Northern Midlands

Boundary Fences

Do I need a Planning or Building Permit to Erect a Fence?

You may need a permit to erect a fence if it does not fall into the exemption category, or if it is in a heritage precinct. Please view the Building Regulations 2004 , section 4 - Certain buildings and building work exempt, subsection (e) for further information.

Please contact the Planning Department on (03) 6397 7303 to discuss your fencing questions.

Boundary Disputes

Council does not become involved in neighbour disputes regarding side and rear fences. If you cannot come to an agreement with your neighbour, you will need to obtain independant legal advice or legal aid. Please see the Legal Aid Fact Sheet Boundary Fence Kit and Neighbour Issues Fact Sheet.

What is the Authority Controlling Fences between Boundaries?

The Boundary Fence Act 1908 defines the circumstances under which adjoining owner may be held responsible to share the cost of fencing between properties. Please note that Council is NOT responsible to enforce the Boundary Fences Act 1908, it is a civil matter to be resolved between both owners.

Can Council be Held Responsible to Share the Cost of Boundary Fences?

Under the Boundary Fences Act 1908 Council is responsible to share the cost of fences, other than when the Council owned land is a roadway which includes a public highway, street, right of way, footway, reserve or public place, whether it be an access, horse way or footway. However; and notwithstanding the provisions of the Boundary Fences Act 1908, Council policy provides for contributions to be made where private land adjoins a Council owned reserve or access to that reserve.

In What Situation Does Council Share the Cost of Boundary Fences?

Where the property adjoins a Council owned house, building or reserve the Council will share the cost of fencing on the boundary. Please view Council's Policy Manual - Policy No 5 Boundary Fences.

What is the Procedure to Request Council to Contribute to a Boundary Fence?

  • The first step is to obtain three (3) written quotes for the erection of a 1.8m height fence constructed using “C” section posts 3 75mm x 50mm rails, overlapped 150mm palings and using galvanised nails for a paling fence, or for a post and wire fence.
  • A Council Officer will then inspect the fence line to ensure that a new fence is warranted and assess whether the quotes are realistic.  A letter outlining Council’s decision and the amount of the contribution to be paid will be sent to you within a day or so after the inspection.
  • If approved you will be advised which quote is acceptable and that you may arrange, at your convenience, to have the fence erected.  Should you wish to engage another contractor or adopt a higher standard of fence; the additional cost will be your responsibility.
  • On completion of the fence, you must contact Council’s Works and Infrastructure Department (03) 6397 7303 so that a final inspection of the fence can be made.  Provided the standard of construction is satisfactory, payment of Council’s contribution will be authorised.

Do not arrange for any fencing work to be undertaken before you have received Council’s approval.  Council will not contribute to fences that have been erected before approval is received, regardless of the circumstances.

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