Local government laws across Queensland

There are 77 local governments in Queensland covering cities, towns, shires or regional councils.

Local governments can make laws to deal with issues in your local community.

For example, local laws may cover:

  • public health and safety
  • parking vehicles on roads and off-street parking areas
  • keeping animals
  • prohibiting or restricting nuisances and environmental hazards within the community
  • licensing business operations (e.g. caravan parks, roadside vendors and home businesses)
  • using local government controlled areas, facilities and roads.

If you are concerned about an issue in your community you can raise your concerns with your local government. Sometimes, your local government may decide the best solution is to develop a local law.

To find out more about how local governments can make a local law, see:

Local laws

Your local government must make copies of their local laws available for inspection at their public office. You can also buy copies if you wish. They must also keep a register of adopted local laws for public inspection. Many local governments provide copies of their local laws online.

See the local government directory for information about how to contact your local government.

You can also find information about the local laws of any local government in Queensland on the department's local laws database.

How local laws are made and how you can be involved

Your local government will adopt local laws by resolution at a council meeting. They must also advise the public when they have made a new local law by publishing a notice in the Government Gazette and on their website.

More information

  • Chapter 3, Part 1 of the Local Government Act 2009
  • Chapter 3, Part 2 of the City of Brisbane Act 2010.

Most importantly, you can have a say in the development of local laws for your community. Your local government should consult the public on most proposed local laws.

Contact your local government to see if they are developing any local laws in your area. You can also find out how your local government consults the community on local laws.

Enforcing local laws

It is important to remember that local laws carry penalties which are legally binding. Your local government can choose a number of ways to enforce their local laws including verbal warnings, compliance and stop-work notices, on-the-spot fines and penalty infringement notices, court action and even the confiscation of property.

Which they choose will depend on the local law itself and the local government’s enforcement policy.

Enforcement officers will also consider the circumstances and seriousness of the breach before deciding what to do.

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Appeal or complain about a decision made under a local law

You can make an appeal or complaint about a decision made under local law if it directly affects you.

For example, a decision may be to put conditions on an approval given under a local law or to issue a compliance notice to make sure certain requirements are met under a local law.

In most cases, you can make a complaint under the relevant local government's complaints process about a decision made under a local law.

Some local laws also include a review process for particular decisions made under a local law.

If you have a complaint about a decision of local government made under a local law you should contact your local government's customer service area, call centre or inquiry counter which may be able to quickly address your concern.

If this does not resolve your issue, we recommend that you write to your local government and make an official complaint. Local governments must by law respond to complaints about local government effectively and fairly.

More information

See Complain about a government official, councillor or police officer.

On-the-spot fines for breaking a local law

If you receive an on-the-spot fine for breaking a local law, you can appeal this decision in a magistrate's court. You will receive advice on your appeal rights with your infringement notice.

Some local governments provide an opportunity to appeal an on-the-spot fine through their complaints process; however, you should be aware that there is a time limit for appealing the fine through a magistrate's court. You should consider this when deciding whether to complain through the local government or the court.

You should also get legal advice on any matters that may involve court action.

Making a complaint about someone breaking a local law

Local governments are responsible for enforcing their local laws. If you observe someone breaching a local law, you should contact the relevant local government and they will investigate.