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Laws you should know

Laws you should know

There are some local laws that apply to daily life more often than others.

You should be familiar with laws relating to the following topics so that you know your responsibilities:

Pets

Leash laws

All dogs must be kept on a leash while outside their property, except in designated off-leash dog parks.

Owners that allow their dogs off the lead in public places or don’t confine them to their property may face an on-the-spot fine of up to $311.

For more information, see Confine your pet.

Pet waste

You are legally responsible for removing all of your pets’ waste (poo) from any nature strip, footpath, road, park, public place and private property.

This local law applies whether the dog or cat belongs to you or is just temporarily under your care.

If you do not clean up after an animal in your care, you can be issued with an on-the-spot fine of $200, and may have to pay a court imposed penalty of up to $2000.

Dog and cat poo and public health

Dog and cat poo is unpleasant and contains much of the same bacteria as human waste, and may also carry intestinal worms.

When dog and cat poo is not removed from public places or private property, it can spread illness within the community, and wash into waterways and beaches where we swim.

Young children are especially at risk of illness due to people not removing dog and cat poo.

Cleaning up after your dog is easy

When walking your dog in a public place, you must collect, take home and properly dispose of its droppings. Below are some tips for cleaning up after your dog:

  • Carry plastic (or biodegradable) bags, or a ‘pooper-scooper’ with you when walking your dog. Personal bag carriers are available that attach to your dog’s leash to store plastic bags.
  • If you're using the plastic bag method:
  • place your hand inside the bag
  • fold the bag back over your hand
  • remove your hand and tie a knot in the top of the bag
  • place the bag in the bin
  • wash your hands as soon as possible

Garage sales

Residents must contain garage sales on their property, and must not sell items from vehicles or the nature strip.

Signs advertising garage sales must follow these rules:

  • ‘Garage Sale’ signs are displayed only on the day of the sale
  • Signs are not placed in roundabouts, on road signs or too close to roads
  • Signs are not attached to Council property, as they may cause damage when removed
  • Signs are removed the same day, after the garage sale.

People who don’t follow these rules may face a fine of up to $400 for each sign.

Litter

You can help keep our city clean by putting all rubbish in litter bins. People who litter are breaking the law and face an on-the-spot-fine ranging from $311 to $622.

Litter on building sites

Builders must provide bins with lids on-site and regularly throw out contained rubbish. Litter capable of being blown must be put in the bin to ensure rubbish doesn’t end up in drains, creeks and rivers.

Builders who do not abide by these rules may face a fine of up to $1,866, and have to go to court where fines may be up to $10,000.

For more information, see Building Site Code of Practice.

Litter from vehicles and trailers

If you move rubbish or goods in a vehicle or trailer, you must ensure that the load is securely contained. You can contain a large load with ropes tied across it, but you may need to cover any small objects such as paper, sand, soil or rocks with a tarp.

If you let litter fall or blow from your vehicle or trailer, you can face fines ranging from $311 to $622. More serious offences may be taken to court where penalties may be up to $10,000.

Also see Report dumped rubbish and litter.

Nature strip maintenance

Residents and property owners in urban areas must meet the requirements of our nature strip guidelines.

Residents and property owners must ensure the grass, weeds and scrub on their nature strip do not grow to more than 30cm high.

Fire authorities recommend keeping the grass shorter than 10cm to minimise the chance of fire passing from the road onto your property.

Noise

It is illegal to cause unreasonable noise from any residential premises, according to the Environment Protection Act 1970.

We investigate various types of unreasonable noise, including residential noise and construction noise. For more information, see Noise restrictions.

Vehicle noise

You must not leave a vehicle running for more than 5 minutes while stationary on a residential property, or leave the car radio or sound system at a level that would disturb nearby residents.

Displaying your property number

You must clearly display your house number to ensure that the following service providers can quickly locate and identify your property:

  • emergency services (such as Ambulance Victoria, the Melbourne Fire Brigade, Country Fire Authority and State Emergency Services)
  • Australia Post
  • utility companies
  • Council

Clear identification of your house number will also help any visitors to locate your property.

Your number display must:

  • be placed within half a metre of the front of the property, where it can be easily seen from 5m away
  • be at least 7.5 centimetres high if you live in an urban area, and at least 15 centimetres high if you live in a rural area
  • use a colour which stands out clearly from the background (for example, much lighter, much darker or reflective)

If your house is on a corner, your number display must face the street that is your house address.

If your property is over 0.8 hectares and the driveway is not on the street that is the house address, your number display must include the street name and number at the front of the driveway.

How we allocate house numbers

We are the only governing body authorised to issue house numbers within the City of Whittlesea, regardless of whether they are residential, commercial or retail developments.

To ensure that house numbers flow logically, we allocate them based on:

We advise other government authorities, emergency agencies and utility companies of allocated house numbers.

These agencies use the allocated numbers, in various emergency mapping systems, as well as in the statewide map base for Victoria - Vicmap.

Shopping trolleys

You must not leave shopping trolleys on roads, footpaths, nature strips, in parks, private property or vacant land. Anyone who leaves a trolley on Council land can be fined.

You should return your shopping trolley to the supermarket collection area to minimise damage to cars and ensure that a trolley will be available next time you go shopping.

Our local laws officers impound all abandoned shopping trolleys and charge supermarkets a return fee.

Businesses are encouraged to collect shopping trolleys that are left out.

You should report any abandoned shopping trolleys using the Trolley Tracker website or phone 1800 641 497.

Unsightly land

All residents and land owners must keep their property reasonably tidy, so neighbours do not get upset about the appearance of their surroundings.

You must control:

  • the amount of household, garden, building rubbish or other material on the property
  • prevent trees, plants or grass from growing too high
  • remove any graffiti from fences and buildings on your property

Anything that is being built should not be left incomplete if it will negatively affect the area’s appearance.

If we ask you to clean up your property, you must do so to our local laws officer’s satisfaction, or we may clean it and charge you for the costs.