New amendments to the infrastructure planning and charging
provisions of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009
(SPA) have been introduced by the Queensland
Heritage and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014
(QHOLA Act), which was passed by Parliament on 29
October 2014 and assented on 7 November 2014. The amendments
clarify a number of issues arising out of the major amendments that
were made to the infrastructure provisions of the SPA earlier this
In this Alert, Partner David Nicholls and Associate Thomas
Buckley outline the key amendments to the SPA.
A local government will be able to issue a new infrastructure
charges notice (ICN) for a development in response
to a request to change the development approval (a
"permissible change request") for infrastructure
contributions that were previously imposed under a planning scheme
A local government infrastructure plan (LGIP)
is only an optional component of a planning scheme under the SPA.
That is, a local government is not bound to adopt an LGIP. However,
if a local government has not adopted an LGIP by 1 July 2016, it
will be unable to levy infrastructure charges or impose conditions
about infrastructure on development in its local government
Section 635 of the SPA has been amended to clarify that a local
government must give an infrastructure charges
notice at the same time as, or as soon as practicable after, a
development approval is given.
In determining whether there has been "additional
demand" placed upon trunk infrastructure that will be
generated by development, demand may be included where there was an
ICN or condition relating to trunk infrastructure for an existing
use where the ICN or condition was based upon a lower scale or
intensity of development.
The scope of information to be provided about an infrastructure
offset or refund in an ICN has been broadened to ensure that the
applicant is provided with the best available and necessary
information about an offset or refund.
Local governments will be able to impose conditions for
infrastructure which is not adequately addressed in a LGIP only if
development infrastructure is consistent with the assumptions
stated in an LGIP.
In calculating an infrastructure "refund" a local
government must refund the applicant the value of infrastructure
that is greater than the infrastructure charge levied for the
development. Previously, the SPA required a refund of a reasonable
apportionment of the cost of the infrastructure by other
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