Signs at the pre-polling booth in Lismore during the 2016 Federal election.
Signs at the pre-polling booth in Lismore during the 2016 Federal election. Cathy Adams

Crackdown on election signs: Council's strict rules

LISMORE City Council is appealing to the community and election candidates to be aware of the regulations regarding election signage in the lead-up to the 2019 state and federal elections.

The council is asking people to do the right thing to avoid council resources being diverted from core business to manage signage and undertake enforcement.

People should be aware of and heed the following regulations:

  • Election signage must not be more than 0.8m2 in area.
  • Election signage must not be attached to a heritage item.
  • Election signage must only be displayed for five weeks preceding election day.
  • Election signage must only be displayed for one week following election day.
  • Election signage must not be displayed on a trailer parked on a road or road-related area.
  • Election signage must not be displayed on a trailer parked on land other than a road or road-related area, but visible from a road or road-related area, without development consent.
  • Any election signage or materials placed on property owned or controlled by Council such as road reserves or public land including carparks and sporting fields is unlawful.

The council's compliance coordinator Matt Kelly said the regulations should be observed by all election candidates and their supporters.

"Compliance with the legislation ensures all candidates are subject to the same requirements and provided with fair and equitable opportunities to advertise their participation in the election,” he said.

"Election signs erected on private land, with the owner's consent, which complies with all of the above requirements, are exempt from Council approval requirements.

"Council has already received of a number of complaints regarding inappropriately placed election signage.

"In some instances, unapproved and illegal placement of signage has the potential to create a hazard particularly when placed on road reserves and roundabouts.

"Council may take enforcement action if unlawful placement of election material takes place.”

Enforcement action can include the following:

1. Unlawfully placed signs may be impounded, attracting a release fee of $86.

2. A penalty infringement notice for $330 may be issued for signage placed without approval or contravening the abovementioned regulations.

3. A penalty infringement notice for $553 may be issued for signage in a road reserve that poses a safety issue.

4. A penalty infringement notice for $3000 (individual) or $6000 (corporation) can be issued for carrying out a development without consent, including the placement of unlawful signage.

"To avoid the need for any additional follow-up action, it is requested that all election signage be removed from Council controlled and owned land as a matter of urgency,” Matt said.

"We urge residents to exercise their democratic right responsibly and adhere to the rules around signage when supporting their preferred candidates.”



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