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Frequently asked questions

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Frequently asked questions

Information about the new Inner West Council

Inner West Council is a new Council formed by the merger of the former Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils.

For residents of the former councils, there will be no immediate change to the services you receive. Over the next few months, Council will review all services to make sure they remain efficient and effective. Until then, everything is business as usual.

For more information about the ongoing transition to a new council, please visit the Inner West Council FAQs page.

For frequently asked questions about ongoing services, please continue reading the page below.

Find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below.

Airport noise

To whom do I complain about airport noise?

Airservices Australia – part of the Commonwealth Government's Department of Transport and Regional Services – provides a telephone noise enquiry service (1800 802 584) to enable the community to express their concerns about aircraft noise, and an online complaint form.


Who is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of roads in the Marrickville area?

Road management in NSW provides for three categories of roads: State Roads, Regional Roads, and Local Roads. A map of the Marrickville area showing each category can be downloaded here:

State Roads (marked in red on map linked above) are the major arterial links throughout the state and within major urban areas. It is the responsibility of the NSW Government's Roads & Maritime Services (formerly the RTA) to fund and maintain State Roads. These are the State Roads in the Marrickville area:

  • Parramatta Road
  • Princes Highway and King Street
  • Canal Road
  • New Canterbury Road, Stanmore Road and Enmore Road
  • Old Canterbury Road (including the one-way system at its terminus with Parramatta Road that includes Brown Street and parts of Cook and Barker Streets, Lewisham)
  • Railway Terrace, Gordon Street and the section of Livingstone Road between New Canterbury and Sydenham Roads
  • Sydenham Road (including the one-way system west of Sydenham railway station), Gleeson Avenue and Railway Road

To report potholes or any other road damage on a state road or highway, please contact the NSW Government's Transport Management Centre on 131 700.

Regional Roads (marked in green on map linked above)are routes of secondary importance between State Roads and Local Roads. Local Council are responsible for funding, determining priorities and carrying out works. Council receives assistance from the NSW State Government to assist in the upkeep of regional roads.

Local Roads (marked in grey on map linked above) provide local circulation and access and is the responsibility of local government. Council receives Federal Assistance Grants to assist in the upkeep of the local roads.

Council's road pavement network extends over 215km in the Marrickville area:

  • Regional roads – 24 km
  • Local roads – 146 km
  • Lanes – 45km

If you have feedback for Council concerning regional or local roads, comment online or phone 9392 5000.

How do I report pothole damage in a local street?

Council undertakes regular maintenance of local roads and also resurfaces roads where potholes have appeared. To report pothole damage to Council please fill in an online form or phone 9392 5000.

Council will investigate any report of pothole damage and if it is an urgent safety issue, the area will be made safe within 24 hours of receiving the report. If it is not an urgent safety issue, the pothole will be investigated within 5 days of Council receiving the report. Work will be prioritised according to safety and other considerations and scheduled to start within the following 42 days.

State roads and highways are the responsibility of Roads & Maritime Services (formerly the RTA). To report potholes or any other road damage on a state road or highway, please contact their Transport Management Centre on 131 700.


How can I pay my rates?

To make things easier, you can pay your rates via one of the following methods:

  • Internet, via Council's website
  • Direct debit. To apply complete this online form.
  • BPAY – have your rates notice handy
  • Phone via BPOINT, call 1300 493 666 – have your rates notice handy
  • In person, by phone or email via Post Billpay. Visit any Australia Post branch, call 131 816 or go online to www.postbillpay.com.au
  • In person at any Commonwealth Bank by completing a CBA deposit form
  • By post to Inner WEst Council, PO Box 14, Petersham NSW 2049
  • In person at the Customer Service Centre, 2–14 Fisher Street, Petersham

How are my rates calculated and what do they include?

Rates are calculated on an ad valorem basis, which is multiplying the Land Value (determined by the Valuer General) by a rate in the dollar, subject to a minimum rate. The NSW Government determines the maximum permissible rate increase on an annual basis.

Your rates notice also includes a Domestic Waste Management Charge authorised under Section 496 of the Local Government Act, 1993. This charge applies uniformly to each parcel of rateable land for which the service is available. Council's domestic waste management service includes household recycling, garbage collection/disposal, cleanup service, the green waste service and lane cleaning. The DWM Charge includes landfill tipping fees and a State Government Section 88 landfill levy. This levy will increase each year as part of the NSW Government strategy to reduce landfill.

