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Discussion paper on fencing
27/08/2000 8:00 AM
Dividing fences generate about 600 calls a month to the Department of Local Government and the number may increase over the next few months.
The department has produced an issues paper for a review of the Dividing Fences Act and at the same time has released a brochure explaining householders’ rights and responsibilities under the current Act.
Local Government Minister Paul Omodei said the brochure would be available from local governments, building and real estate peak bodies, and community advice groups such as the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and the Aboriginal Legal Service.
It spelt out in simple language procedures for dealing with neighbours when erecting or repairing a fence, dealt with strata titles, landlords and tenants, retaining walls, and intrusive tree branches or roots.
The Review of the Dividing Fences Act was a more comprehensive document and dealt with the background of existing law as well as law reviews previously conducted here and in other States.
Consisting of an introduction and 10 chapters on different areas of the law, it gave comprehensive information and invited comment on a wide range of issues, some of which were covered by the existing legislation and some of which were not.
The issue paper is available from the Department of Local Government and on its website at
in either pdf or Microsoft word format.
Copies are available to people with disabilities in alternative formats such as audio tape, computer disk, large print or Braille, on request to the Dividing Fences Coordinating Officer, Department of Local Government.
Mr Omodei said interested individuals or groups were being asked to send their comments to the department by November 10.
All submissions would be carefully considered when the review was being finalised to present legislation to Parliament next year.
The review and legislative process, particularly during an election period, would ensure that the brochure on the existing Act would have a suitable shelf life.
Media contact: Hugh Ryan 9213 6700