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Council beefs up digital advertising laws to protect road users

08 August, 2013

Council beefs up digital advertising laws to protect road users

Brisbane City Council has passed changes to the City’s advertising laws that will beef up the regulation around digital commercial billboards and signs to protect road users against distraction.

Cr Cooper said this was just one of a number of proposed changes, which would also cut red tape for small businesses to help them attract more customers and potentially save them thousands of dollars, as well as continue to protect the amenity of local residents across Brisbane.

Cr Cooper said the changes were the first since 2005 and were aimed at ensuring Council's laws kept pace with advancements in digital technology.

"We've worked closely with the Outdoor Media Association and other representatives to ensure advertisers have clear guidelines about how they can use these new technologies without adversely impacting the community," Cr Cooper said.

"Roadside digital advertisements that flash up moving pictures like a de facto television set pose unnecessary risks and I thank the industry for working with Council to protect motorists and pedestrians.”

Outdoor Media Association CEO Charmaine Moldrich said the new laws “provide clarification on the use of digital outdoor advertising” and would not hinder the existing digital network.

“OMA members already have rules like this in place and Council has confirmed that the changes do not ban static digital advertisements or fixed images that are in line with current safety guidelines,” Ms Moldrich said.

Cr Cooper said Council had also consulted with State Government agencies such as the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

She said the new rules did not apply to digital road warnings signs advising of congestion, accidents or road works as they were governed by separate State Government laws and were not commercial advertisements.

Cr Cooper said the changes would also help small businesses hamstrung by unnecessary rules and costs to install simple digital signs telling people they were open for business.

“We’re now removing that burden to help them attract more customers as part of the Lord Mayor’s commitment to boosting economic development in Brisbane,” Cr Cooper said.

Cr Cooper said that under current laws, a small business owner would have to apply for a permit to install any sign with a digital element, such as a flashing “Open” window sign, no matter how big or small.

She said the new laws would do away with this “one size fits all” approach and allow small businesses to install electronic and digital window signs up to 4 square metres without having to apply for a permit (up to $800) or pay an annual licence fee ($223 per year).

Council will also cut application costs for those small businesses installing larger advertisings signs by up to $304, while annual licencing fees will drop by up to $158 per year per sign, she said.

[Ends] August 5, 2013

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