Your rates also include a Stormwater Management Charge. The Act provides that the maximum charge to be levied will be $25.00 per residential property, $12.50 per home unit and for business properties $25.00 per 350 square metres. The charge will enable Council to fund a range of programs necessary to meet our environmental protection requirements, to provide alternate water supplies for irrigation, and to protect property against flood damage.

For a list of services, see our A–Z list of services. For more details on rates and and resource allocation, see Council's Operational Plan and Budget.

Building and renovations

I am looking to build or renovate, what Council approvals will I require?

Council has developed comprehensive guidelines in relation to development in the Marrickville area. For detail on approval requirements please visit the planning controls section.

Visit this page to download housing and development related forms:

For which other activities am I likely to require Council approval?

You or your contractor will need approval to:

  • place a skip bin on the road or footpath;
  • do any restoration work that will require placing scaffolding, cranes etc on a road or footpath;
  • open a road or footpath for plumbing or electrical work;
  • use Council streets or parks to carry out filming (not simple amateur photography);
  • use Council parks for a wedding or party;
  • erect an advertising structure;
  • display goods, A-frames, or provide outdoor seating outside a commercial premises; and
  • set up a street stall.


Can I trim a tree on my property?

Trees over 5 metres (15 feet) or irrespective of height having a trunk diameter of 200mm or greater (measured at 1 metre from ground level), require a written consent from Council before pruning, removal, or undertaking of soil works around a tree (i.e. excavation)

The owner of the property on which the tree is located (or in the case of a strata titled property, the owner's corporation) must sign the application form. Please note that an application form cannot be accepted from a tenant or an individual lot owner in a strata plan.

Upon an application being received, the tree will be inspected by the Trees Technical Officer and determined within 14 days. A written Notice of Determination will be sent to the applicant.

A fee applies for tree preservation requests. Visit our fees and charges page to find the fee for the current financial year.

A tree on my neighbour's property is hanging over my property. What can be done about it?

If you want to trim overhanging branches or trees from a neighbour's property, Council recommends that you contact your neighbour directly in the first instance to discuss the matter.

As the owner of the subject property, your neighbour will be required to make the application for trimming or removal of the tree. Council cannot force a neighbour to prune or remove a tree as this is considered a civil matter and is better dealt with through consultation between neighbours. Neighbours in dispute are encouraged to contact the Community Justice Centre on 8688 7455 to assist with resolving the dispute. The local magistrate (Newtown Local Court 9577 4000) may also be able to assist with the matter.

Dumped rubbish

What can I do about dumped rubbish?

Council, through its booked clean up service and education, is aiming to reduce the incidence of illegal dumping. Illegal dumping is disposing of waste on public places other than approved areas. It is illegal to dump waste on streets, laneways, parks, footpaths, nature strips, car parks and waterways.

If you are aware of people dumping rubbish illegally, you can report these incidents to Council on (02) 9392 5000. Please include as much information in your report as possible.

People caught illegally dumping could receive on the spot fines of up to $200 for an individual and $400 for a corporation. In the event of dumping large amounts of waste, Council will pursue court action to recover clean up costs. Depending on the severity of the dump, clean up costs can range into tens of thousands of dollars.

Citizens needing to dispose of household waste can book a clean up online, utilise one of Council's free household chemical and e-waste drop-offs held throughout the year, or visit our other waste web page for extensive information on disposing other types of items.

Abandoned vehicles

What can be done about abandoned vehicles?

Citizens can report abandoned vehicles to Council by completing this online form and providing information such as location and vehicle description. Council will then investigate each case on an individual basis.

An abandoned vehicle is an unregistered vehicle which a Council officer believes on reasonable grounds has been abandoned, i.e. a vehicle no longer wanted by its owner. Council will arrange for the removal of abandoned vehicles from public places only and does not remove abandoned vehicles from private property.

Where the owner of the vehicle cannot be identified, Council will arrange with its contractor for removal of the abandoned vehicle. Where the owner of the vehicle is identified, Council will place an orange sticker on the car and advise the owner that the vehicle must be removed within 10 days to avoid a fine and possible court action. If they do not remove the vehicle, a red sticker will be placed on the vehicle, an infringement notice will be issued and Council will remove the vehicle.

