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

    New laws to clarify neighbourly rights over trees and fences

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

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    New laws to clarify neighbourly rights over trees and fences

    Queenslanders will have a clear framework for resolving disputes between neighbours over trees and fences under new laws introduced into State Parliament today.

    Attorney General Cameron Dick said the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Bill 2010 outlined a simplified, low-cost solution to sorting out neighbourly differences about trees and dividing fences.

    “Trees and fences generate many of the disputes that occur between neighbours but the laws relating to these issues are either old or non-existent,” Mr Dick said.

    “This Bill clarifies issues such as what is a sufficient dividing fence and who is responsible for the care and maintenance of trees.

    “The Bill modernises dividing fences legislation, provides clear arrangements regarding overhanging tree branches and introduces a simplified remedy to deal with problem trees.’’

    Mr Dick said the Bill, which was released for consultation in May, attracted a strong response with more than 200 submissions received from individuals, local governments and other interested parties.

    He said issues dealing with trees attracted the greatest public interest during consultation.

    “While a variety of views were expressed, it was crystal clear that the community expects a tree’s owner or keeper to be responsible for the proper care and maintenance of a tree growing on their land,’’ Mr Dick said.

    “While the Bill will not resolve every problem involving troublesome trees, it will help take the heat out of many neighbourhood disputes.

    Mr Dick said the Bill also introduced a clear concept of what is a sufficient dividing fence.

    “The legislation provides a clear picture of when a fence needs to be replaced and what is a reasonable contribution to its installation and/or maintenance,” he said.

    The Bill is expected to be debated in Parliament next year.

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