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Melbourne councils ‘wasting time and money’ considering questionable local laws

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A Melbourne council is considering banning barbecues and backyard fires.

Bayside Council is assessing a proposal banning solid fuel fires after receiving a petition signed by just five ratepayers.

But it’s not the only controversial law considered by a local council in Melbourne recently.

A new set of local laws took effect in Frankston City Council last Friday.

Among them are a ban on feeding seagulls and pigeons, a ban on leaving a caravan or boat parked in the street for more than seven days, and a ban on releasing balloons into open air.

In 2015, Darebin Council considered fining people $500 if they left their bin out for more than 24 hours after collection.

President of Ratepayers Victoria, Dean Hurlston, says councils waste time entertaining, and in some cases even implementing, ridiculous resident suggestions.

“Five ratepayers should not be able to get that much attention from a council,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“These things are coming to council and wasting councillors’ time and staff time because the way these recommendations are done are completely disconnected from reality.

“I think this is because … they don’t strategically go and consult the vast majority of the community before they put these stupid decisions before council.”

Mr Hurlston called for uniform local laws across metropolitan Victorian councils “so we stop wasting time and money”.

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