We value our local environment and recognise the important role we play in preserving and enhancing it for the benefit of our community.
Local nuisance is described in the Act as being any adverse impact on the amenity value of an area, which unreasonably interferes with, or is likely to unreasonably interfere with, the enjoyment of that area by people in that area.
Some common examples of activities that may be considered a local nuisance include:
The Act specifies what can constitute a local nuisance and can therefore be investigated by Council.
Council does not have authority to address other nuisance activities not covered in the Act, for example:
The Act allows the Council to consider the granting of an exemption from local nuisance-causing activities upon application.
Exemptions may be reasonable for short-term activities such as concerts, events or major construction activities, where some level of dust or other local nuisance is likely to be unavoidable.
The Council can apply strict conditions to ensure that an applicant does everything reasonable to minimise the impact of the nuisance. An exemption by the Council may be unconditional or subject to conditions, including (but not limited to) conditions relating to the:
A declaration for exemption by the Council has effect from the date specified in the declaration and remains in force according to its terms for a period not exceeding 3 months, or until revoked by the council. The council may, by further notice in writing, vary or revoke a declaration it has made.
If you are planning activities or an event in the City of Unley and wish to seek an exemption from Section 18 of the Act (Causing Local Nuisance) please complete the Local Nuisance Exemption Application and lodge it with the Council. You must also attach a Site Nuisance Management Plan.
The Site Nuisance Management Plan must outline the steps that will be taken to prevent, minimise or address any adverse effects on the local area. The Plan should also demonstrate that exceptional circumstances exist to justify the granting of an exemption.
The Site Nuisance Management Plan is contained within the Local Nuisance Exemption Application Form.
Burning rubbish or any other matter in a backyard incinerator or in the open is prohibited.
Clause 5 of the Environment Protection (Air Quality) Policy 2016 allows burning in the open within metropolitan Adelaide where it is for:
You can create a fire for cooking or heating only if you use dried, untreated and unpainted timber or dried garden prunings and do not cause a smoke or ash nuisance.
Penalties apply for breaches.
During the Fire Danger Season (on days when there is not a Total Fire Ban) the following additional requirements must be observed:
Wood smoke contains many different chemicals, some of which are toxic to humans. When these chemicals are inhaled they cause health problems in young children and the elderly, particularly those with respiratory (breathing) and cardiovascular (heart) illnesses.
Domestic wood-burning heaters are one of the main sources of pollution affecting air quality in the Adelaide metropolitan area in winter—second only to motor vehicle emissions.
To gain the maximum efficiency from your wood heater or open fireplace and to help the local environment you should:
Fences less than 2.1m high on a common property boundary between neighbours are usually subject to the Fences Act 1975. Council has no jurisdiction over these types of fences with the exception of the following circumstances, where Development Approval should be sought if:
Bed bugs are irritating, blood-feeding insects that hide in cracks and crevices, coming out at night to feed. Bed bugs can unwittingly be carried into clean well-kept properties, just by the movement of second-hand furniture from an infested property. Once an area has become infested with bed bugs, they can be quite difficult to eradicate.
The adult bed bug is an oval insect, 5mm long by about 3mm wide. If the bed bug has not recently fed it is flat and red-brown in colour. Once it has taken a feed it changes to a dark mahogany colour and becomes more rounded.
Bed bugs are not known to carry disease. However their blood feeding may:
If you find a swarm of bees on your property, you should call an apiarist. Contact Bee Keepers Society of SA for a list of ‘Swarm Removalists’ or a pest controller. Remember that most bees can sting, so it is best to stay away from them.
During spring and the early months of summer, a colony of bees may leave its hive and establish another colony elsewhere. This is a natural instinct of the bees during which some of the bees from the existing colony will swarm out to find a new home. When the bees have found a suitable site, they will begin building a new hive.
Swarming bees are generally not inclined to sting providing they are left alone. It is advisable to vacate the area (if possible) until the swarm has settled. Watch for foraging bees flying to and from the area and be sure to wear protective footwear to protect your feet from bees that have landed on the ground.
Do not attempt to remove a swarm by throwing rocks at it, dousing it with a hose or discharging a firearm. These actions are likely to aggravate the bees and encourage them to defend their hive. Often bees that clump together on a tree or fence may take off in a couple of days. If they have found a home in a tree hollow or wall cavity, then assistance will be required to remove them.
To report a swarm that has settled in a street tree, a Council-owned building or on a Council Reserve, please contact the City of Unley on 8372 5111. An officer will take your report of the whereabouts of the bees.
Mosquitoes breed in still water and primarily during the summer months.
The best way to control mosquitoes is to remove the places where they can breed. Removing all opportunities for water to collect and remain undisturbed is the best place to start. Some things to consider include:
Mosquitoes can also breed in containers or tanks used to store stormwater, grey water and rainwater. Containers should be emptied, fitted with a well sealing lid, or openings covered with mosquito-proof mesh. If mosquito larvae ('wrigglers') are present then screen or close-off the point of entry. Do not allow water to pool in containers below the outlets or taps.
As a last resort, rainwater tanks can be treated by adding a small amount of liquid paraffin or domestic kerosene. Do not apply kerosene if water levels are low.
Add 5ml of kerosene or one teaspoon for a 1 kilolitre tank – up to 15ml or three teaspoons for a 10 kilolitre tank. When using paraffin, double the dose. Consult your rainwater tank manufacturer about whether kerosene can be used.
To avoid bites, you should:
All possums are protected animals in South Australia. In accordance with the provisions of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972, it is an offence to handle or interfere with any native animal without a permit. This offence carries a minimum $2,500 fine or an imprisonment term of six months.
If you require a permit, you may make application to your local ranger from the Department of Water and Environment by:
Please keep in mind that capturing possums can cause harm and distress to the animal if the trap is not managed properly. You must consider how much time the possum will spend in the trap, protection of the possum from any predators while trapped and also from environmental effects such as dehydration.
The possum must be released on the same property within 50m of the site of capture. You should release the possum after dusk and ensure that all reasonable steps to protect the possum from injury or predation by other animals are taken.
Trapping and releasing possums without possum-proofing your building will not solve the problem.
Further information on possums is available from Department for Environment and Water.
The rise of drone technology has seen an increase in the number of drones or remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) for both recreational and commercial purposes.
Australia’s safety laws for RPAs are governed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and is broken into two categories - flying commercially or recreationally.
If you are flying a RPA which weighs over 2kg for economic gain, you need to have an RPA Operator’s Certificate (ReOC) from CASA.
If your RPA weighs less than two kilograms a certificate is not required, however you do need to notify CASA.
Under both circumstances, you need to follow CASA’s standard operating conditions and safety rules.
If you are flying for fun and not for economic gain, then the regulations are less restrictive. You do not need to be certified, providing you follow some simple safety rules.
If you are concerned about drones and your privacy, you can contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner for more information or phone 1300 363 992.
CASA’s regulations address issues that arise if a RPA is being operated in a way that creates a hazard to another aircraft, another person or property.
If you wish to report unsafe drone operations, please complete the CASA online complaint form.
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