The objective of Local Law No. 2 is to provide a safe and healthy environment for residents of Hepburn Shire. This Local Law addresses activities affecting the amenity of the Shire, including footpaths, Council buildings, reserves, keeping animals, nature strips, and more.
The review of the Local Law No. 2 has generated lots of interest and a diversity of views from the community. The draft is a document that was developed after community consultation that started early this year. After hearing some of the concerns raised by the community, and due to the requirement to give notice in the Government Gazette, we have extended the period for community feedback.
Council is reviewing its General Local Law No. 2 – Community Amenity and Municipal Places to ensure it is relevant to and reflects the expectations of the community.
Earlier in the year, Council sought feedback from the key stakeholders, including the community, businesses, Councillors and staff to identify the issues of concern. Key issues raised in this review highlighted the need for a Local Law that provided clear rules for the Hepburn Shire residents, businesses and visitors.
The feedback we received earlier this year covered a wide range of items with key topics, including dog and cat control. Whilst these items are not included in the draft Local Law, we want to ensure you that they have not been forgotten. Recommended changes to dog and cat control will be presented soon to the community for comment. The diagram below is a summary of the overall Local Law review project. Council will continue to work towards completing this project in order to ensure it is relevant to and reflects the expectations of the community.
Council still has a lot of work to do in order to complete the Local Law review project and a further explanation about the project and the items in the above diagram can be found here.
The community has also expressed to Council the need to consider laws regulating short term accommodation and holidays such as those found on Airbnb. The Hepburn Shire is a top tourism location for many and Council believes it is important to consider the amenity impact short term accommodation has on Hepburn Shire residents. The proposal will be considered by Council in addition to the items noted above and as a separate item to this Draft Local Law.
The key proposed changes made to the Local Law are as follows:
|Public Place Definition||New definition has the same meaning as the Summary Offences Act. This definition relates to all public land, not just Council land and increases Council’s authority to ensure consistency across the Shire|
|Drains and Storm Water Discharge||A NEW clause that regulates and protects Council drains|
|Firewood, flowers and fruit collection||A NEW clause regulating the collection of firewood, fruit, flowers etc from road reserves and Council land. This clause has been included to provide for a safer community and to protect the environment. Without the law, the community would be at risk of injury through an unregulated activity being undertaken on our roads.|
|Planting Vegetation on Roads||A NEW clause regulating and protecting Council’s road reserves. Guidelines will be developed after the Local Law is adopted to ensure the right plants are being planted on Council land instead of trees that will grow higher than the powerlines or bushes that block a footpath.|
|Animal Numbers||The permitted number of animals allowed to be kept at your property has changed. Cows, pigs and horses can no longer be kept on smaller properties.|
In the feedback received from the community, we heard loud and clear that the people are concerned about the numbers of cats and the impact they cause on the community. Council agrees and the number of cats allowed to be kept has been reduced to 2 across the Shire.
|Open Air Fires||Clearer burning off laws have been created to reduce the impact of nuisance smoke and to protect the community from fire|
|Camping and Caravan Occupation||Updated law to regulate the time allowed to be camping on private property. This change will improve the community amenity.|
|Dangerous and Unsightly Land||An updated clause that provides a clearer definition of unsightly land to ensure the amenity of the Shire is maintained|
|Other Amendments||Minor amendments have been made to a number of clauses in the old Local Law to ensure the new Local Law is consistent with current legislation|
These changes have been made to ensure the Hepburn Shire creates laws that are relevant to and reflect the interests of the community. Many clauses remain the same or have received minor amendments to provide a consistent Local Law. In being transparent with the major changes in the proposed local law, a comparison of the items listed above in the current Local Law and the proposed Draft Local Law can be found here and a comparison of the Animal Numbers changes to the local law can be found here.
We encourage the community to review the draft and make a submission. Having your say can help ensure the Hepburn Shire is a great place to live, work and visit.
A copy of the current Local law and the Draft Local law can be found here.
A copy of the Community Impact Statement can be found here.