In response to queries from constituents seeking guidance for when tree growth laws impact solar panel efficiency, we have been advised the following from the Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning:

Property owners can initiate an application to the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) in circumstances where they are experiencing reduced sunlight from a neighbouring tree and a local government law does not allow for removal.

QCAT has the ability to make orders in relation to trees affecting a neighbours land, including maintenance or removal. QCAT may make an order where there is substantial, ongoing or unreasonable interference with use and enjoyment of the neighbour’s land, including where there is severe obstruction of sunlight to a window or roof of a dwelling.

QCAT can make an order for a person to carry out work on a tree, even though:

  • Consent is withheld by local government or a tree-keeper under a vegetation protection order
  • A local law requires a consent or authorization to be given before the work may be carried out
  • The work is otherwise restricted or prohibited under local law.

You can access a step-by-step for tree dispute resolution here.