Amateur Radio Antennas and Masts in NSW

From 22 February 2014, amateurs across NSW will have the freedom to put up masts, antennas and dishes unfettered by development restrictions previously imposed by local councils, which varied widely across the state.

On 19 December 2013, the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, the Hon Brad Hazzard MP, announced a range of changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) on exempt and complying development, which enables minor developments that meet set standards to proceed without having to get development approvals passed through local councils.

The changes of interest to amateurs concerns aerials, antennas and communication dishes that can be put up as ‘exempt development’.

  • If your property is not subject to certain environmental or heritage restrictions, you can erect up to three aerials, antennae and communication dishes on a lot.

  • A ground mounted aerial or antenna can be attached to a mast that is no more than 10m in height and located at least 5m from a side or rear boundary.

  • Any mast must be no more than 100mm in diameter, or an open lattice frame 500mm in diameter.

Any ground mounted aerial or antenna, including masts, must be located at the rear of the lot, except if in a rural zone or R5 residential zone.

Certain requirements of the Building Code of Australia may apply. Antennas, dishes and masts “. . . must be structurally adequate and installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications, if applicable.”

Amateurs wanting to erect masts and antennas outside the parameters of exempt development will be able to proceed through a streamlined, low-cost ‘complying development’ process, which we understand will become available later.

More details on the announcement are on the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure website -

The Department has published a series of Information Sheets on exempt development, which are online-

The Information Sheet of interest is “2.1 Aerials, antennae and communications dishes”, which you can download from

Unfortunately, the Information Sheet appears in places to be open to ambiguous interpretation (and that includes the diagram reproduced here). However, we expect to sort this out in time.

Once again, I must congratulate and thank everyone – individual amateurs and radio clubs alike – who went to the effort of making a submission during all the phases of the NSW Planning System Review over the past few years and also writing to your local members last year. All the effort has paid off.

Many thanks to Ed Durrant - VK2JI for forwarding this story to the ICQ Amateur / Ham Radio Podcast