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Motorbikes on reserve tenure land

Posted by Elizabeth Neilson on 19 November 2020
Motorbikes on reserve tenure land

How may a Council prevent individuals from undertaking antisocial motorbike riding on reserve tenure land?


Councils are trustees of reserve tenure land throughout the State.  The size and undeveloped nature of reserves makes them popular with recreational motorbike riders.  Unfortunately, Councils routinely receive complaints from nearby residents about the noise and dust that the motorbike riding generates.  A Council may decide that it is appropriate to lawfully curtail antisocial motorbike riding on reserve tenure land.


Section 11A of the Summary Offences Act 2005 (Qld) ("Summary Offences Act") may assist Councils.  Section 11A of the Summary Offences Act, prohibits a person from driving a motorbike on public land in contravention of a local law unless the person has a reasonable excuse.

The issues are:-

  • what is "public land"? and
  • who is responsible for the enforcement of  section 11A?


Public land

For section 11A, public land includes land designated as such under a local law, but does not include a road.

Councils routinely prohibit, by local law, motorbike riding in an area or areas within their local government area.  The prohibited area or areas identified in the local law are "public land" for the purposes of section 11A (excluding, of course, "roads" within the prohibited area).

Relevantly, a road includes an area that is:

  • open to or used by the public and is developed for, or has as 1 of its uses, the driving or riding of motor vehicles, whether on payment of a fee or otherwise; or
  • dedicated to public use as a road.

At a practical level, Council cannot prohibit motorbike riding in an area that is properly characterised as a "road".  If an area within a reserve which is identified as public land in a local law actually constitutes a road, any prohibition of motorbike riding on the area of road, under Council's local law, will be of no effect.

Responsibility for the enforcement of section 11A

Whilst Council may prohibit motorbike riding in an area within its local government area, by local law, Council has no power to take enforcement action in the event of a contravention of section 11A.  The person authorised to give an infringement notice for an offence against section 11A is a police officer.

If your Council has queries regarding the regulation of motorbike riding on reserve tenure land, please email Elizabeth Neilson or James Neilson, or call us today on (07) 3243 0000 for further assistance and advice.

Author:Elizabeth Neilson
About: Elizabeth is a Solicitor in the firm's Commercial & Advisory Group
Tags:Local GovernmentkingandcompanyCouncilSummary Offences ActElizabeth Neilson

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