Being Neighbourly

Cairns Regional Council is committed to fostering an inclusive, cohesive and open community that encourages people to connect with those who live in their neighbourhood.

A great neighbourhood is one that is caring, cohesive, safe, and welcoming. It is also where neighbours are proud of their street and take ownership of the neighbourhood they live in.

Having good neighbours can make a big difference to our lives, and goes a long way to creating a happy, healthy and peaceful environment for all. If we all play our part, we can build lasting friendships and strong communities in our neighbourhoods.

Celebrate Neighbour Day: Sunday March 31

Neighbour Day is Australia’s annual celebration of community, bringing together the people next door, across the street or on the next farm for a beer, a ‘barbie’ or just a ‘cuppa’. Held on the last Sunday in March every year, it’s the perfect day to say thanks for being a great neighbour and for being there when I needed you most.

Neighbour Day is Australia's annual celebration of community, encouraging people to connect with those who live in their neighbourhood, and is a great opportunity to say thanks for being a great neighbour.

The theme for Neighbour Day 2019 is 'Loneliness: what neighbours can do to create connections'

For more information visit

garage sale

Cairns’ Biggest Garage Sale is a great way for people to have fun and get to know their neighbourhoods – by way of buying, selling and reusing goods.

Download the addresses of those participating in Cairns' Biggest Garage Sale ( PDF, 0.86 MB ) or visit visit StarFM!

Cairns’ Biggest Garage Sale – bringing neighbours together.

garage sale

Cairns’ Biggest Garage Sale on March 30.

Register your place at … so we can tell everyone about your Garage Sale PLUS you’ll go in the draw to win one of nine Ziggy BBQs.

Cairns’ Biggest Garage Sale – bringing neighbours together!

To register and for Garage Sale locations visit StarFM!

How to be a Good Neighbour

A great neighbourhood is one that is caring, cohesive, safe, and welcoming. It is also where neighbours are proud of their street and take ownership of the neighbourhood they live in.

Here are some hints on how to be a good neighbour:

Get to know your neighbours

  • Introduce yourself to your neighbours
  • Invite your neighbour to a barbecue or morning tea
  • Make an effort to familiarise yourself with your neighbour's lifestyle, such as their hours of work or whether they are out of town a lot for work

Be neighbourly during emergencies

    • Don’t be caught out during an emergency – make time to get to know your neighbours
    • Understand your neighbour's needs before an emergency situation occurs.
    • You and your neighbours can work together to prepare your homes, provide shelter and look after pets during a disaster.
    • Neighbours can also often provide help to those who need greater assistance during emergency situations.

Help your neighbours

  • Try to assist your neighbour/s, especially the elderly, with anything they might struggle with, such as bringing in their bin on rubbish day, or collecting their newspaper for them
  • Help your neighbours out with dog walking or collect their mail when they go away
  • Keep an eye on your neighbour's property when they are out of town

Be considerate of your neighbours

  • Consider your neighbours when you play loud music, operate power tools or complete renovations on your property
  • Be responsible for visitors to your property
  • Ensure you adhere to local noise and environmental pollution laws

Be a responsible pet owner

  • Consider others when leaving your pet at home for long periods of time
  • Ensure your pets are securely locked in your yard when you are not at home
  • Register your pets with council

Maintain your home

  • Keep your garden tidy and ensure trees on the fence line are kept trimmed away from neighbouring properties
  • If you have a pool, keep it clean and ensure fencing meets government guidelines

Participate in your community

  • Host a Neighbours' Party in your street as a way of getting to know your neighbours. Download the Neighbours Party Kit to help you plan your event
  • Get together with your neighbours and prepare your street for the disaster season
  • Hold a combined garage sale to get rid of excess clutter in your street - why not sign up for the Garage Sale Trail?

Managing neighbour disputes

    The Dispute Resolution Branch was established by the Queensland Government to provide a free, confidential and impartial mediation service to the community.

    The Dispute Resolution Centre provides an alternative way of settling disputes before they get to court. This means savings in time, legal fees and court costs, not just for the individuals involved, but for the whole community.

    The Dispute Resolution Centre provides free mediation services available to everyone in the community, to assist in a range of disputes, including conflict between neighbours involving issues such as trees, noise, boundaries and children.

