The ACT government has promised to move to ban billboards in the ACT within six months of taking office, following an outcry from the public and business leaders.

The Coalition has said it would ban the use of “commercial and/or promotional” billboards within its 10-kilometre radius, and it wants the ACT to be considered a “virtual billboard state” with a ban on “disturbing or threatening material”.

But billboards are still used in other states, including the ACT, which is home to the ACT’s second largest billboard market.

The government has said the new legislation will take effect by August, and if the ACT was considered a virtual billboard state, the ban on advertising in the state would not be lifted until the end of 2021.

“This is a step in the right direction,” ACTs minister for the environment, Sarah Goulburn, said.

“It is an important step forward in our long-term strategy to make the ACT an active and responsible billboard state.”

The ACT will be the first state to adopt the new measures, which were introduced in the mid-2020s.

“We have listened to the public’s concerns, and we have decided to take action to make our billboards as visible as possible,” ACT Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

She said the government was also working to implement a ban in New South Wales.

“The ACT Government will now look to implement the measures in NSW and Victoria,” she said.

Ms Berejichlian has also committed to using more than $3 million from the government’s tourism and hospitality revenue to fund the development of billboards and other advertising infrastructure.

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