Dividing Fences

A dividing fence is defined as a fence that separates the land of different owners whether the fence is on the common boundary of adjoining lands or in a line other than the common boundary. A dividing fence does not include a retaining wall.

A "sufficient fence" is:

  1. A fence prescribed by a local government local law;
  2. A fence of any standard agreed upon by adjoining owners that it does not fall below the standard prescribed by the relevant local government law;
  3. A substantial fence that is ordinarily capable of resisting the trespass of cattle and sheep; or
  4. A fence determined by a magistrate in a magistrates' court to be a sufficient fence.

Note: A fence which accords with (3) or (4) is only a sufficient fence where no local law or agreement is made.

The Town of Port Hedland does not have a Local Law pertaining to Dividing Fences.

The Act provides that both the adjoining property owners are responsible for the installation and maintenance of the dividing fence. The exception is when privately owned land is abutting a lot or reserve owned by the crown i.e. Commonwealth, State or Local Government.

Should a dispute arise between adjoining land owners in relation to a dividing fence or further information be required, please follow the below link to the Building Commission website whom administers the Dividing Fences Act 1961 and is able to provide further clarification.

buildingcommission.wa.gov.au