Is this Sydney apartment sign against the law?

Bryan Seymour

Parramatta Council is investigating a sign at an northern Sydney apartment complex written in Mandarin, with no English translation.

Three Chinese characters have sparked controversy in the rapidly changing suburbs, in what's believed to be a Sydney first.

The wording on the back of the sign is in English. So too is the signage on the other side of the block, along with the sign on the front of the developer's office.

Three Chinese characters have sparked controversy at a Sydney apartment complex. Picture: 7 News

Seven News has approached them for comment but did not receive a reply by deadline.

Former Mayor Lorraine Wearne says many Epping locals have complained to her about the sign and she fears more future developments could feature Mandarin-only signage to attract Chinese investors.

"I think it offends the community, because it doesn't include the community," Ms Wearne said.

Parramatta City Council says the sign is likely in breach and will have to be removed. Picture: 7 News

There is no law in Australia requiring signs to be in English. However the developer in this case applied under Section 96 of the local council for a sandstone installation not facing the street.

"I don’t have a problem with a sign in another language that I don't understand, provided there's an interpretation of that sign in my language."

Parramatta City Council says this is likely in breach and will have to be removed.

Former Mayor Lorraine Wearne fears more future developments could feature Mandarin-only signage to attract Chinese investors. Picture: 7 News

David Borger, of Western Sydney Business Chamber, told 7 News non- English signage will begin to alienate the community.

"Well I think if we just allow it to continue, we are going to find people feeling less included in our city."

The Council will decide soon whether this sign should be excluded from the community.