Advertising signs (except election signs)

An advertising device is any sign and support structure that provides information or is designed to attract public attention. Council regulates the installation of signs to ensure public safety and that they are also complementing to the surrounding environment. 

Except for election signs, local law approval may be required for the installation of:

  • a temporary advertising device on public land
  • a temporary advertising device on private land
  • a permanent advertising device on public land.

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

In addition, if the installation of the sign involves building works or operational works such as a road openings, alterations to the footpath or the fixing of structures to the footpath additional approvals may also be required from local or state government agencies.

You will need to submit an application and all supporting documentation at least 30 days before you need to display your sign. This allows time to review your submission, request any further information, conduct a final assessment and make a decision.   

Is my sign temporary or permanent?

What is a temporary sign?

A sign or advertising device that is not permanent and may be irregular or infrequent and does not require the construction of any permanent building or structure.  

What is a permanent sign? 

A sign or advertising device that is intended to be long-lasting and attached to a permanent building or structure.

What if my sign is permanent and on private land?

The local government’s Planning Scheme regulates the installation of permanent advertising devices on private land. Signs regulated by the MBRC Planning Scheme will not require approval provided they meet the relevant requirements for accepted development as outlined in the Advertising devices code (section 9.4.4) for size, design and location.

Where the advertising device does not meet the requirements for accepted development, approval will be required. 

Review Councils website MBRC Planning Scheme - Advertising devices for more information. 

Is my sign self-assessable or licensable under local law?

Advertising devices are either self-assessable or will require a licence.

Self-assessable signs can be displayed without Council approval, general self-assessable criteria can be found within the MBRC Subordinate Local Law 1 (Administration) 2011 Schedule 9 Table 2.

If the sign meets the general self-assessable requirements and the specific requirements outlined for the type of advertising device to be installed, then the sign is considered self-assessable and does not require approval. 

If the sign does not meet requirements, the sign would be licensable and would require approval from Council. 

General criteria can be found within the MBRC Subordinate Local Law 1 (Administration) 2011 Schedule 9 Table 3.

If you are unsure whether you need a permit or what type of permit to apply for, contact Council.

Will I need building approval?

Building approval may be required for advertising signs that are:

  • 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 structures, fire safety, access and egress, health and amenity, and energy efficiency.

You can self-assess the proposed work against Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of the Building Regulation 2006. Otherwise to find out if you will require building approval or to obtain a building permit, you will need to engage a building certifier who will determine whether the proposed building work complies with the Building Act 1975 and associated standards.

What if my sign is an election sign?

Requirements for election signs are set out in Local Law No 8 (Election Signs) 2019 and Subordinate Local Law No 8 (Election Signs) 2019. Refer to Councils webpage about Election signs for more detailed information.



How to apply

Step 1.Prepare a site plan

Prepare a site plan that includes dimensions, locations, materials and how the sign will be supported using the Advertising signs site plan template(DOCX, 27KB).

Step 2.Complete a risk management plan

Complete the Risk management plan template(DOCX, 927KB).

Step 3.Take out public liability insurance

Evidence of a current public liability insurance policy to the value of $20,000,000 should be provided with your application.

Step 4.Collect supporting documents

The following supporting documents will need to be submitted with your application

  • details of any illumination, animation, moving parts, reflective material or third-party advertising that the proposed Advertising Device will contain 
  • for mobile signage, registration details of any vehicle that will be used to display the sign
  • if the proposed advertising device is to be located on land, structures or infrastructure that the applicant does not own (other than land, structures or infrastructure owned or controlled by Council), please provide the owner’s written consent to the installation.

Step 5.Complete an application

There are two options available when applying for a licensable sign.

Standard applications

This application is made by lodging the Advertising Device on Council Controlled Land or Private Property Application(PDF, 368KB), together with any required supporting documentation and the relevant fee.

It may take up to 30 business days from initial assessment to decision once all supporting documents have been provided.

Expedited (fast track) applications

This application is made by lodging the Advertising Device on Council Controlled Land or Private Property - Expedited Application(PDF, 389KB), together with a written submission and the relevant fee. The written submission must comprehensively document how the proposed licensable sign meets the local law requirements.

It may take up to three business days from initial assessment to decision once all supporting documents have been provided. 

For further information refer to the licensable sign applications(PDF, 103KB) fact sheet.

Submit your completed application along with supporting documentation using any of the below options:

The applicant for an approval must be a legal entity, such as a person, private company, public company or incorporated association. A partnership, cooperative, unincorporated association, body corporate, strata corporation, trust or political party is not a legal entity and cannot be considered the applicant.

Step 6.Pay fees

In accordance with Council’s fees and charges, the costs are:

  • a non-refundable application fee of T313 for a sign on Council controlled land or;
  • a non-refundable application fee of T313 for a temporary sign on private property or;
  • a non-refundable expedited (fast track) application fee of T310.

This fee is payable at the time of application. Council will contact you for payment.

Annual commercial license fees for signs on Council controlled land apply:

  • T317 - 5 metres squared or less or
  • T316 - 5 metres squared to 10metres squared or
  • T315 - 10 metres squared to 18 metres squared or
  • T314 - greater than 18 metres squared.

This fee is charged on a pro rata monthly basis to 30 September.

Charities and not-for-profit organisations are exempt from paying fees if evidence is provided. 

An approval to display a licensable sign is transferable.