Domestic Poultry Ownership

General statutory conditions included in the Local Government Regulations 2005 cover the keeping of fowls, and enable Council to control to some degree the conditions under which they are kept, in order to prevent a nuisance or health hazard being caused to neighbours or other residents in the vicinity.

There are also general powers in the Local Government Regulations 2005 which allow Council to take action as necessary to protect the health of the public and prevent nuisance, as such noise, odour emissions, presence of flies or vermin, and to require cleanliness to be maintained.

The requirements the Local Government Regulations 2005 (shown below), must always be adhere to as a minimum.

Requirements for the construction of fowl and poultry houses, including the number of animals which may be kept, are specified in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development).

The specific references in the Local Government Regulations 2005 which are used by this Council to control the keeping of fowls, or to control the manner in which they are kept, are:

Local Government (General) Regulation 2005

SCHEDULE 2 – Standards enforceable by orders

Part 5 - Standards for keeping birds or animals

Division 2 - Keeping of poultry  

19. Poultry not to be nuisance or health risk

  1. Poultry must not be kept under such conditions as to create a nuisance or to be dangerous or injurious to health.
  2. Poultry yards must at all times be kept clean and free from offensive odours.

20. Poultry not to be kept near certain premises

  1. Fowls (that is, birds of the species Gallus gallus) or guinea fowls must not be kept within 4.5 metres (or such greater distance as the council may determine in a particular case) of a dwelling, public hall, school or premises used for the manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food.
  2. Poultry (other than fowls referred to in subclause (1) must not be kept within 30 metres of any building referred to in subclause (1).
  3. The floors of poultry houses must be paved with concrete or mineral asphalt underneath the roosts or perches. However, this subclause does not apply to poultry houses:
    a) that are not within 15.2 metres of a dwelling, public hall or school, or
    b) that are situated on clean sand.
  4. Poultry yards must be so enclosed as to prevent the escape of poultry.
  5. The standards in this clause apply to a person only if the council has served an order under section 124 of the Act to that effect on the person.

In the event of any complaint as to the number or type of poultry being kept of a property, or of a nuisance being caused, an inspection and assessment of the situation will be made by an Environmental Health Surveyor. This may result in the occupier of the premises being required to remove the birds from the premises, reduce their numbers, restrain them in a particular area, and/or provide upgrade facilities for them.

Section 124 Local Government Act 1993 - Orders

Order number To do what? In what circumstance? To who?
15 Not to conduct, or to cease conducting, an activity on premises (whether or not the activity is approved under this Act)

The activity constitutes or is likely to constitute:(a) a life threatening hazard, or(b) a threat to public health or public safety and is not regulated or controlled under any other Act by a public authority

Any person apparently engaged in promoting, conducting or carrying out the activity
18 Not to keep birds or animals on premises, other than of such kinds, in such numbers or in such manner as specified in the order

Birds or animals kept on premises are:(a) in the case of any premises (whether or not in a catchment district)-of an inappropriate kind or number or are kept inappropriately, or(b) in the case of premises in a catchment district-birds or animals (being birds or animals that are suffering from a disease which is communicable to man or to other birds or animals) or pigs

Occupiers of premises

To do or refrain from doing such things as are specified in the order to ensure that land is, or premises are, placed or kept in a safe or healthy condition

The land or premises are not in a safe or healthy condition Owner or occupier of land or premises
22 To store, treat, process, collect, remove, dispose of or destroy waste which is on land or premises in the manner specified in the order, provided that it is not inconsistent with regulations made under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997
Waste is present or generated on the land or premises and is not being dealt with satisfactorily, and is not regulated or controlled by, or subject to, a licence or notice granted or issued under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 Owner or occupier of land or premises, owner of or person responsible for the waste or for any receptacle or container in which the waste is contained


If noise from fowl is found as causing an inconvenience or determined as offensive noise appropriate action may be undertaken. Council may abate a public nuisance or order a person responsible for a public nuisance to abate it under Section 125 (Abatement of public nuisances) of the Local Government Act 1993, action is also available under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 noise provisions.

Note: "Abatement" means the summary removal or remedying of a nuisance (the physical removal or suppression of a nuisance) by an injured party without having recourse to legal proceedings.
"Nuisance" consists of interference with the enjoyment of public or private rights in a variety of ways. A nuisance is “public” if it materially affects the reasonable comfort and convenience of a sufficient class of people to constitute the public or a section of the public. For example, any wrongful or negligent act or omission in a public road that interferes with the full, safe and convenient use by the public of their right of passage is a public nuisance.