Where the owner claims an unregistered vehicle it is no longer considered abandoned. If the vehicle is registered and in a state of disrepair, Council can not arrange for the removal of the car, irrespective of its condition (unless it presents a public safety hazard as determined by a Council Officer), as citizens have the right to park a registered vehicle on the roadway.

In addition, to minimise the number of cars abandoned in the local Council area, Council has initiated a program whereby owners of vehicles can voluntarily surrender their vehicle for disposal by Council. Council will arrange for the removal of surrendered vehicles from public places only, and will not remove surrendered vehicles from private property. Contact Council on 9392 5000 for more information.

Fines and infringements

I have received a penalty infringement notice from Council. Can I make representations to Council to have the infringement reviewed?

Council can not review any penalty infringement notice it has issued. Representations must be forwarded to the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO). The address of the SDRO is on the reverse side of the penalty infringement notice. SDRO will put a stop on the process whilst they consider the issues raised in the representations. You will be informed by the SDRO of the decision regarding the infringement notice and any further options you have.

How can I pay a fine issued by Council?

The NSW State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) is responsible for the receipt and processing of infringement notices and fines (e.g. parking) issued by Council officers.

For full and up-to-date information on fines, penalties, infringement notices and payment options, please visit the State Debt Recovery Office website at http://www.sdro.nsw.gov.au.


How do I report a damaged footpath?

Reports of damaged footpaths can be made to Council via our online form, via the smartphone app Snap Send Solve, or phoning 9392 5000.

After receiving a report, requests for repairs/maintenance will be inspected within 3 days, unless there is a safety issue, in which case the area will be made safe within 24 hours. Repairs will be prioritised for inclusion in the maintenance program subject to available funding. Any citizen who reports a damaged footpath will be advised of intended action as soon as possible. If it is determined that works will proceed, they will be completed within 42 days of receiving the report.

Please note however, that if the damaged area is part of a citizen's driveway, the maintenance and construction of the vehicle footway crossing is the responsibility of the property owner, as per the Roads Act 1993. As such, the cost for maintenance to footpaths located within a driveway is the responsibility of the owner.

Council will also investigate driveway/vehicle scraping to determine the cause of the scraping and recommended works required to alleviate the problem. Depending on the circumstance and the cause of the problem, the citizen may be responsible for the costs involved in fixing the problem.

A number of subway footpaths exist beneath the main western railway line, including in Petersham near Audley Street and in Newtown between Albert Street and Trafalgar Street. The subways are maintained by Sydney Trains, which can be contacted on 131 500.

Street lights

The street lights are not working in my street. Who should I report this to?

Street lighting is provided by Energy Australia. This service includes maintenance of street lighting and replacement of lamps. All requests for maintenance should be referred to Energy Australia on free call 1800 044 808 or reported via the Energy Australia website.

Council maintains white way lighting lanterns located under the shop awnings at the following shopping centres: King Street and Enmore Road Newtown; Parramatta Road Petersham; Marrickville Road & New Canterbury Road Dulwich Hill; Marrickville Road Marrickville; New Canterbury Road Petersham; Australia Street Newtown; Percival Road Stanmore; and Unwins Bridge Road St. Peters (as of 2006).

After receiving a report for repairs or maintenance, Council will inspect the lighting within 3 days, unless there is a safety issue, in which case the location will be made safe within 24 hours. Requests will be prioritised for inclusion in the maintenance program subject to available funding. If it is determined that works will proceed, they will be completed within 14 days.

Water leaks and breaks

Who should I contact if there is a water leak or broken pipe in my street?

Water supply and wastewater services are provided by Sydney Water.

For maintenance requests – including interruption of water supply, broken water pipes and water leaks – please call Sydney Water on 13 20 90.

Sydney Water provide an interactive map of maintenance works and known service issues across Sydney on their website.

Dogs and cats

What services does Council provide regarding dogs and cats?

Council operates as a registration point for companion animals and provides general written information regarding registration requirements. The companion animal registration process is administered by the Department of Local Government.

You can find information relating to pet registration, microchipping, leash-free areas, local veterinary hospitals and other related topics under the Companion Animals section of this website.