Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Where do you go if Council can’t help you?

Two days ago I provided a list of things that might cause you concern about developments next door. Yesterday I followed this up with an explanation of where you can obtain assistance from Council.

Accordingly, today I will explain where to go if Council can’t help you.

Some concerns are simply conflicts between neighbours. Yet others, are non-Council regulatory matters. In each case, you can follow these guidelines.

Matters that need to be resolved between neighbours?

Boundary fences

Council has no authority to intervene in fencing disputes. Disputes therefore over fences and boundaries are between the neighbours. They are dealt with under the Fences Act 1975. Further information can be found at Fences (

Council’s only involvement with fences is to assess an application for the construction of a fence that requires development approval.  This applies to masonry fencing above 1 metre in height and other fences above 2.1 metres in height.


Lack of advance notice of works occurring

Again, this is a matter between neighbours. The developer is a neighbour for the time being. The exception is when situations such as early commencement of works require Council consent. This can occur with Multi-Unit Development, such as the developments currently under construction on Greenhill and Unley Roads.

Giving notice of early construction is a good neighbourly thing to do. It is not a legal requirement, however. Council therefore cannot intervene. We cannot, therefore, require notification of commencement to neighbours.


Dilapidation surveys

Any damage likewise to neighbouring properties would be between the two neighbours, including boundary fences. If the owner wishes to undertake their own dilapidation survey then they are free to do so. In fact, I would encourage it. Council would only require a dilapidation survey where there is significant construction, such as deep excavation.


Matters that other agencies responsible for?

Site safety

Safe working sites and the enforcement of Work, Health and Safety regulations are the responsibility of Safework SA.  Likewise the handling of hazardous materials (such as asbestos). More information can be found on their website Our role | SafeWork SA


Poor behaviour (violent behaviour, abusive language) is a SAPOL responsibility. Don’t get involved yourself if you’re concerned about such things as bullying or witness assaults etc. Contact SAPOL instead. They will investigate.

Hopefully, this helps you to know where to go if Council can’t help you.