Such reform seemed necessary in light of the cases of Vidler
v Fraser Coast Regional Council & Anor  QPEC 18 and
BGM Projects Pty Ltd v Fraser Coast Regional Council
(unreported Maroochydore matter 98/11) and because of the potential
for many development applications for Material Change of Use or
Reconfiguration of a Lot to involve secondary applications for
building work or operational work that, in turn, will result in
some degree of interference with overland flow water.
This General Authority addresses, in some part, the need for
reform that was highlighted by us in our earlier alert.
Here, Associate Olivia Williamson looks at the General Authority
and what it relates to specifically.
What is a General Authority?
The General Authority is evidence that the chief executive of
DERM consents that certain development applications can proceed in
the absence of an allocation of or an entitlement to the
State's water resource.
It is important to note that the General Authority relates
only to development applications under the
Sustainable Planning Act (SPA) for:
material change of use of premises; or
reconfiguring a lot; or
operational works other than operational works
to take or interfere with water as outlined in Schedule 3, Part 1,
Table 4, Item 3 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation
The General Authority is quite clear in its terms that it
does not purport to provide any evidence of the chief
executive's satisfaction or the chief executive's consent
for applications for a development permit for operational works
that take or interfere with water.
Having regard to the decision in Vidler, it is strongly
recommended that development applications for material change of
use of premises or reconfiguration of a lot or operational works
(that do not take or interfere with water) attach a copy of this
DERM General Authority.
For development applications for operational works that take or
interfere with water (as outlined in Schedule 3, Part 1, Table 4,
Item 3 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation) the General
Authority does not provide the requisite evidence satisfying the
requirements of section 264 of the SPA and section 14 and Schedule
14 Item 15 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation.
Such applications will accordingly require evidence that the
chief executive of DERM is satisfied:
that the development is consistent with an allocation of, or an
entitlement to, the resource; or
that the development application may proceed in the absence of
an allocation of, or an entitlement to, the resource.
For more information about DERM's General Authority or other
any Planning or Environment matter, please contact
This legal update is an overview of existing eligible project activities and new project types proposed to be developed.
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