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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Last chance to have a say on neighbourhood dispute laws

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    Last chance to have a say on neighbourhood dispute laws

    Attorney-General Cameron Dick today encouraged Queenslanders to have their say on draft neighbourhood dispute laws before submissions close on 9 July.

    “I am encouraging all Queenslanders to provide their feedback on this important law reform to help ensure our neighbourhoods are peaceful and friendly places to live,” Mr Dick said.

    “There is just over one week left for people to give us their feedback on what they think about the new laws that relate to two of the most common causes of disputes – trees and fences.

    “There has already been a strong response with about 150 submissions received so far, so clearly there is a lot of community interest in preventing and solving some of the most common causes of conflict in our neighbourhoods.

    “The proposed laws will modernise and simplify the way neighbours handle disputes over trees and fences.

    “The fact is that Queensland’s population is growing and we are living in closer proximity to each other, so our laws need to reflect this.

    “The Bligh Government is committed to working together with the community to tackle the challenges of growth – and that includes these types of neighbourly disputes that may arise from time to time,” he said.

    Key changes proposed in the draft Bill include:
    • clearer definitions of “sufficient dividing fence” and the types of trees covered by the proposed new laws
    • a framework for resolving disputes between neighbours over trees and fences, including the use of formal notices for contributing to and/or maintaining a dividing fence
    • clarification of the responsibilities of a “tree keeper” (usually the tree’s owner) to ensure their tree does not cause injury or damage to persons or a neighbour’s property
    • the use of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to adjudicate disputes.

    Mr Dick said the draft Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Bill would provide a framework to allow neighbours to resolve disputes about overhanging trees and boundary fences.

    “No one wants their relationship with a neighbour to turn sour over something that could be easily resolved. These laws will make it easier for neighbours to resolve disputes before they get out of hand,” Mr Dick said.

    “Friendly, tight-knit communities are one of Queensland’s great strengths and the proposed laws will help us preserve this lifestyle.

    “At the end of the day, we want to keep people out of the courts by ensuring they have a clear understanding of their rights, and accessible mechanisms to resolve disputes amicably, as good neighbours.”

    The draft Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Bill is available at www.justice.qld.gov.au, and feedback can be provided until 9 July 2010.

    Media contact:
    Office of the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations 3239 3487