A city council in Queensland has ruled exotic circus animals are a relic of a cruel past.
Neighbouring Queensland councils Brisbane and Ipswich are divided over a push by the RSPCA and Animal Liberation to ban circuses that use such animals in their shows.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman flick-passed the issue, saying animal welfare was a matter for the state government.
But Ipswich City Council has decided to act, and from July 1 will become the first Queensland city to ban circuses with exotic animals from using any land under council ownership or control.
Councillor Paul Tully said the time had come for Australia to unite and ban the cruel use of circus animals.
"These animals are put in tiny cages for their whole lives and carted from one end of Australia to the other for their public performances," he said.
"This is the beginning of the end of animal circuses in Australia."
RSPCA Queensland's scientific research officer Mandy Symons said she was disappointed that Mr Newman was not willing to act on the issue.
"He said that animal welfare was a state legislation concern, not a local government concern," she said.
"We believe that animal welfare is everyone's concern."
The Brisbane council's Labor opposition has said it would support such a ban.