Fencing laws across Australian states and territories
Building a fence is not as simple as gathering materials and putting them together however you want. Whoever is building the fence must adhere to all relevant Australian Standards and laws, as they are in place to make sure that we stay safe during the construction and lifetime of the fence.
There are universal regulations that apply to the entire country and, additionally, certain standards and laws on fencing that are different in each State. Below are fencing height regulations and pool fencing standards.
How High Can a Fence Be?
Each Australian state has a different law when it comes to fencing height and local councils may also have their own standards. They may need to be consulted before building a fence, but a well experienced fencing specialist, such as Chainwire-Fencing Specialist will know all the relevant regulations and how to adhere to them.
A residential fence in New South Wales should have a height not exceeding 1.8m. Several factors can also result in the need for a planning permit, so make sure to check with the local council first.
In most cases, a fence that exceeds 2m will need a permit. If sharing with a neighbour, both parties will need to reach a decision that works for both of them. Read more about the Fences Act 1968, Fences Amendment Act 2014 and other Australian standards and laws on fencing in VIC.
In Queensland, neighbours living next to each other must agree that their dividing fence is sufficient. It is considered sufficient if the dividing fence is 0.5m to 1.8m high. The Queensland Government website has more information on dividing fence standards.
The ACT government recommends that home occupiers consult the Common Boundaries Act 1981 before erecting a dividing fence around their property. It describes what basic urban fencing is. It is a 1.5m high timber paling fence with a 76mm x 50mm hardwood rail at the top and bottom and 100mm x 12mm hardwood palings nailed to the rails. The Common Boundaries Act 1981 also describes a basic rural fence, amongst other things.
Some areas in the Northern Territory do not require a fence around residential property. In most cases, residents will need a permit to erect fencing that is more than 1m high. The NT Government has more information on fencing regulations and boundary disputes. It is also possible to consult with the local council for guidance and assistance.
In most cases, anyone planning to build a fence that exceeds 2.1m in height will need to secure a permit in South Australia. Masonry fence – or wall made of bricks or blocks of cement and natural stone – has a height limit of 1m. Brush fences and retaining walls have different requirements, so it is recommended to check with the local council. The Fences Act 1975 of South Australia may be able to answer other fencing related questions one may have.
Different areas in Western Australia have their own fencing height regulations. Generally, a fence should be between 1.2m and 1.8m tall. Additionally, neighbours sharing a boundary fence will need to agree on a “sufficient fence”. A sufficient fence adheres to the Dividing Fences Act 1961, is capable of blocking cattle and sheep from entering the property, and is determined a sufficient fence by a magistrate.
In Tasmania, a planning permit should be secured if the fence will exceed 1.2m. If the fence is across more than 4.5m of a frontage, it can be built higher. Be sure to review the Boundary Fences Act 1908 or call or email the Development Appraisal Unit of Hobart for any planning help and guidelines.
What Australian Standards Apply to Pool Fencing?
Pool fencing helps prevent children from wandering off alone into a pool and having an accident, so, it is important to get the fence right. Be sure to refer to Australian Standards AS 1926.1-2012, AS 2820-1993 and AS 2818-1993 when building a fence around the pool or, better still, call in a fencing specialist such as Chainwire-Fencing Specialist.
Australian Standard AS 1926.1-2012 defines a swimming pool as any structure that contains water with a depth exceeding 300 millimetres and is used for swimming, paddling and wading. All these standards specify the following:
- Pool gates should swing outwards or away from the pool area.
- Pool gates should also close and latch automatically after being opened so that a child cannot get in accidentally.
- Pool gate latches should be mounted at least 1.5m above ground or be enclosed to prevent a child, especially a toddler, from opening them easily.
- Pool gates and fences must be at least 1.2m in height all the way around.
- Any gaps around the fence should be less than 100mm.
- There must be a 900mm, non-climbable zone (NCZ) on the outside of the fence.
- There should be no objects or structures around the fence that a child can use to climb over to get to the pool. Some examples of these objects are:
- Plant pots
- Pool fencing and gates must be fitted with a child safety lock.
Your Newcastle Fencing Done Right
If you’re looking for a fencing specialist in Newcastle, look no further. Chainwire-Fencing Specialist has more than two decades of experience in the business and can help you with any fencing project you may have.
From division fencing, pool fencing or animal enclosures, to school security fencing or construction site temporary fencing, we’ll help you from the design and fabrication down to installation.
Let us know your fencing requirements in terms of security, appearance and budget, and we’ll provide you with an effective, affordable solution that you’ll love. Plus, we are well versed in the Australian standards and laws on fencing, so you can rest assured that our products and installations are safe for you and your family.