Why have local laws?

Our Local Government School Kit helps primary and secondary school students who are looking for information about Council and the role of councillors.

This section looks at Maroondah's local laws and why we have them.

There are a number of Council rules designed to make the community a safe and pleasant place to live in, and these are called local laws. 

Rules cover:

  • burning off 
  • registration of dogs and cats 
  • the number and types of pets you can own 
  • what you can put out to be collected by the garbage truck 
  • what can be recycled and how it is collected 
  • where cars can and cannot be parked 
  • noise restrictions particularly at night and early in the morning 
  • what types of buildings can be built in particular areas 
  • how close new constructions can be built to neighbouring buildings 
  • what buildings can be used for.

People who breaks the rules sometimes have to pay fines. However, Council staff will always try to solve problems for people in the community first, so as to avoid these penalties. For instance, if a resident complains that a neighbour's dog is barking too much, a staff member from the Local Laws Team can speak to the dog's owner and suggest ways of stopping the noise. It's always better to solve a problem by talking it through and Council can advise people how to do this.

If an issue cannot be resolved it may have to be decided by a judge in a court of law and this can be very expensive. 

Do the rules ever change?

Local government laws are reviewed regularly and altered if necessary to meet the needs of the community. Sometimes new laws are required to control a particular problem. For example, over the years many trees have been removed from properties to make way for new developments, so that it became necessary to introduce a rule requiring people to apply for permission from Council to remove large trees. In this way Council is able to preserve the 'green' look of the municipality and preserve its historic and beautiful trees.

Similarly, if riding skate boards and roller blades became a nuisance and a danger to pedestrians in some busy shopping areas, Council may be asked to introduce some rules to make these areas safe.

People who feel something needs to be improved or changed can write directly to Council or they can contact the Councillor who represents them to talk it over.