Page 1540 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022
The ACT Government, through its various regulatory bodies, is responsible for administering relevant sign guidelines and codes of practice within the ACT. Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) regulates movable signage placed on Public Unleased Land, through its responsibility for administering the Public Unleased Land ACT (PULA) 2013 (the Act).
The Act also establishes the Public Unleased Land (Movable Signs) Code of Practice (the Code) which outlines conditions for sign placement; sign construction and safety; sign content; number of signs; display time periods; and insurance requirements. The Code applies to movable signs such as business signs, real estate signs, community signs, and electoral advertising signs that are intended to be situated in a public place. In accordance with the Code, a ‘public place’ is any place that is unleased Territory Land which the public are entitled to use, or which is open to – or used by – the public. This includes every public road.
Similarly, section 11.7 of the Territory Plan 2008 (ACT), (the Signs General Code 2008 (ACT)) regulates the design, content and positioning of signs in the ACT. The Signs General Code is effectively the document which development applications for signs are assessed against. It sets out requirements in relation to the types of signs permissible in certain development zones, the built form and construction of these signs, as well as the permissible environmental impact of these signs.
Where a permanent sign is to be installed on public land, unless it meets an exemption provision outlined in Table 1.5.2 of the Planning and Development Regulation 2008, a Planning and Development Act 2007 Development Application is required, and a section 303 Planning and Development Act licence must be obtained.
There is no specific law regulating advertising on vehicles. It is the responsibility of motorists to ensure they park their vehicle responsibly and legally. Parking on nature strips or grassed medians is not permitted in the ACT. Illegally parked vehicles on public land, including nature strips, can cause serious damage to community assets including grass, street trees, underground services and the environment. Illegal parking can also cause line of sight obstruction issues and pose a serious risk to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
In accordance with the Australian Road Rules and the associated Guidelines, the parking of vehicles on a nature strips or median strips is generally prohibited. Access Canberra Parking Operations is the primary regulator responsible for parking compliance in the Territory. Parking Operations inspectors make regular compliance patrols throughout Canberra, as well as responding to specific complaints about illegally parked vehicles. Parking inspectors also patrol and enforce dangerous and illegal parking on nature strips and road related areas. The infringement notice penalty for this offence is currently $123.
As part of their duties, authorised TCCS officers pro-actively target municipal non-compliance issues, including unauthorised public land use. The infringement notice penalty for this offence is currently $440. In line with the Licensing and Compliance Accountability Commitment, officers try to encourage compliance through engagement and education. However, where officers identify a blatant disregard for the law, repetitious offending or conduct that has, or is likely, to