Alteration of public land

Council aims to protect public land for community use and enjoyment while at the same time allowing for and managing those alterations that are necessary.

To carry out work such as construction, excavation or similar, store goods and/or materials, install a permanent sign on public land and all other examples listed below, you will need approval to alter the land. This includes any land, water or fixture controlled by Council such as parks, road reserves, nature strips and median strips. 

Examples of alterations include:

  • planting, clearing, removing or interfering with flora, fauna, flora material, fauna material, soil, sand, rock, water or other material such as installation of artificial turf
  • installing, removing or interfering with any building structure such as a shipping container, permanent sign or equipment
  • depositing or removing material
  • lighting a fire
  • changing the ordinary use or enjoyment of land.

Council regulates these activities to ensure they are carried out safely while taking other public space users and residents into consideration, and to maintain the purpose and amenity of our public spaces.

You need to apply with all supporting documentation at least 30 business days before you need to alter public land. This allows time to review your submission, request any further information, conduct a final assessment and make a decision.

Once all supporting documents have been provided, your application will be reviewed and assessed under the Alteration of Public Land Local Law 2023.

How to apply

Step 1.Prepare a site plan

Provide a detailed site plan (drawn to scale) showing dimensions of any equipment or materials and their location. You will need to provide evidence that you can maintain a minimum access space of:

  • 1.8 metres for low traffic areas
  • 2.5 metres for high traffic areas.

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, in the same name as the applicant, should be provided with your application.

Step 4.Collect supporting documents

If applicable, you will also need to provide:

  • a traffic management plan and completed road closure application from the relevant approving authority 
  • any relevant licenses, registrations or approvals, such as Development Approval for Building Work and Form 15 – Compliance Certificate for Building Design or Specification
  • details of all third-party operators, such as the skip bin provider
  • for permanent signs on public land:
    • details of any illumination, animation, moving parts, reflective material or third-party advertising that the proposed sign will contain 
    • if the proposed sign is to be located on land, structures or infrastructure that the applicant does not own and is not public land, please provide the owner’s written consent to the installation. 

Step 5.Review conditions

Make sure you review and understand the Alteration of public land conditions(PDF, 456KB). Specific conditions may be added after your application has been assessed.

Step 6.Review fees and charges

In accordance with Council's fees and charges, an application fee of T1206 is payable at the time of your application. Council will contact you for payment.

A commercial use of public land fee of T1194 may be payable if the activity is of a commercial nature for example, soliciting or carrying on the supply of goods and services for profit and renewable. 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.

Step 7.Submit an application

Download and complete the Alteration of public land application(PDF, 937KB) form and submit along with your supporting documents:

The applicant for an approval must be a legal entity, such as an individual, company, incorporated body, unincorporated body, partnership, body corporate or trustee.

Dial before you dig Australia

Dial before you dig Australia is a free pre-excavation referral service for Australian individuals and businesses. They provide a single point of contact to request information about any infrastructure networks at your planned project site without needing to contact utility organisations individually. To access this free service: