Do the following local authority matters count as lobbying?

(a) Planning application processes

Submitting a planning application or lodging an objection to a planning application are implementation matters and would not be considered lobbying.

A communication in support of an application or an objection MAY be considered lobbying if the application seeks to modify an existing policy or plan. For example, if a planning application seeks to build two houses on a lot where the existing development plan only allows for one – the application itself does not count as lobbying, but communicating in support of it could, since the application seeks a variance from the established plan.

For more information, consult the Guidelines on lobbying in relation to zoning and development of land.

(b) Contacting a councillor about a zoning application

The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015 provides that anyone who communicates with a Designated Public Official about the development or zoning of land is lobbying, and must register.

(c) Contacting a councillor about a personal matter (for example, a medical card or social housing)

Subsection 5(5)(a) of the Act provides that communications by or on behalf of an individual relating to his or her private affairs about any matter are exempt, other than the development or zoning of land (apart from the individual’s principal private residence). Personal affairs such as a medical card or social housing would be exempt.


Return to FAQ