Brush fences

Council approval required

Brush fencing installed within 3 metres from an existing or proposed dwelling requires council approval.

In this case, other measures may be required to prevent fire transferring from the fence to the dwelling if such an unfortunate event was to occur.

Council approval not required

A brush fence or gate predominantly consisting of Broombrush (ie Melaleuca Unicnata) or similar forms of material installed at least 3 metres from an existing or proposed dwelling, does not require council approval.


The repairing of an existing brush fence or gate that does not enlarge the brush fence or gate does not require council approval.

If the repair work includes enlarging or altering the fence in any way within 3 metres of a dwelling it then requires council approval.

A development application must be lodged with and approved by council before construction can commence.

Boundary fences

The laws regarding fences have been established by the State Government.

Council has no role in their interpretation or enforcement beyond ensuring that where the fence is defined as development by the Development Act and Regulations, they meet some specific technical requirements.

Council's powers extend to fencing around pools and spas and the height of boundary fencing (see below).


Information in relation to the laws and procedures regarding fencing is available to the community. You can obtain a copy of the free booklet, 'Fences and the Law', produced by the Legal Services Commission of South Australia.

This booklet answers frequently asked questions about dividing fences and explains the legal procedure to be followed when someone wants to erect, replace or repair a boundary fence. In addition it also contains blank notice forms and referrals to mediation services and community legal services which may be able to assist you further.

Unresolved disputes

For unresolved disputes, please refer to Community Mediation Service SA.

Swimming pools and spas

Pools and spas are required to be fenced as follows:

  • The fence must be at least 1.2m high
  • The gate must swing outwards away from the pool/spa and be self-closing and self-latching with the latch at least 1.5m above the ground
  • All windows opening into the pool/spa area must be at least 1.2m above floor level or have screens or bars to prevent children accessing the pool/spa.

Safety requirements

From 1 October 2008 if your property contains a swimming pool and you are placing your property up for sale, you will need to ensure that your swimming pool barriers, no matter when the pool was built, are in line with the requirements which apply to pools built on or after July 1993.

From 2 December 2010, the use of child resistant doors as part of a swimming pool safety barrer is no longer permitted.

It is the responsibility of the party selling the property to ensure that the swimming pool safety is in line with the current requirements (refer to AS1926.1) prior to settlement.

Inflatable and portable pools

Some inflatable or portable swimming pools will now require approval from council. Please contact Council on (08) 8584 8000 for information before you purchase or install one of these pools.

Further enquiries

For further enquiries, contact council's development assessment unit or download the Is Your Swimming Pool Kid Safe Brochure from SA Planning. A copy of the brochure can be posted upon request.

Report inadequate fencing

To notify council of a swimming pool or spa without adequate fencing, please contact (08) 8584 8000.

Fish ponds

There is no requirement to fence a fish pond, however it is recommended that you place solid mesh or similar type of material either on the surface of the pond, or to a depth of 300mm from the water level of the pond to prevent drowning.