Local Law Licensing for Businesses
Licensing provides the framework for an inspection and enforcement regime based on licensing requirements personal to the operator. These requirements or conditions are generally contained in the license.
Almost all of Council's licensing controls are contained in one local law, Local Law No. 9 (Licensing) with specific Subordinate Local Laws for each Prescribed Activity.
Each subordinate local law under Local Law No. 9 (Licensing) provides the finer details in respect to matters such as applications for a license, requirements for a license and records to be kept. Therefore it is necessary for each subordinate local law to be examined in conjunction with the local law.
It is designed to create greater certainty among operators and prospective operators regarding licensing requirements, including application requirements and license conditions.
Licenses and development permits
An approval under Council's Planning Scheme, generally known as a development permit, establishes the permitted use or activity on the land.
Some uses or activities create public health risks, and/or environmental and amenity impacts, and therefore require ongoing monitoring and surveillance. Licensing establishes a system for achieving this.
There are some exemptions to licensing, and these are contained in subordinate local laws. An exempted activity is still required to comply with certain requirements (prescribed criteria).
Closure and penalties
Only under circumstances such as when a person has repeatedly not complied with their license conditions, or has operated without a Council approval and license - will a closure or penalties - be considered.
Licenses under other legislation
Local Law No. 9 (Licensing) does not apply to an activity that is required to be licensed under a State law, either by the state government or a local government, provided that the license captures the intent of the local law. For example, a poultry farm licensed under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 would not be licensed under the Local Law No. 9 (Licensing). However, registration under the Workplace Health and Safety Act does not exempt an activity from also being licensed under the local law.
Obtaining a license
Some prescribed activities require a development permit under Council's Planning Scheme. In these cases, a license application form may be completed at the time of lodging the development application.
Development approval is required prior to the license application being determined. Some prescribed activities however do not require a development permit, for example, 'itinerant vending'.
License fees are set every year during Council's budget process. Fees will vary between each prescribed activity based on their relative impacts and risks.
License maintenance requirements
License conditions underpin every license and will vary depending on the nature of the activity. Essentially the conditions will relate to ensuring that the prescribed activity does not give rise to a risk of:
- harm to human health or safety
- property damage or loss of amenity
- environmental harm or environmental nuisance
- a nuisance in general.
Other requirements relate to compliance with conditions of a relevant development permit or Council's Planning Scheme and properly renewing the license when necessary.
With the exception of heavy vehicle parking, generally licenses are renewable annually and operate on a financial year cycle (1 July – 30 June). Council will post a renewal notice as a reminder to renew your license.
Council controls a wide range of prescribed activities under its Local Law No. 9 (Licensing). These activities are to be inspected and licensed annually by Council.
A prescribed activity is an activity which requires a license to operate or is subject to prescribed criteria under Local Law No. 9 (Licensing).
To apply for a Council license, prospective applicants need to firstly determine if Council approval is required to conduct the activity under Council's Planning Scheme and the Integrated Planning Act. Enquiries in this regard should be directed to the Development Assessment Branch on 07 3412 5269.
'On-the-spot fines' of $550 may be issued where a prescribed activity is conducted without a Council license.
Licensing enquiries may be directed to 07 3412 5318.