Local Laws

Neighbours, the Law and You

Neighbours, the Law and You is an easy-to-understand guide designed specifically for the public. It explains the laws on common neighbourhood issues such as animals, noise, fences and trees.It also includes information on neighbourhood disputes and where to get legal advice and other help in Victoria.

Neighbours, the law and you

Horsham Rural City Council's Local Laws

Councils use local laws to respond to issues and community needs within a municipality. These local laws complement their responsibilities and powers under both state and federal laws. Where appropriate, Councils may introduce local laws, or by-laws to exercise these powers. Local Laws are often adopted to protect public health, safety and amenity in a municipality, though Councils are also required to make Local Laws governing the conduct of the council itself.

Local Law No 1 – Governance (2016)

Community Local Law Number 3

Community (Amendment) Local Law Number 4

Community Local Law Number 3

Community Local Law Number 3 was adopted on 19 December, 2011, following an extensive review of the previous General Local Law Number 2. Community Local Law Number 3 encompasses all other Council Local Laws. Throughout the process that led to adoption of Community Local Law Number 3, Council conducted the following to ensure that obligations in relation to human rights were met: 

  • Public information and consultation forum
  • Public notices inviting submissions
  • Three meetings with Council to discuss development of the Local Law
  • Five sub-committee meetings to review submissions and modify the Local Law
  • One forum with local builders

Consideration was given to proposed limitations on the movement of livestock within the municipality, with the view that this could be a restriction on the individual right to freedom of movement. It was concluded that controls over various activities are not incompatible or interfering with the rights under the Charter where there remains the ability to obtain a permit subject to prescribed standards and conditions meeting community expectations. In reviewing the Local Law, no submissions were made raising concerns with the impact of a control or requirement on a human right under the Charter.

Community Local Law Number 3 

Local Government Act 1989 - Section 119(3)

At its meeting on 17 June 2013, the Council, having concluded procedures required under the Local Government Act 1989, resolved to make the Community (Amendment) Local Law No. 4.

Purpose of the Community Local Law

The objectives of the local law are to:

  • Amend the Community Local Law No. 3 of 2011 to clarify and better apply some of its provisions concerning the condition and appearance of land
  • Protect the community from unsightly and hazardous land that contributes to the deterioration of neighbourhoods and reinforcing ways in which abatement of those conditions can be achieved

General Purpose of the Local Law

The proposed Local Law will achieve its purposes by a number of measures including:

  • Include a specific offence where an owner or occupier of land allows the condition and appearance of land to be or become:

(a) a risk or dangerous to the health of people or other land in the vicinity

(b) unsightly or detrimental to the overall amenity and appearance of other land in the vicinity

(c) a nuisance to people or other land in the vicinity

  • Include a specific reference to a "clean up order" in the offence provisions in clause 9.1 of the principal Local Law. The current provisions make it an offence to "fail to do something which a provision of the local law requires to be done".  There was some concern that because there was no specific reference to a "clean up order" in the existing provision that it would be difficult to say that failure to undertake work required by a clean up order constituted an offence.  While the effect of clause 9.1 is debatable, the amendment removes any doubt that failure to comply with a clean up order is an offence against the Local Law.

  • Amend the current requirements about the form and content of a clean up order.  Arguably the term "clean up order" is self explanatory, but some doubt was expressed about the effectiveness of the current provision and what it is intended to achieve.  The information to be included in a clean up order will also make it clear that if a person fails to do the work required by the order, the Council may do the work and recover the cost.

  • Amend clause 9.9 of the principal Local Law to ensure that powers delegated from the Council, specifically to Authorised Officers appointed under the Act, are adequate and appropriate for the purposes of enforcing the Local Law.

A copy of the Local Law(PDF, 2MB) may be inspected at the Council's office at Roberts Avenue, Horsham.

Any queries about Horsham Rural City Council Local Laws can be directed to Council's Customer Service, Civic Centre, Roberts Ave, Horsham on 03 5382 9777. 

Alcohol restrictions

Unless otherwise authorised by Council and at premises licensed under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998, a person must not consume any alcohol or have in his or her possession any alcohol in an unsealed container at any time in an area declared by Council:

  • To be an alcohol free zone;
  • At any time on a road;
  • At any time in a car park;
  • In a motor vehicle parked on a road or in a public car park;
  • Between the hours of 11.00pm and 6.00am in any municipal place whether or not in a motor vehicle.


Under Community Local Law No 3, penalties can be issued for not complying with any requirement. One penalty unit is valued at $100.

All penalties under Community Local Law No 3, other than those listed below, are valued at $150 (1.5 penalty units)

  • Using a toy vehicle in the Horsham Central Business District $75
  • Using a toy vehicle to inconvenience other users of a road or municipal place $75
  • Failing to carry a device suitable for the picking up and cleaning of any animal excrement that may be deposited $50
  • Failing to immediately remove and appropriately dispose of any animal excrement deposited $75
  • Urinating or defecating on a road or in a municipal place other than in a toilet facility constructed for such a purpose. $300
  • Playing amplified music or sound from land adjacent to a road or municipal place if the noise resulting from the use is capable of being heard on the road or in the municipal place. $300