    Contact North Queensland Dispute Resolution Centre

    • Phone: 4417 8141
    • Fax: 4417 8137
    • Regional area toll free 1800 809 605
    • email:

Some very neighbourly tips

  1. Start simply: say g’day when you see your neighbours – a smile and a wave can go a long way.
  2. Spend more time on your verandah, balcony or front yard as a simple way to connect with nearby neighbours and those passing by.
  3. Take in your neighbour’s garbage bin or maybe offer to mow your neighbour’s lawn or collect their mail when they’re away.
  4. Drop one of our Connection Cards in a neighbour’s mailbox as a way to introduce yourself.
  5. Take a walk – we could all use the exercise and you’re more likely to run into people outside where even a simple hello gets you started.
  6. Organise a ‘cuppa by the kerb’ – invite a few neighbours to bring a cuppa and have a chat in the street together at a set time. It’s low effort and very simple to do.
  7. Reach out to neighbours who you know are living alone, especially the elderly, knock on their door to introduce yourself, pop a note in their letterbox to let them know you are there if they ever need a hand, and then exchange numbers in case of an emergency.
  8. Ask your neighbour if they’d like to accompany you to a local community event.
  9. Start a neighbourhood walking group – it doesn’t have to be big, just a neighbour or two to start – and see what happens.
  10. Share some home cooking or baking or garden produce with a neighbour as a friendly gesture.
  11. Strike up a conversation with someone you see when you are out and about in your neighbourhood. Here are a few conversation starter ideas.
  12. Take the initiative and plan a neighbourly event – have a barbie, a picnic, a dinner – anything goes when every day is Neighbour Day!
  13. Join a local interest group, or volunteer. Here are some ideas.
  14. Take it to the next level – smile and say g’day every time you see your neighbours – every day for a whole week. You may be pleasantly surprised.
  15. Create a contact list with your neighbours’ names, phone numbers and birthdays and maybe even useful skills or resources (mower, ice-cream-maker, ladder) that you are happy to share.
  16. Why not create a new group in your community that connects the generations – sewing, knitting, mechanics, repairs, painting, singing or music group, book club, scrabble or other board games and yoga are just some ideas. The list is endless!
  17. Help organise events around holidays or special occasions and aim to include as many neighbours as possible.
  18. Offer to help your neighbour with a small or large job around the house, or perhaps in the garden or garage, or offer to share your handyperson, IT or other skills, if you have them!
  19. Stay connected, start a meaningful conversation. Be a good neighbour and a great listener. For more conversation tips visit
  20. Join or start a community or neighbourhood page on social media.
  21. Invite a neighbour over for a casual lunch or dinner – and perhaps make it a regular thing. See how you go, you may find weekly, fortnightly or each month works well.
  22. Start up a street library – for more info These can become hubs for social connection and conversation.
  23. Drop off a meal if your neighbour has been unwell or is having a tough time.
  24. Welcome new neighbours to your neighbourhood by ringing the doorbell, introducing yourself, and even offering to help with the move in if you are able.
  25. Take over treats, for any reason (or no reason at all). Everyone loves treats.
  26. Plan a potluck dinner or progressive dinner where everyone prepares a course, or take it one step further and check out our friends at The Welcome Dinner Project.
  27. Introduce yourself to anyone that’s new to the area … a knock on the door and a warm welcome. If you can, perhaps take over a bunch of flowers, a pot plant, a box of chocolates – anything inexpensive and cheerful.
  28. Share information with your neighbours – weather, storms, local development, good news.
  29. Ask some questions – when it comes to best practices for how to meet your new neighbours, asking a question about the area can initiate more of a conversation and friendly rapport. Find more conversation tips here.
  30. Get to know your local shopkeepers – they can be a wealth of knowledge on what’s happening in your area, the best restaurants, pubs, cafes and even other shops. It’s also nice to have a friendly face to talk to when you get your groceries.
  31. Take the initiative, organise a simple Neighbour Day event.

Neighbourhood nuisances

From abandoned trolleys, noisy neighbours, dust, smoke or mice, neighbourhood nuisances make up a large proportion of calls to Cairns Regional Council. These pages provide information on what Council can do to help you, what your responsibilities are and tips and tricks to minimise nuisances.  Read more

Pets & domestic animals

Information about pets including: dog & cat registration, keeping birds & poultry, lost animals, dog exercise areas, dog attacks, responsible pet ownership and animal complaints. Read more

Cairns Disaster Dashboard

The Cairns Disaster Dashboard collates crucial information from Council, emergency services, utilities such as Ergon and Telstra, road status updates, and traffic and flood cams to provide a single point of reference during a disaster. Read more
Last updated: 16 June 2020