Digital billboards … big, bright, bold – and banned

August 6, 2013 – 12:01AM

Tony Moore senior reporter

Digital billboard, of the sort facing ban by Brisbane City Council

Digital billboard, facing ban by Brisbane City Council


Flashing and moving “digital billboards” in Brisbane – virtually large-scale television sets – will be banned on Tuesday by the Brisbane City Council.

The council says large moving images on roadsides are a potential distraction to motorists and can cause traffic accidents by drawing drivers’ eyes from the road.

The ban will not apply to warning signs at roadworks.

Neighbourhood Planning committee chair Cr Amanda Cooper said the problems were obvious and planning laws need to change.


“This poses potential issues on our roads as traditional billboards are replaced by high-tech digital signs that are basically de facto television sets,” Cr Cooper said.

“These changes put the safety of motorists and pedestrians first.”

Changes to the council’s flashing signs bylaws will however allow smaller flashing signs for shopkeepers wanting to attract customers to their shops, Cr Cooper said.

“On the flipside, small businesses were being hamstrung by unnecessary rules and costs to install simple digital signs telling people they were open for business,” she said.

“We’re now removing that burden to help them attract more customers.”

The ban is one part of the first major change to Brisbane City Council’s advertising sign bylaws since 2005.

The new laws will prohibit new roadside billboards and signs that used moving and flashing images similar to that of a television.

The bylaws will also guide how any large billboard is positioned on a major roadway.

There is already a large billboard on Shafton Avenue that has drawn adverse comments.

Cr Cooper said the new laws would do away with the “one size fits all” approach and allow small businesses to install electronic and digital window signs up to four square metres without having to apply for a permit.

She said that would save a small business up to $800 for the application and $223 for the annual licence fee annual licence fee.

Application fees for other business wanting to introduce “still” signs will also be reduced.

Brisbane Times

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