Next Step In Updating Local Law
Following public consultation on an update to Council’s Local Law in 2020, Council has worked to refine its Local Law.
In July and August 2020, Council received submissions from 683 community members on its 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.
All written feedback has been considered by Council, and in several workshops, Councillors worked together with officers to improve the draft document. The updated Draft Local Law is now available for community members to read at goldenplains.vic.gov.au/consultations. Residents can also request a hard copy of the document from Council’s Bannockburn and Smythesdale Customer Service Centres.
When making a submission on Draft Local Law last year, community members were able to elect if they wanted to verbally present their submission to Councillors, with 175 submitters requesting to do so. As part of the consultation process, Council will hold a meeting of Council to hear verbal submissions on the updated Draft Local Law at 6pm, Tuesday 12 October. The meeting will be held virtually over Zoom due to the current COVID-19 restrictions.
Council will directly contact all 175 submitters who requested to speak with a copy of the updated Draft Local Law, to confirm if they would still like to make a verbal presentation at the 12 October meeting. Speaking times will be allocated as submitters register. In the event, more residents elect to speak than time allows at the 12 October meeting, Council will make available an additional opportunity for further verbal presentations.
Mayor Cr Helena Kirby acknowledged there were many different views in the community on the Draft Local Law and that this has been reflected in the updated draft.
“Last year, we asked for the community’s views on an update to Council’s Local Law, and we heard from 683 people on the matter. I want to thank each and everyone community member for taking the time to make a submission and share their passionate thoughts on the Draft Local Law.
“The new Council group elected last year has considered all the feedback we received, and we’ve worked together to put forward changes to the original draft that will make it less restrictive in the four key areas of greatest interest: motorcycles on private land, burning off, shipping containers and the keeping of animals. Throughout this process, Council has sought to strike a balance so that all residents can enjoy their properties and rural lifestyle.
“Next month, we look forward to providing an opportunity to those residents who said they wanted to present directly to Councillors in their submissions, as we work towards finalising the update to Council’s Local Law.”
Changes to the Proposed Draft Local Law
In the updated draft, Council is proposing 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 is also proposing 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. The remaining conditions do not apply to BBQs and pizza ovens or 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 increasing the number of horses, chickens, small birds, domestic rabbits, guinea pigs and mice allowed.
Following the meeting for verbal submissions, Council will consider any further changes with the final Local Law No. 1 update to be presented at Council Meeting later in the year.