Following public input in 2020 and 2021, Council adopted its new Local Law No. 1 at its 23 November Meeting. Thank you to all community members who shared their feedback during the consultation process.
The main objective of Council’s Local Law is to protect the amenity of the Shire, and the health and safety of the community. Following a review of the previous Local Law No. 2 General Public Amenity 2017, Council developed a draft Local Law to replace it and invited community feedback on the proposal in July and August 2020.
In line with Council’s responsibilities, the Local Law No. 1 General Public Amenity regulates activities in seven areas:
- People and Property;
- Disposal of Waste;
- Matters Concerning General Activities on Roads and Roadsides;
- Management of Parking;
- Livestock on Roads; and
Over the past four years, new and emerging issues have been identified, and Council developed a new Draft Local Law based on this and regular community feedback received on the existing Local Law.
Last year, Council invited community feedback on a draft update to its Local Law.
In July and August 2020, Council received submissions from 683 community members. Council thanks every community member who took the time to make a submission and shared their thoughts on the Draft Local Law. The majority of submissions related to four areas:
- Use of motorbikes on private land;
- Burning off;
- Shipping containers; and
- Keeping of animals.
Following last year’s consultation period, Council has refined the draft document after considering all feedback received.
In the updated draft, Council proposed to change the title from Local Law No. 2 General Public Amenity to Local Law No. 1 General Public Amenity. This change is required as the previous Local Law No. 1 was repealed and replaced with Council’s Governance Rules in late-2020. Council also proposed several changes to motorbike, burning off, shipping container and animal keeping provisions. These changes make it less restrictive than the original draft and existing Local Law No. 2, while still balancing the disruption that some activities can cause neighbours and the community.
These changes include:
Use of motorbikes on private land
Council received a mix of feedback between residents who wanted all restrictions removed on the use of motorbikes on private land, and those who were concerned about the impact of neighbours riding motorbikes for large portions of the day.
The updated draft proposes to keep some restrictions, with residents to be able to ride in most areas outside of land zoned General Residential for one or two hours each day without a permit. Residents that would like to ride for longer would need to seek permission from neighbours and apply for a permit from Council.
The updated draft removes all size and day requirements related to burning off contained in the original draft. Conditions that remain, include:
- No burning off in the General Residential Zone
- All burn offs must be registered with the Country Fire Brigade
- All burn offs must not offend or cause nuisance to another person in the vicinity and beyond the property boundary
- Burn off conditions do not apply to properly constructed BBQs and pizza ovens
- Conditions do not apply to burning off for agricultural purposes
Major changes were made to provisions related to shipping containers. Under the updated draft, residents can have a shipping container on their property if there are no planning covenants, it is painted in muted tones, there is no writing on the container’s side, and it is not placed in the front yard of the property.
Keeping of animals
Following community feedback, a number of changes were made to make it less restrictive for residents to keep animals on their residential properties. These changes include:
- Increases to number of chickens permitted in most zones
- Removes the cap on domestic small birds, unless they cause a nuisance to neighbours
- Increases the number of domestic rabbits, guinea pigs and mice in most zones
- Increases the number of horses permitted to be kept, as long as there is a minimum 1,000m2 of useable land for each horse
When making a submission on the Draft Local Law last year, 175 submitters elected the option to present their submission verbally to Councillors. Following the release of the updated Draft Local Law in September, Council contacted these submitters to provide them with the updated document and confirm if they still wished to make a verbal presentation at an online meeting on Tuesday 12 October at 6pm.
At the meeting, Councillors heard from 10 submitters who took up the opportunity. These verbal presentations reflected two of the main areas of feedback Council received during the written submission period on the original Draft Local Law: the keeping of animals and the use of motorbikes on private land.
Following the hearing of the verbal submissions, Council made further changes to the motorcycle clauses in the Draft Local Law, prior to adopting the final version at last night’s Council Meeting. This included adding a clause that motorised recreational vehicles must not cause offensive dust emissions, and that permits would not be required to use an electric motorbike or scooter, as long as it does not cause offensive dust emissions.
What Happens Next
Following the adoption of the Local Law No. 1 at the 23 November 2021 Council meeting, the new Local Law is now in place. It is available at Council’s website and a printed copy will also be available on request at Council’s Customer Service Centres, 2 Pope Street, Bannockburn and The Well, 19 Heales Street, Smythesdale.
23 June 2020
Council resolves to review existing Local Law
Council review of existing Local Law
25 August 2020
Council approves Draft Local Law to go out on public submission
26 August to 22 September 2020
Public submissions on Draft Local Law
22 September 2021
Updated Draft Local Law published
12 October 2021
Council Meeting to hear submissions
23 November 2021
Final Local Law adopted by Council
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Council acknowledges the traditional Wadawurrung owners of this land. Council pays its respects to Wadawurrung Elders both past and present and extends that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of Golden Plains Shire.
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