Fences and boundary disputes

In Brisbane, certain types of fencing materials are not permitted if the fences adjoin public property such as parks, reserves, roads, footpaths and waterways.

Hazardous fencing material

Barbed wire is only permitted in industrial and rural areas. The barbed wired must not endanger people using the adjacent public land.

Razor wire, tiger wire and other materials which could cause harm to people or animals is only permitted in industrial areas. Use of these materials must comply with the Health, Safety and Amenity Local Law 2009.

In industrial areas, the hazardous fencing materials must be:

  • at least two metres above ground level; or
  • separated from publicly accessible areas by a barrier

Electric fences

In all areas of Brisbane electric fences must be separated from a publicly accessible area by a setback or physical barrier.

Brisbane City Council does not recommend the use of electric fences between privately owned properties. It may be considered a criminal offence to cause death or injury to people as a result of failing to maintain a safe environment on privately owned land. 

A complaint regarding an electric fence located between two privately owned properties is a civil matter. It should be discussed with the adjoining property owner or your legal adviser.

Fence or boundary disputes

The Queensland Government regulates how fencing disputes between neighbours are resolved.

The Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011 deals with constructing and repairing fences that divide adjoining land. It aims to help you obtain a monetary contribution from your neighbour and includes instructions about how to resolve any disputes.

The Department of Justice and Attorney General can help you to avoid conflict with your neighbour about fences.

If you and your neighbour can’t resolve the problem, the State Justice Department Dispute Resolution Centre can provide mediation without legal action. If an agreement can’t be reached, the dispute can be taken to the Magistrates Court or the Small Claims Tribunal.

Approvals

Building and planning approvals are not needed for a proposed front, side or rear boundary fence if it meets particular fence design or construction requirements.

Swimming pools

All swimming pools must be enclosed by an approved barrier and meet the swimming pool safety regulations.