Service signs

Service signs are used to identify services available to road users, and are identified by their white symbols or text on blue background.

Before applying for a service sign, you must meet all core criteria and any specific criteria for your category. For example:

  • accommodation
  • caravan parks
  • bed and breakfast
  • tourist information facilities
  • community facilities.

If you are granted an approval for a sign, you will be required to pay for sign design, manufacturing and installation, unless your sign is for a non-commercial roadside service or public facility.

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Accommodation

Core criteria

To qualify for accommodation service signs, your accommodation service must:

  • be dedicated to providing for the needs of short-term tourists (allow overnight stays)
  • be well established, have been operating for at least 6 months and open daily
  • be available to the general public (not exclusively for coach tours and other organised groups)
  • not require pre-booking
  • meet all statutory state and local government regulations and planning requirements
  • be located within suitable distance of a state or regional road (the distance along a side road to the establishment should not exceed 5km)
  • be distinctly signed at the property entrance so the facility is easily identifiable by passing motorists.

Desirable criteria

It is desirable for accommodation services applying for signs to:

  • be quality assured - accommodation providers should aim to be assessed by an independent accreditation program (for example, AAA Tourism, Eco Tourism Australia)
  • be a member of a recognised local, regional or peak sector tourism organisation
  • show a location map of the property on brochures and other marketing collateral (for example, website)
  • be listed on the database of the nearest accredited Visitor Information Centre.

Click on the category that relates to your accommodation service to apply for a service sign to see any additional requirements.

Specific criteria for this category

Caravan parks must:

  • provide a mixture of accommodation, powered sites and camping sites
  • be managed by on-site personnel 7 days a week.

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Specific criteria for this category

To qualify for service signs, camping sites must:

  • be serviced by fresh water for drinking purposes
  • have a designated area set aside for camping with toilet and bathroom facilities.

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Specific criteria for this category

To qualify for service signs, backpacker accommodation must:

  • provide lodging with dormitory-style sleeping arrangements (dormitory style includes rooms with quad and double sleeping arrangements)
  • provide adequate shared bathroom and laundry facilities
  • provide an equipped kitchen and dining facilities.

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Specific criteria for this category

To qualify for service signs, B&B accommodation must:

  • provide on-site management
  • be provided within a private home with a separate guest bathroom (normally)
  • include breakfast to be provided by the host.

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Specific criteria for this category

To qualify for service signs, farm stays or host farms must:

  • be on a working farm
  • offer a range of farm-type activities.

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Specific criteria for this category

To qualify for service signs, self-contained accommodation must:

  • have a permanent on-site manager
  • have a minimum of 5 room or dwelling units - to allow for independent booking and casual accommodation.

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Airports, visitor information and service centres, tourist radio services and community facilities

Click on the category that relates to your service or facility. Before applying for a sign, you must meet any criteria for your category.

Minor airports or aerodromes

Minor airports and aerodromes may be signed where the airport and/or aerodrome is not readily visible, or where the entrance is not identifiable from the road.

Major airports or aerodromes

Major airports are signed by name and are included on direction signs as a destination.

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VICs should provide the major source of information to a visitor in a city, town or region. VICs are generally operated and funded by the local council and/or tourist association. The principal tourist signing in any urban area should direct visitors to the nearest accredited VIC.

As part of a national strategy to achieve a high-quality network of visitor information services, only accredited VICs are provided with signs showing the trademarked yellow on blue italicised 'i' symbol.

The white on blue roman 'i' symbol is not to be used on roadside signs to direct visitors to non-accredited VICs.  It shall only be used for onsite property signing of non-accredited centres; however the white on blue roman 'i' can be used on roadside signs for signing to information bays. In this case, the word 'bay' is to be used in conjunction with the blue roman 'i'.

To become an accredited VIC, download the criteria and application form at Tourism and Events Queensland.

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Information bays are off-road areas established by or with the consent of the relevant road authority, where visitor information displays are provided and maintained by local council, tourist associations or community groups. Information bay and interpretive signs can be staffed or unstaffed establishments. Initially, applications to establish tourist information bays should be made to the appropriate road authority.

