Council’s Local laws regulate a broad range of issues in our community.

The Queensland Government Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs maintain a database of local laws made by local government in Queensland. Go to the Queensland Government database for local laws applying in the Douglas Shire.

Summary of Local Laws applying in Douglas Shire:

Local Law 1 - Administration


  • Fines for some prescribed activities unless there is a current Council approval.
  • How to apply and fees for a prescribed activity and to transfer or amend conditions of an approval.
  • Enforcement of any of the local laws.
  • How Council suspends or cancels approvals of prescribed activities.
  • How to apply for review of a decision made by Council under any of the local laws.
  • What happens to abandoned, seized or impounded things.

A prescribed activity is an activity for which a Local Government Act authorises the local government to grant an approval but does not make any other provision, except provision that is consistent with this part, about the process for the local government to grant the approval.

Some examples of prescribed activities include:

  • Foreshore activities
  • Busking
  • Concerts
  • Festivals
  • Equipment Hire
  • Life-saving competition;
  • Markets
  • Motor vehicles (other than emergency vehicles) including quad bikes and motorcycles unless it is a road
  • Organised sport or recreation activities
  • Sale of goods and services (including food or drink)
  • Social or community events for more than 50 people
  • Weddings
  • An advertisement or sign visible from a road or other public place requiring a Council approval.
  • Commercial vehicle identification labels for Local Law 5 Parking to park in loading zones.
  • Footpath dining permits for the Commercial Activities on Roads local law.
  • Keeping of animals and other activities requiring a Council approval under Local Law 2 Animal Management.
  • Living aboard a vessel or anchoring for more than 48 hours in Port Douglas Boat Harbour.
  • Temporary entertainment events that are open to the public.
Local Laws 1 - AdministrationSubordinate - Local Laws 1 - Administration

Local Law 2 - Animal Management


  • How many, what type, how and where animals can be kept.
  • Control of animals in public places, for example dog off-leash areas.
  • Prohibiting the sale of cats or dogs unless the sale is by licensed breeders or under a current Council approval.
  • Requiring pet shops, catteries and kennels to have a current Council approval.
  • Seizing, impounding and destroying animals.
  • How impounded animals are reclaimed or sold.
  • Appeal to the Magistrates Court against a destruction order.

The Animal Management Local Law Regulates The Keeping Of Animals, For Example:

  • Cats and pigs cannot be kept in the Conservation Planning Area; and
  • Pigs, roosters and stallions cannot be kept on land smaller than one hectare.

Council Approval Is Required To Keep:

  • More than two cats.
  • More than six chickens on land 450m2 to 800m2.
  • More than two dogs and only on land bigger than 450m2.
  • More than one horse and only on land of 2,000m2 or larger.

Council Approval Is Required To Breed:

  • Birds or poultry on land smaller than 2,000m2.
  • Cats or dogs
  • Cattle, goats or horses on land smaller than 10,000m2.
  • Chickens must be kept more than 10m from a home and 5m of a property boundary or road.

Applications for Council approval are made under Local Law 1 Administration.

Useful Links
Queensland local laws database

Animal complaints

Local Laws 2 - Animal ManagementSubordinate - Local Laws 2 - Animal Management

Local Law 3 – Community & Environmental Management


  • Animal and plant pests.
  • Fires (for example to burn rubbish, and fire hazards).
  • Hazards, unsightly things and problems for neighbours, for example:
    • barbed wire fences next to a park or house;
    • disused, broken down or rusty metal, machines and vehicles;
    • electric fences;
    • refuse from cleaning fish;
    • smoke from outdoor cooking ovens; and
    • things that could be airborne and cause injury.
  • Hoarding.
  • Noise, for example:
    • from building work on Sunday and public holidays, or before 6.30am and after 6.30pm on any other day;
    • from a regulated device before 8am or after 7pm on Sunday and public holidays, or before 7am or after 7pm on any other day;
    • some generators north of the Daintree River between 10pm and 7am, or between 7am and 7pm, or between 7pm and 10pm depending on the noise level;
    • pumps, swimming pool pumps and spa blowers between 10pm and 7am, or between 7am and 7pm, or between 7pm and 10pm depending on the noise level; and
  • Overgrown vegetation.

Some regulated devices are:

  • a compressor;
  • a lawn mower and leaf blower; and
  • power tools including pneumatic power tools.


Local Laws 3 - Community and Environmental ManagementSubordinate - Local Laws 3 - Community and Environmental Management

Local Law 4 – Local Government Controlled Areas, Facilities & Roads


  • Activities on local government controlled areas or roads, for example:
    • flying model aircraft;
    • occupying by landscaping or keeping garden furniture or a bbq on a neighbouring park or drainage reserve;
    • racks of clothing and hats on footpaths;
    • prohibiting vegetation obstructing a footpath; and
    • vegetation obstructing the driver’s view of the road which is prohibited.
  • Roads, for example:
    • hire of pedicabs;
    • fences to prevent animals being on roads; and
    • displaying a street number to be seen from the road.

Local government controlled areas include land, facilities and infrastructure. Local government controlled land is managed or owned by Council. The Queensland Government may own the land. Examples are:

  • Some boat ramps.
  • Camping reserves.
  • Cemeteries.
  • Drainage reserves;
  • Foreshore between high and low water and adjoining esplanade;
  • Parks.
  • Port Douglas Boat Harbour.
  • Public halls.
  • Recreation / sport reserves.

