Section 36 of the Local Government Act 2009 (the Act) provides that a local government must not make a local law that prohibits the placement of election signs or posters.
The intent of these provisions is to protect the implied constitutional guarantee of freedom of political communication. With this in mind, it is considered appropriate that a local government could regulate the placement of election signs and posters in reasonable and appropriate circumstances.
What is an election sign?
Election signs are any freestanding advertising device identifying candidates promoting themselves and/or a political party at local, state or federal government elections.
In accordance with Council resolution of 28 July 2010 election signage must not be placed in any Council Park or Reserve and any signs placed on road reserves must meet the requirements as detailed below.
- Election signs are to be erected after the official notification of an election and removed within seven days after election polling day.
- Election signs must be non-rotating and must not be illuminated or incorporate reflective or fluorescent materials.
- The maximum size of an election sign is 0.6m².
- Election signs must not interfere with the road or its operations.
- Election signs are prohibited on motorways, freeways or roads of a similar standard.
- Election signs must always be located as close as practicable and parallel to the property boundary. This is particularly important in urban areas for safety reasons.
- No portion of an election sign shall project over the carriageway or any surface used by motor vehicles.
- Election signs must be located so as not to distract motorists, restrict sight distances on approaches to intersections, restrict the visibility of other authorised signs, or otherwise impact on safety.
- The placement of an election sign must not cause a safety hazard to other traffic (for example, pedestrians or cyclists).
- Election signs must not be fastened to trees or road infrastructure (for example, signs or guardrails).
- Signs must be made of a frangible material that is material that is designed to be easily broken. The stake or frame on which the sign is fastened should have a cross-section measurement of not more than 55mm x 25mm.
The following location requirements apply for election signs.
- In rural areas where the speed limit is 80km/h or less, frangible election signs must be located at least 3.5m from the edge of the nearest traffic lane.
- In rural areas where the speed limit is greater than 80km/h, frangible election signs must be located at least 6m from the edge of the nearest traffic lane.
Unrestricted display of election signs
Restrictions do not apply to an election sign displayed:
- On a vehicle when it is being used bonafide on a road as a vehicle and is not left stationary on a road for the principal purpose of providing a “static display”;
- at or near a stand or stall lawfully established under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 for a political purpose; and
- at, or in association with, a public assembly lawfully conducted under the Peaceful Assembly Act 1992, but only for the duration of the public assembly.
Additional election signage requirements
In addition, the following requirements apply to Election Signage:
- Guidelines issued under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 Section 328;
- Department of Transport and Main Roads Election Signage
Further information for the latest information on divisional maps, election dates, enrolment and electoral rolls, voting and nominations, visit Electoral Commission Queensland.