Proposed council law sparks online storm

A proposal to change Latrobe City Council’s Local Law 2 has created a stir of opposition on social media.

Gippsland-based Senator Ricky Muir has described the proposed changes as government overreach, while social media users have called the measures “horrendous”, “ridiculous” and “revenue raising”.

Council has released its entire Local Law 2 document for public comment after it removed duplications, added new clauses and made several amendments.

While council has highlighted the major changes in releasing the document to the public, the entire local law is up for discussion.

Council has drawn the public’s attention to some of its major new proposals, including the need for a permit to use recreational vehicles or tracks on private property.

“I think it’s council overreach,” Mr Muir said of the proposed clause last week.

“People buy their own property to be able to use it in a style within reason.

“I am not fond of government overreach of any sort and having to apply for a permit to use your property in any form is definitely government overreach.”

Latrobe City general manager of city development Phil Stone said the proposed document was in response to State Government legislation and community expectations.

He said a series of recent community focus groups resulted in new amendments, with dilapidated buildings, waterway behaviour and long-term storage of vehicles on roads among the mooted changes.

In response to questions about council’s ability to enforce such rules, Mr Stone said under the Local Government Act 1989 council had such powers.

“The purpose of the local law 2 has always been to promote a peaceful and liveable community,” he said.

“It addresses areas of amenity, noise, unsightly properties, animal management.

“It is not council’s intention to dictate what people can and can’t do on their own property.

“However, council will continue to proactively attend to complaints from the community in regard to aspects of the local law.”

The public can have its say until 26 February, after which a further report will be made to council to consider the submissions received.

Those who have made a submission and have requested to speak on it can do so at a council meeting scheduled for 21 March.

Mr Stone said if the local law 2 was adopted, council officers would continue to “proactively attend to complaints or deal with reported or observed matters”.

“Depending on resources, community safety matters will receive priority attendance,” he said. Mr Stone said it was encouraging to see “so much interest in the proposed local law”, with a variety of submissions received either supporting, opposing or recommending changes to the proposal.

He said council welcomed such debate, with the purpose of seeking community views to “to ensure that the law aligns with the expectations of the community”.

“This recent interest has led to many people taking the time to read the entire local law and to provide valuable feedback,” Mr Stone said.

“To have a meaningful local law we need council and community cooperation and ownership.”

To view the proposals or provide input, visit and search for the Community Amenity Local Law No. 2 2015 in the Have Your Say section.

To read what the community had to say about Local Law No. 2, visit