This page explains how the City of Yarra General Local Law applies to election campaign activity in Yarra for local, state and federal elections and what assistance Council can provide.
General Local Law
Activity in public spaces in the City of Yarra is governed by our General Local Law. That local law provides restrictions and sets out permit requirements relating to obstruction or restriction of roads and footpaths, the placement of advertising boards and the handing out of flyers.
In recognition of the fact that this provision may apply to some political campaign activity, we have put in place specific arrangements to assist candidates to comply with the local law, and to remove restrictions on political campaigning to the greatest extent possible. These arrangements are set out in the Political Activity on Council Land or at Events Guidelines.
Local Law Permits
Candidates do not require a permit to undertake any of the following:
- Door knocking
- Display of signage on a vehicle or trailer while in transit or lawfully parked on street
- Display of signage on a vehicle or trailer parked on private land with the permission of the landowner where a planning permit is either in place or not required
- Display of signage on private land, fences or structures where a planning permit is either in place or not required
- Display of a signage and/or handing out flyers, brochures or promotional material on Council-controlled land within 20 metres of an early voting centre or a polling place
Permits are required to do any of the following on Council controlled land (except near an early voting centre or polling place):
- Hand out flyers, brochures or promotional material
- Display free-standing signage (eg an A-board), banners or flags
- Set up a promotional stall, table, information display, brochure rack or similar
To obtain a permit, contact us at [email protected] or on 9205 5555. Please let us know what you would like to do, and where and when you plan to do it. We have in place a fast-track assessment system and in most cases, permits applied for during business hours will be issued within 24 hours.
All permits for political activity are free of charge.
The placement of signage in public places comes with risks, and in the event of injury or damage to private property, candidates may find themselves exposed to potential legal liability. While it is possible to purchase insurance to protect against this risk, community based candidates often find this insurance difficult or expensive to secure.
In recognition of these factors, and in an attempt to reduce the barriers to participation in local elections, Council has extended its community liability insurance to cover candidates in some circumstances.
Political activity conducted in accordance with a permit issued by Council is covered by our insurance.
Gleadell Street Market
Gleadell Street Market in Richmond is a popular location for political campaigning, and candidates are welcome to attend. Political activity outside the confines of the market is permitted and is not subject to any additional restrictions other than the requirement to have a permit for some activity as set out above.
The only specific provision that applies at the market is that political campaigning cannot take place within the confines of the market itself (ie within the area bounded by the road closure). Gleadell Street Market is operated by Council on public land and is considered to be a Council event. Council events need to remain apolitical in this regard, and political candidates and their supporters are asked to respect Council's position in relation to the market area itself.
You are very welcome to conduct campaign activity near either the Bridge Road and Highett Street market entrances, provided any necessary permit has been issued in accordance with the arrangements above.
For further information about any of the matters set out in this letter, or to report activity which appears to breach these requirements, contact us at [email protected] or on 9205 5555.