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There are 4 types of roadside fuel facilities:

  • unattended facilities
  • service stations
  • remote service centres
  • service centre (the largest type).

The purpose of roadside fuel facilities is to encourage drivers to break their journey to avoid driver fatigue.

Roadside fuel facilities must meet the essential needs of road users to provide safe, comfortable and enjoyable motoring on limited access roads.  As a service to road users, it is also necessary to provide enough roadside fuel facilities to minimise the frequency of vehicles running out of fuel.

Note: New roadside fuel facilities policy and guidelines are currently under development. Contact Transport and Main Roads' local regional office for more information on the signage options available and criteria for roadside fuel facilities.

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Tourist or visitor information radio services must be licenced to operate by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) and operate in accordance with the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) conditions outlined in Schedule 2 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

Specific criteria for this category

Signs may be provided for tourist or visitor information radio services:

  • where the transmission operates solely as a visitor or motorist information service
  • that provide information for the education, enjoyment and benefit of the visitor, which relates to attractions and facilities within the broadcast area
  • that provide other special information to assist the visitor or motorist (e.g. snow or surf reports, weather conditions, road and traffic updates)
  • that present a balance between commercial advertising content and non-commercial information
  • where evidence of consultation with a relevant tourism association and/or the state or territory tourism organisation regarding program format and the accuracy of broadcast content is provided.

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Community facilities seeking signs must be included in the list below, meet the relevant requirements, and be likely to attract a significant number of visitors.

  • Churches - may be provided with signs on request if the church is not readily visible from the road. A denominational name may be included on the sign.
  • Cemetery/crematorium - may be signed where the facility is not readily visible from the road or the route to the entrance is not obvious.
  • Civic centres and town halls - may be signed by name.
  • Educational institutions -  Tertiary educational institutions (e.g. university or TAFE campus) may be signed by name. Primary and secondary schools should only be signed if they have some special facility sought by significant numbers of visitors to the area.
  • Golf courses - may be signed where the golf course is not readily visible from the road or the route to the entrance is not obvious, and caters for members of the public.
  • Hospitals - may be signed by name. The hospital symbol is to represent first aid, casualty service, hospital, doctor, ambulance services. Only use the Symbol S1 where the hospital provides a 24-hour emergency service.
  • Libraries - may be signed where the library is not readily visible from the road or the route to the entrance is not obvious.
  • Non-profit institutions - may be signed where the institution is not readily visible from the road and they are used by a significant number of visitors unfamiliar to the area.
  • Parks - may be signed where the park is not readily visible from the road and they are used by a significant number of visitors to the area.
  • Police stations - may be signed by name where the police station is not readily visible from the road.
  • Post offices - may be signed by name where the post office is not readily visible from the road.
  • Public toilets - may be signed whereby the toilet facilities are accessible 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.
  • Railway stations - may be signed by name where the station is not readily visible from the road.
  • Recreation centres (e.g. tennis courts) - may be signed where the recreation centre is not readily visible from the road and they are used by a significant number of visitors unfamiliar to the area.
  • Rural fire stations - no criteria apply.
  • Shopping centres - may be signed where the centre is not readily visible from the state or regional road, or where the centre is visible from state or regional road, but the route to the centre is not obvious. Signs are only provided if the distance from the state or regional road to a regional shopping centre is no greater than 2km, or the distance from the state or regional road to a local shopping centre is not greater than 1km. The name of the shopping centre would only be shown on a sign if there could be confusion as to which shopping centre the sign references. The destination 'Business Centre' or 'Town Centre' is preferred in towns and smaller provincial cities. Note: Not all shopping centres are eligible for signage.
  • Sports facilities - may be signed by name, if they are used by a significant number of visitors to the area.
  • Swimming pools - may be signed where the swimming pool is not readily visible from the road or the route to the entrance is not obvious, caters for members of the public and open to casual visitors, and is used by a significant number of visitors to the area.
  • Theatres or performing arts centres - may be signed where the centre is not readily visible from the road.

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