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Questions About Local Laws
  • What is a local law?
  • Why do local laws differ from place to place?
  • Are local laws absolutely necessary?


What is a local law?

  • Local laws are enforceable in a Council area in response to the requirements and preferences of that Council and its community.
  • Written in plain English, they should be easy to understand and clearly set out rights and responsibilities as well as things that are not permitted to be done in a specific Council area.
  • In your community, Local Laws are normally managed by the Local Government Ranger Service.

Why do local laws differ from place to place?

  • Local laws reflect the way a local community wants to function. That’s is your local laws should reflect what your community prefers. For example you may have a local law on alfresco dining or perhaps for dog parks while other communities may take a different approach.
  • Critics of the variation in local laws are often those from outside the community that want to make changes or do business in the area and believe they are inconvenienced by having to “fit in” with what the locals want.
  • Claiming that all Councils should have standardise local laws is the same as saying all States should have the same laws. Our State Government has different rules to other states on things such as daylight saving time, retail trading hours and liquor licencing because that is what the people prefer. Why should where you live not have the same choice?

Are local laws absolutely necessary?

  • Local laws provide specific communities with a say on how their local area will work on issues that are either not covered or not deemed significant enough for State legislation.
  • Often they are often developed to protect critical aspects of the community’s way of life when an area develops so locals don’t lose what make the place their home.
  • As with any legislation, local laws can get out of date or no longer be the community preference and they can consequently be removed or changed.
  • Local laws are what helps make your community special and relevant to you.