Interstate reviews

1.34 Disputes between neighbours have been the subject of reviews by government agencies and state law reform bodies.

1.35 While the scope and subject matter of each review have been different, each has been of substantial assistance to the Commission in its preliminary investigation.

1.36 The law reform bodies of Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania have completed significant reviews. The New South Wales review dealt more generally with issues relating to neighbour relations, of which tree disputes was one. The Queensland review explored issues common to tree and fence disputes.

1.37 The Tasmanian review focused on rights to sunlight and views. While this type of dispute is not being explored in this project, the Commission will be dealing with similar themes.

1.38 Each of these reviews recommended a statutory scheme for resolving tree disputes and made recommendations about which forums would be most appropriate to bring an action under the proposed legislation. They all recommended that neighbours be required to attempt to resolve disputes themselves before pursuing legal remedies.