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To improve road safety and reduce driver distraction the NSW Government has today made significant changes to planning rules that guide outdoor advertising and signage.

There are three key elements that shape the changes - the prohibition of roadside trailer advertising, new guidelines around digital signage, and allowing signs in transport corridors with permission, which would have flow-on benefits to the community

Department of Planning and Environment, Deputy Secretary for Planning Services, Marcus Ray, said the safety of our road users is vital. 

“We are committed to road safety, and these amendments update the legislation and policy that govern outdoor advertising, and go a long way to reducing driver distraction,” Mr Ray said.

In response to community concerns around increasing numbers of roadside trailer advertising, the new rules mean they will be banned and fines imposed from next year.

“Roadside advertising trailers block and disrupt motorists’ vision of their surroundings, making them a potential road safety hazard,” Mr Ray said.

“Unlike billboards and other outdoor advertising, planning controls around trailers have been unclear. So, unless the trailers breached parking restrictions authorities had difficulty in dealing with them.”

The new laws introduce $1500 fines for individuals and $3000 for businesses who advertise on trailers parked on roads, footpaths, nature strips and road shoulders.

“There will be a three-month period to ensure that the community, councils and industry are ready for these changes allowing for the removal of trailers, and from next year, councils will begin issuing fines,” Mr Ray said.

“Digital signage has also become widespread in recent years but it had not previously been covered in planning rules. 

“Now, for the first time, the guidelines will address road safety and reduce driver distraction, and ensure a consistent and up-to-date approach is in place for assessing outdoor advertising, including LED signage, in transport corridors in NSW,” Mr Ray said.

“In the past, some councils allowed advertising in transport corridors such as motorways, railway corridors and bridges, while others did not. Changes being made will ensure a consistent approach across all council areas, making it clear that advertising in transport corridors is allowed with consent throughout the state.

“This will have a flow-on benefit for the community – revenue raised through this process will provide additional public funding to improve road safety and public amenity, and for improved public transport services.

“The changes, which update the state policy for advertising and signage and the Transport Corridor Outdoor Advertising and Signage Guidelines, will provide certainty to local councils, advertisers and the community.”

The new rules do not apply to advertising that’s secondary to the main use of a vehicle, such as a parked tradesman’s truck or trailer, or to advertising by public authorities. However, council consent will be required for displaying signage on trailers parked on most private land that can be viewed from a road. 

Councils will continue to decide whether advertising is permitted on land outside transport corridors such as building advertisements.

The Department considered community feedback received during consultation on the draft guidelines from December 2015 to February 2016 and on the draft state policy from May to June 2017.

To view the new policy and guidelines or for more information, visit 

Department of Planning and Environment media contact



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