Is your type of fencing allowed in your locality?
A fence can make a whole lot of difference for any residential and commercial property. Aside from providing privacy and security, it can add value and charm to the property, because your choice of fencing materials and design can complement the style of your house, as well as showcase the scenery around you. For example, steel fencing could be perfect for a modern home with its sleek and elegant façade. Steel fencing is also great for amazing bush or waterfront locations.
However, while you basically have carte blanche when it comes to the design and materials of your fencing, it still needs to follow certain laws and standards. When it comes to fencing materials, some can be used with discretion, but some fencing materials are not permitted allowed in some places in Australia: a:
Asbestos was widely used in Australia for all kinds of construction materials since the 1930s. Asbestos became a popular choice amongst builders because of its resistance to heat, fire and harsh weather conditions, exceptional insulation properties, durability, malleability, and low cost.
However, Asbestos was phased out during the 1980s because of the harmful health effects it inflicted on those who previously worked with and in the presence of this toxic mineral. On 31 December 2003, Asbestos was completely banned in Australia. Today, it is illegal to import, sell, install, use and re-use Asbestos materials. This makes Asbestos cement at the top of the list of fencing materials that are not allowed in Australia.
People think of ways to protect their homes from intruders. Sometimes, some of the things they think about is laying out broken glass or other sharp materials on top of their fence. These are potentially harmful projections and can injure or, worse, accidentally kill innocent people. Therefore, broken glass and other projections cannot be used as fencing materials in Western Australia and other parts of the country.
Barbed wire (subject to conditions)
Barbed wire is not entirely illegal in Australia. However, a homeowner or owner-occupier of a residential lot cannot affix or use any barbed wire on a fence bounding that property. Other uses of barbed wire for fencing are bound by certain restrictions and conditions:
- Owners and occupiers of townsite, rural or rural residential lots are not allowed to place the barbed wire on a fence that is close to a public place, such as a thoroughfare, unless the barbed wire is fixed to the top or side of the fence posts furthest from any public place.
- Owners and occupiers of commercial, industry or special use and service industry lots are not allowed to use barbed wire in any way for their fencing, except if:
- the barbed wire is attached on posts either vertically or at a 45-degree angle.
- the bottom row of barbed wire is not less than 2 metres above the ground level.
- the face of the fence is set back from the property boundary if the posts carrying the barbed wire are angled towards the outside of the lot.
Razor wire (subject to special permits)
Razor wire fencing is used to prevent humans from entering a property. It is made to snag and rip clothes and flesh and can do some serious damage. That is why razor wire fencing can only be put up by an owner or occupier of a lot after obtaining approval from the local government. Approval will not be issued if:
- the property to be bound by razor-wire fencing is next to a residential or townsite lot.
- the fencing is within 3 metres of the boundary of the property.
- the razor wire to be affixed to the fencing is less than 2 metres or more than 2.4 metres above the ground level.
Combustible materials (not allowed in bushfire-prone areas)
Combustible materials such as wood and plastic should not be used for fencing in areas prone to bushfires. Instead, owners and occupiers of lots in these areas should use stone, concrete and other non-combustible materials. If you live in any of these areas, your stone or concrete fence can somehow protect you in case of a bushfire and prevent it from spreading into your home fast.
Electrified fencing (subject to conditions)
Electrified fencing should not be used and will not get approval if:
- the property to be enclosed with electrified fencing is adjacent to a residential or townsite property.
- there are no provisions that will render the electrified fence inoperable during business hours.
- the fencing is not made to Australian standard AS/NZS 3016:1994.
Pre-used materials (subject to special permits)
If you are planning to use pre-used materials for your fencing, you will need the approval of the local council. This applies to fences for residential, commercial and industrial lots. Note, however, that painting or treating the pre-used fencing materials as directed by the building surveyor increases your chance of obtaining approval from the government.
Hire a Trusted Fencing Specialist Who Knows Their Stuff
At Chainwire Fencing Specialist, we know the ins and outs of the fencing business. It doesn’t matter if you are looking to construct a temporary or security fence; we are here to help. With more than 15 years in the fencing industry, we can advise you on the best products and materials that suit your specific needs and purpose. Let us know how we can serve you: Call 02 4023 5416 today, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us an online message by clicking here and we will get back to you as soon as we can.