Local government facilities are a place, amenity, or piece of equipment of Council provided for a particular purpose such as:

  • Council CCTV;
  • Council water or sewerage pipe on private property;
  • the ferry; and
  • a public toilet

Local government infrastructure is a type of local government facility and includes water supply and sewer.



Local Laws 4 - Local Government Controlled Areas, Facilities & RoadsSubordinate - Local Laws 4 - Local Government Controlled Areas, Facilities & Roads

Local Law 5 – Parking


The Parking local law is about traffic areas, off-street regulated parking areas, parking permits and minor traffic offences.

The Parking local law does this under traffic legislation made by the Queensland Parliament called the Traffic Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995.

Applications for permits are made under Local Law 1 Administration.

Request To Withdraw Penalty Infringement Notice 

Council may consider withdrawing a PIN for several reasons.

These include:

1) The PIN was issued in error.

2) You were not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the offence and the actual driver acknowledges and accepts responsibility for the offence.

3) You had sold the vehicle prior to the offence occurring.

4) The vehicle or registration plates were stolen and you were not in possession of the vehicle at the time of the offence.

5) At the time the offence occurred you were involved in a medical emergency.

6) The vehicle broke down and you were unable to park in a regulated car parking space or other suitable legal location.

7) Regulatory signage had been removed, damaged or obscured to the point where visibility was significantly affected and/or road markings were not visible at the time the offence occurred.

LL33 - Request To Withdraw Penalty Infringement Notice 24-25 (254.3 KiB)

Local Laws 5 - ParkingSubordinate - Local Laws 5 - Parking

Local Law 6 – Bathing Reserves


The Bathing Reserves local law is about that part of the beach and sea declared in 1973 as bathing reserves and activities including the role of life-savers in bathing reserves. The bathing reserves are at:

  • Four Mile Beach
  • Newell Beach
  • Oak Beach
  • Pebbly Beach
  • Rocky Point Beach
  • Thornton Beach
  • Wonga Beach



Local Laws 6 - Bathing ReservesSubordinate - Local Laws 6 - Bathing Reserves

Temporary Entertainment Permits

If your event needs a Prescribed Activity Approval, you will need to submit an application to Douglas Shire Council with ample time to ensure the approval can issued in time for the event.

Forms are available for:

  • Medium/High impact activity or event
  • Low impact activity or event
  • Commercial activity on public land
  • Commercial filming and photography on public land
  • Land an aircraft on public land.
  • Fireworks on public land
  • Roadside or itinerant vending
  • Work or deposit goods on public land
Find your form here

Local Law Enforcement

Council’s local law enforcement program responds to complaints and concerns, and works to ensure that businesses, residents, builders and developers comply with relevant Local Laws, State legislation and the Douglas Planning Scheme.  It also plays an important role in engaging and educating the community about the laws and regulations which guide our activities as responsible neighbours and citizens.

Key enforcement activities are:

  • Investigate complaints and alleged breaches of local laws.
  • Issue notices and directions as they pertain to local laws and legislation.
  • Collect evidence and prepare reports in relation to the prosecution of offenders.
  • Conduct auctions of abandoned vehicles and release, under approval, vehicles to owners and authorised purchasers.

Common issues:

Overgrown Allotments (Vacant Lands)

A property can be considered overgrown if the vegetation can afford shelter or attraction for vermin or is generally unsightly.

When Council receives a complaint about overgrown vacant land or neglected dwellings, a Local Laws Compliance Officer will inspect the property and if necessary, make arrangements for the property to be cleared.

Council must give due notice to the land’s owner to remedy the breach. If no action has been taken before this time elapses, Council will issue an Enter and Clear Notice to its subcontractors to appropriately treat the overgrown property. These costs are added to the owner’s rates notice for payment.

Abandoned Vehicles

Any suspected unregistered or abandoned vehicle parked on the side of a Council-controlled road or within Council land may be issued with a Notice under the Transportation Operations (Road Use Management) Act (1995).

The notice generally gives the vehicle’s owner 48 hours to move the vehicle. Where a vehicle is deemed to be in a hazardous location, Council may remove it immediately. If the vehicle is not moved, it will be impounded and subsequently offered for sale by auction unless claimed within a specified time frame.

To collect an impounded vehicle, the owner must provide sufficient proof of ownership and proof of identity, and pay all costs incurred in the removal and storage of the vehicle. Owners must make an appointment with Council’s Pound Officer to arrange release of the vehicle.

View current impounded cars here

Activities On Roads: Cars And Goods For Sale Or Display

Council prohibits the sale of vehicles and the offering of vehicles for sale on roads.

To do so is a breach of Local Law No. 1 (Administration) 2020, Schedule 8 – Commercial use of local government controlled areas and roads to place a vehicle for sale on any Council-controlled road.

These restrictions apply equally to licensed motor dealers and residents. Offenders will be issued with a Notice to Remedy and fines can be issued for breaches.

It is also a breach of Local Law  No. 1 (Administration) 2020, Schedule 8 – Commercial use of local government controlled areas and roads for any person to place trestles or any other display of goods on a footpath without the prior approval of Council. Penalties apply.