Advertising Signs

The main purpose of regulating advertising signs is to ensure public safety and that they complement the surrounding environment. Advertising signs may be temporary, mobile or permanent.

Do I need an approval?

When you need an approval

Advertising Signs

Applications for advertising devices (signs) may be assessed either under Council's local law or the MBRC Planning Scheme, depending on the type of advertising sign and the proposed location.

Some signs may require an approval under the local law or Planning Scheme.

Further information in relation to advertising signs is available here on Council's website.

Election Signs

Requirements for election signs are set out in Local Law No 8 (Election Signs) 2019 and Subordinate Local Law No 8 (Election Signs) 2019. Information in relation to election signs is available here on Council's website.

Council's Fact Sheet -  Election Signage contains further information in relation to these requirements.

For further information regarding signs and sign applications, contact Council.

 

When you do not need an approval

The following activities do not require an approval under Council's local law:

Council's website contains information in regard to requirements for advertising signs. Some signs do not require approval depending on the type of sign and proposed location. Further information is available here.

Before you start

If you are displaying a new advertising sign, taking over or making changes to an existing advertising sign, you will need to consider planning approvals and building approvals.

Planning approval

Your first step when displaying an advertising sign is to check if you need a planning approval.  

Council’s planning scheme guides how land can be used and developed.

Advertising signs may need planning approval for these activities:

  • displaying a new advertising sign
  • changing the type of sign (e.g. from static to electronic)
  • changing the intensity of the activity (e.g. adding extra signs to an existing sign)
  • carrying out building work (e.g. installing a freestanding sign over 2m in height from the ground).

To find out if you need to submit a development application, you can:

  • lodge an enquiry with Council
  • arrange a pre-lodgement meeting with Council
  • engage a town planning consultant registered with the Planning Institute of Australia 
  • self-assess your property details against Council’s planning scheme.

For further information visit Planning & Development Online or contact Council.

Building approval

Building work for advertising signs may include signs that:

  • free stand and are over 2m in height from ground level
  • free stand and are greater than 1.2m in width
  • form a separate structure when attached to an existing building or structure.

All building work is assessed against the building assessment provisions (including, but not limited to, the National Construction Code  and the Queensland Development Code) which set the minimum requirements for building structure, fire safety, access and egress, health and amenity, and energy efficiency.

To find out if you need building approval, you can:

How to apply

The applicant for a licence must be a legal entity (e.g. person/s or a company. Note - a trust name, business name or shop name is not a legal entity and cannot be the licence holder).

A new application is not required for minor changes (e.g. a change in contact details). Contact Council for these changes. Find out how to make changes to an existing licence in this section.

Use this information to assist you in ensuring your application is complete and to consider other applications that may be required for your business.

Forms

To obtain application forms for licensable signs under Subordinate Local Law No. 1 (Administration) 2011, refer to Council's website.

Plans

A location plan showing all property boundaries, existing and proposed signage and distance to property boundaries, building footprints, roads and landscaping is required.

Other information may be requested including:

  • type of sign
  • mounting of the sign including size of fastenings
  • dimensions of the sign
  • material used in the construction of the sign
  • content of the sign
  • associated lighting (illumination)
  • effect it will have on the natural or built environment
  • details of concrete foundations.

Application process - new

This process is for a new advertising sign that requires a licence with Council.

You must obtain relevant planning approval and building approval before you submit an advertising sign approval.

  • Submit your advertising signs application and plans to Council using the approved form. You are responsible for ensuring the application is complete.
  • Council will process your application and plans within the legislative or agreed timeframe. Council will contact you should additional information be required to process your application.
  • Council may inspect the location before making a decision.
  • When Council approves your application, you can then display your sign in accordance with the approved conditions.

Application process - taking over

This process is for taking over an existing advertising sign.

You may apply for a search of Council records for information on the current advertising sign and the conditions of approval. This process may require written permission from the vendor.

  • Submit your advertising signs application using the approved form. You are responsible for ensuring the application is complete.
  • Council will process your application within the legislative or agreed timeframe. Council will contact you should additional information be required to process the application.
  • Council may inspect the location before making a decision.
  • When Council approves your application, you can then operate in accordance with the approved conditions.

Application process - making changes

This process is for making changes to an existing advertising signs licence.

Adding extra signs, changing the size of the sign or upgrading your sign from static to LED, could change current planning, building and plumbing approvals. Contact Council to discuss any changes to your advertising sign prior to the commencement of work.

  • Submit your advertising signs application and plans using the approved form. You are responsible for ensuring the application is complete.
  • Council will process your application and plans within the legislative or agreed timeframe. Council will contact you should additional information be required to process the application.
  • Council may inspect the location before making a decision.
  • When Council approves your application, you can then display your sign in accordance with the approved conditions.

Renewal

If you need to amend details on your approval or require a copy of your approval, contact Council.

A notice will be sent prior to the expiration of your current approval.

Related applications

Public liability insurance

If the sign is located on or over public land you must take out public liability insurance to a minimum value of $10 million dollars and name Council as an interested party. A copy of this document must be submitted before your application can be approved.

If the sign is located on private land, Council may not require you to have public liability insurance, however you should research all options regarding your business insurance requirements.

Signs on heritage listed properties

Heritage listed properties are protected and specific development rules apply. Both Council and the State Government have heritage registers. You will need to look at both registers to find out what constraints there are on your property. Advertising signs at a State heritage site or adjoining a State heritage may need approval from the Department of Environment and Science (DES). Find out if your property is on the Queensland heritage register.

To find out if your property is on the local register, contact Council.

State controlled roads

Signs on or over a State controlled road or motorway may need a Road corridor permit from the State Government. Find out if your property is on a state controlled road.

How to comply

Education

The tools and resources developed by Council allow you and your staff to know what is required to ensure your business is operating lawfully. When used effectively, these tools will assist your business to ensure that safety, health and environmental standards are maintained and avoid enforcement action.

Regulation (Inspection process)

Council undertakes inspections to ensure that advertising signs are complying with the legislation and any approval conditions.

Enforcement

Under the legislation, if you are the holder of an approval, you are responsible for ensuring all approval conditions are complied with.

If you have difficulty complying with your conditions, contact Council.

Failure to comply with these conditions may result in one or more of the following enforcement actions:

  • issuing of a letter requiring action or works to be conducted
  • issuing of a legal notice requiring action to be taken or works to be conducted (this may include Planning Act 2016 notices)
  • issuing of a penalty infringement notice (PIN) or on-the-spot fine
  • removal of the sign
  • suspension of an approval
  • cancellation of an approval
  • prosecution.

Approval includes a consent, permission, licence, permit or authorisation.

Complaint management

Council has a duty to investigate and respond to complaints received.

A complaint may result in an inspection of the sign to ensure compliance with the legislation.