Local Government have many powers of entry onto private property
through various Acts of Parliament.
This update deals with the provisions of the Local Government
Act 1995 (WA) (the Act) which are in addition to and not a
derogation or erosion to any other powers of entry a local
government may have under another Act of Parliament.
When does the Act apply?
Part 1 Division 2, Subdivision 3 of the Act deals with powers of
entry. These provisions allow entry onto land – including
private land – where entry is required to perform a function
of the local government as set out in the Act.
"Subdivision 3 —
Powers of entry 3.28. When this Subdivision applies The powers of
entry conferred by this Subdivision may be used for performing any
function that a local government has under this Act if entry is
required for the performance of the function or in any other case
in which entry is authorised by this Act other than by a local
3.29. Powers of entry are
additional The powers of entry upon land conferred by this
Subdivision are in addition to and not in derogation of any power
of entry conferred by any other law." Local Government Act
Therefore all the sections in this subdivision apply only where
entry which is not authorised under another Act.
Local government officers can be assisted by people and
equipment when effecting entry. For example a local government
officer may use bolt cutters to remove a chain from a locked gate
(but must afterward the entry secure the gate) or be assisted by
police officers when entering a property.
Notice of Proposed Entry
Unless entry is required for an emergency purpose – in
order to enter a property the consent of an owner or occupier must
be obtained or notice of the proposed entry must have been given to
the owner or occupier at least 24 hours before the proposed entry.
This notice must detail the purpose for which entry is required and
for as long as that purpose remains in place successive entries are
deemed to relate to that single notice.
If entry is denied a warrant must be obtained for entry onto the
entry is refused, opposed or prevented;
entry cannot be obtained; or
notice can not be given without unreasonable difficulty or
without unreasonably delaying entry
then an entry warrant can be issued
by a Justice of the Peace (JP) upon the application of the local
If a local government or its CEO is of the opinion that to
comply with the entry provisions is impractical or unreasonable due
"imminent risk of –
injury or illness to any person; or
a natural or other disaster or emergency; or
such other occurrence as is prescribed for the purposes of
Then a local government may use reasonable force to exercise the
power of entry without complying with the other provisions so long
as notice of the entry is given to the owner or occupier as soon as
it is practical to do so.
Purpose of Entry
Whilst entering a property, a local government officer must give
the purpose of the entry and legislative basis for entry, if
requested to do so.
Local Government Officers should always enter properties using
the correct Act and in accordance with the provisions of that
Powers of entry under the Act (except in emergency situations)
requires one of the following:
Consent of an owner or occupier.
Notice of the proposed entry to be given to the owner at least
24 hours prior to the proposed entry.
An entry warrant.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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