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City of Darwin leads the way with proposed new By-laws

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01 April 2021

City of Darwin is doing the most comprehensive review of its By-laws in 26 years and wants to hear feedback from the community on the proposed changes.

By-laws allow City of Darwin to respond to issues and community needs within the municipality and complement the responsibilities and powers under territory and federal government law.

The revised By-laws include new controls and increased penalties for dangerous dogs, conditions for keeping poultry and livestock, containing cats at home, clarifying controls about lighting fires on your property and increasing penalties for illegal dumping and driving down a pedestrian mall.

City of Darwin want community input to help design better By-laws. Community members have the opportunity to review and provide feedback on the proposed changes to ensure the most effective, suitable local laws for City of Darwin.

City of Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said the By-laws review is essential to ensure the safety of our community and environment.

“City of Darwin is encouraging people to provide their valuable feedback to inform changes of the By-laws.

“As a reflection of our commitment to reconciliation we are pleased to acknowledge the Larrakia people for the first time in our By-laws.

“The proposed By-laws include many suggested updates and improvements, particularly in relation to increasing fines for dangerous dogs.

“It is also proposed to strengthen the obligations of owners once a dog is declared dangerous to reduce dog attacks and increase and prioritise safety of the community and other pets.”

By-laws need to be current, fit for purpose and govern a number of areas under City of Darwin’s control, including:

  • Council and Administrative matters – regulation of meetings and processes
  • Health and Safety – including waste management and recycling
  • Animal Management – registration to menacing or dangerous dogs, cat containment and other animals
  • Public Facilities and Places – including swimming pools and recreation areas, markets, verges and activities such as busking
  • Public Libraries – their use and rules for membership, borrowing and behaviour
  • Outdoor Advertising – purpose and placement
  • Compliance and Enforcement – processes for fines and penalties.

City of Darwin has already contacted more than 40 specialist organisations to seek their perspective regarding its new By-laws.

A copy of the By-laws is available to read at

Consultation on the proposed changes is open from Wednesday, 31 March until Friday, 30 April, with several ways to provide feedback including via a formal submission at, by email to and by phone 08 8981 6445.

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