In Brisbane, the Health, Safety and Amenity Local Law 2021 (the Local Law) specifies certain types of fencing materials that are not permitted if the fences adjoin public access places such as parks, reserves, roads, footpaths and waterways.

Hazardous fencing material

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

Hazardous fencing materials such as razor wire, tiger wire and other materials which could cause harm to people or animals are only permitted in industrial areas. Use of these materials must comply with the Local Law.

In industrial areas, the hazardous fencing materials must be:

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

Electric fences

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

If you have an electric fence, you must install warning signs:

  • for any part adjoining a public access place – at regular intervals of no less than 5 metres apart along the electric fence
  • for any part of the electric fence not adjoining a public access place – at every point where a person or persons may gain access to the electric fence or conductors for the electric fence

Warning signs must:

  • be made of durable and weatherproof material; and
  • be at least 100mm x 200mm; and
  • have a yellow background colour on both sides of the warning sign; and
  • include the words “WARNING – ELECTRIC FENCE” in black on both sides of the warning sign; and
  • have indelible lettering that is no less than 25mm in height.

Brisbane City Council does not recommend the use of electric fences between privately owned properties.

Complaints 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.


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.

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