The placement of signs associated with elections causes concern for our community. Council regulates the placement of advertising signs for private businesses, requiring them only to be located on land where the business is operating, or where the product is sold and restricts their size.
Election signs are not subject to the same scrutiny and are regulated under the Election Act 2017 and State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.
The Election Act (section 184) requires that advertising material, including signs and posters, cannot be displayed on or within land or buildings occupied, used by, or under the control or management of the Crown, NSW Government agencies, or a Council. Additionally, advertising on private land or buildings can only be undertaken with the written consent of the owner, or the property is owned or jointly owned by the candidate.
The Act also allows for posters to be displayed:
a) on the outer wall, fence or other boundary of the grounds of an enclosure in which a building used for voting is situated, or
b) within the grounds of an enclosure in which a building used for voting is situated, or
c) on a vehicle on a road or road related area (within the meaning of section 4 (1) of the Road Transport Act 2013), or
d) fixed or attached to a table or stall on a footpath or other public place at any time on the day of voting for an election
The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Subdivision 13 (Election signs) of Division 2 of Part 2) establishes standards relating to the sign’s location and display period.
It is Council’s interpretation that election posters cannot therefore be erected/placed:
• on trees;
• on footpath areas; or
• on any structure within a road reserve.
Council will write to the election candidates during the election campaign to remind them of their responsibilities for election posters.
The relevant sections of legislation can be downloaded below:
Election Act 2017
State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008