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We have a draft new Local Law with a local voice

We have a draft new Local Law with a local voice

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Fire safety, animals, property, vehicles and public behaviour are just some of the themes addressed in the draft of a new Community Local Law which has been released for community consultation. 

Council endorsed the draft law to be released for feedback at its 27 June meeting. 

Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said the draft was created following feedback from more than 2000 people. 

“Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback to help us shape this draft Law.” 

Lydia said councils were required to have a Local Law to keep people safe, protect the natural environment, improve access and enjoyment of public places and respond to poor behaviour. 

“It’s about striking a balance between personal freedom and community responsibility to help people live harmoniously in their local community,” she said. 

“Our new draft Community Local Law aims to do this in line with our growing community’s expectations.” 

The Law addresses issues which have emerged in recent years including the use of recreational fire pits, nature strip maintenance, managing long-term parking of trailers, caravans and boats on Council land, dumping of rubbish, managing derelict and dilapidated buildings, dumped or abandoned shopping trolleys, managing dogs on sports fields and strengthening dog attack laws. 

Council is also updating its nature strip guidelines to better reflect community preferences and is asking for feedback on the proposed changes alongside the Community Local Law. 

The Community Local Law 2024 incorporates community feedback including;  

  • formatting and language: we heard that the previous Local Law was written in a confusing way, so we have removed complicated language and legal jargon and are presenting it in a simple, easy to understand and accessible format 
  • property: stronger regulations to address issues like dumped rubbish will ensure the safety, attractiveness and maintenance of the municipality 
  • fire safety: new and updated provisions have been added to set the requirements for fire prevention and other activities that may affect the environment including fire hazards, open-air burning, and recreational use of fire pits 
  • animals: better regulations provide for the reasonable care, ownership and management of animals with a balanced approach taken towards dog controls in public places and regulating the number and types of animals allowed by a person   
  • vehicles and roads: provisions have been added that aim to enhance the appearance of streets and public places with rules about long-term parking and vehicle storage that could be hazardous for residents and road users 
  • building management: stronger controls for activities around building sites address dangers, noise, waste, and other disturbances caused by building works 
  • public behaviour: stronger controls for how we interact with one another in public spaces and on Council land including provisions to prevent a homeless person or someone with complex needs from being prosecuted under these clauses.   

Lydia encouraged residents to read the draft Community Local Law and draft nature strip guidelines and provide their feedback.  

Council staff will be hosting pop-up sessions to discuss the draft at a variety of locations throughout July or there is a short online survey. Further information on times and locations and the online survey is available at 

“We want to make sure that the Law is truly reflective of our community and provides the framework to ensure that the City of Whittlesea truly is A Place for All,” said Lydia. 

Council will review further community feedback before finalising the Community Local Law and presenting it for endorsement at a Council Meeting later this year.