Local law changed to allow tiny homes on wheels

Published on 23 June 2023

Caravan parked on grass

Mount Alexander Shire Councillors have voted to remove permit requirements for people wishing to camp or occupy a caravan or tiny home on wheels on private property where there is an existing dwelling.

Councillors made the unanimous decision to change the permit requirements, which are outlined in Local Law 13 – Camping on Private Property, at the meeting of Council on Tuesday 20 June 2023.

“This decision was informed by long-term community advocacy and the 1616 residents who made submissions to Council on the matter,” said Mayor Rosie Annear.

“With 91% of people supportive of the proposed change, there was little doubt that this is what our community wants.”

“We know that this change won't fix the housing crisis we’re experiencing in the shire, but we hope it will provide another option for people who are struggling to find a place to live or for those who just want a lifestyle change.”

“I've lived in Castlemaine almost my whole life and have never seen people struggling with housing availability, security, and affordability to the extent that they are now. I’ve also never witnessed so much visible homelessness and rough sleeping in our shire. 

“We're hoping to mitigate risk by only amending the local law to allow people to camp, or stay in a caravan or tiny house on wheels, on land where there is already an existing dwelling without a permit. This way, a lot of aspects such as bushfire and flood management, environmental impact, and access, will have been managed already by the existing dwelling.”

The changes to permit requirements will come into effect following notification of the change in the Local Government Gazette, which is planned to occur on Thursday 29 June 2023.

People interested in camping or occupying a caravan or tiny home on wheels on private property where there is an existing dwelling can do so without a permit as long as the camping does not cause any detrimental impact.

Wastewater will need to be removed from the site for disposal at suitable locations, such as a dump point. Penalties may apply for property owners who do not comply with these requirements.

Mayor Annear said the move by Councillors to remove permit requirements will increase options for people during the housing affordability crisis, but more work needs to be done.

“This Council has made housing a real priority, reflecting the needs of our community, and we’ll continue to work on other ways we can address the housing crisis in our shire,” said Mayor Annear.

“This is an important step in the right direction, but it’s not the end.”


July 2022 – Councillor Driscoll introduces a Notice of Motion at the Council meeting requesting Council officers investigate the impact of the proposed amendment change.

December 2022 – Councillors recommend community consultation on proposed amendment change.

February to March 2023 – Community consultation occurs, in which more than 91% of survey respondents indicate their support for the proposed amendment change.

June 2023 – Councillors adopt the proposed amendment to Council’s General Local Law 13: Camping on Private Property, to allow where there is an existing dwelling, limited to one tiny house on wheels, caravan, tent or the like to camp without a permit.