nuisance matters and there have been no applications made for permits in the last 10 years.
Local Law 49 (Vegetation management)
- Changes to protect important vegetation across the city and to remove wording that may confuse the laws with other state and federal legislation for significant vegetation management.
For more information on the local law review, details on the specific changes and how you can make a submission go to www.ipswich.qld.gov.au/locallawreview