Australia: The draft new planning legislation for Queensland - what’s changed from the consultation draft


The three bills which will (if enacted), enable the new planning framework in Queensland, were introduced into Parliament on 25 November 2014.

The three bills are:

  1. The Planning and Development Bill 2014;
  2. The Planning and Environment Court Bill 2014; and
  3. The Planning and Development (Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014.

In support of their introduction, the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning has released a suite of materials (which includes a draft of the regulation and the access rules) relating to the bills (all available here), and will host a live-stream event to occur on Friday 5 December 2014 (see the events tab at the above link).

In addition to the above, the three bills have been referred to the State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee. Submissions to that committee close on Monday 19 January 2015.


The purpose of this article is to briefly highlight the key changes contained in the Planning and Development Bill 2014 (the P&D Bill) as introduced on the 25th of November 2014, from that version previously the subject of a consultation draft between August and September 2014 (the Consultation Draft). This article has been drafted without detailed regard to the supporting material – so examines the P&D Bill on face value.

Specifically excluded from this article are the differences going to offences, enforcement and dispute resolution (as these will be the subject of a later article attending to a similar examination, but with reference to the Planning and Environment Court Bill 2014).


By way of a concise summary of the key (but not only) differences between the P&D Bill, and the Consultation Draft (exclusive of the offence, enforcement and dispute resolution related changes), we note that the P&D Bill features the following:

  1. The purpose statement has been changed, so that it now expressly includes a reference to 'ecologically sustainable development' (through which prosperity can be facilitated by the balancing of the three elements previously identified in the purpose, namely economic growth, environmental protection and community wellbeing).
  2. The purpose statement defines the term 'planning' as 'being land use planning'.
  3. The Chapter 2 (Planning) provisions no longer include the statement that 'State planning instruments are not the only way of protecting or giving effect to, State interests' (see section 9(6) of the Consultation Draft).
  4. The scope of what is a 'minor amendment' to a State planning instrument has been defined (see section 9 of the P&D Bill).
  5. The only requirement for local planning instruments is that they appropriately integrate the various levels of planning and development assessment policies (i.e. there is no longer an express requirement in Chapter 2 of the P&D Bill for local government planning schemes to include local government infrastructure plans).
  6. There are new provisions throughout the P&D Bill, which relate to the new provision in section 21(9) of the P&D Bill, which confirms that a local government will not incur liability for anything the local government does, or does not do, in complying with a direction by the Minister to remove something from an existing or proposed local planning instrument, or a proposed amendment of a local planning instrument (see also, for example, sections 78(2)(e) and 84(2)).
  7. There are subtle changes made to the compensation provisions in Chapter 2, Part 4, Division 2 of the P&D Bill (see for example the deletion of the Division's applicability to adverse planning changes made by local governments, exclusion of changes made to reduce significant risk from bushfire, reference to the word 'neighbouring premises' instead of 'adjacent premises' in determinations going to the amount of compensation payable).
  8. There is a new section which contemplates a request to repeal a designation by an owner, where it is alleged to be causing the owner hardship (see section 35 of the P&D Bill).
  9. The concept of an 'exemption certificate' remains in Chapter 3, however – there is further clarity built in around how these attach to premises, and benefit successors in title (as well as occupiers of the land). Further, the opportunity for the entity who gave the exemption to unilaterally remove the exemption certificate has been removed (so that they now simply have effect for 2 years).
  10. The term 'assessment manager' is defined in section 43 of the P&D Bill, with reference to the administration of properly made development applications.
  11. The public notification requirements in section 48 of the P&D Bill work to enable a categorising instrument to require the public notification of developments if they involve both merit assessment and a variation request. The Consultation Draft was not as restrictive (enabling public notification for merit assessable development).
  12. The P&D Bill draws out the possibility that some referral agencies might only be able to give advice.
  13. The P&D Bill does not carry forward the idea that failing the provision of owners consent (where required), a decision notice can still be given if a condition is imposed to the effect that the development can not start until the owner has agreed to the development starting (for example). Instead – whilst the P&D Bill enables the later provision of owners consent – it confirms that no development approval can be given in the absence of owners consent.
  14. Decision notices must now include 'the name, residential or business address and electronic address of each principal submitter' (see section 60(2)(f) of the P&D Bill).
  15. The defined term 'reasonable or relevant requirement' has been omitted from the P&D Bill (along with its associated provisions about the deeming of certain conditions in this regard). However, the threshold still exists in section 623.
  16. With respect to variation approvals, the P&D Bill includes a statement that these apply instead of the local planning instrument that has been varied, until the development is completed, or the variation approval lapses (whichever occurs first). See section 68(7).
  17. Section 70(2) of the P&D Bill expressly confirms that development approvals do no confer or imply any proprietorial rights in relation to a resource (in addition to land).
  18. The Consultation Draft's requirement for Council's to inform applicants of the pending expiry of development approvals has been removed from the P&D Bill.
  19. There is no express 'step-in' power for the Minister in the P&D Bill. However, it is made overt that the Minister may call in an application by notice to the Court – if there are proceedings relating to the application in the P&E Court (see section 98).
  20. The differences going to the infrastructure chapter in the P&D Bill when compared to the Consultation Draft, are largely reflective of changes already made within the intervening period to Chapter 8 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. However, it is interesting to note that the P&D Bill contemplates that conversion applications will need to be made within 1 year after the development approval starts to take effect.
  21. The P&D Bill creates a new offence in relation to public access rights (see section 219).
  22. The provisions concerning urban encroachment and party houses have been incorporated within the P&D Bill (whereas the Consultation Draft omitted them).


In addition to the above, and as expected, the P&D Bill contains a comprehensive and complete suite of transitional provisions. The schedules containing the appeal triggers and the dictionary have also been completed. Finally, we note that the words used in the P&D Bill as opposed to the Consultation Draft appear even more in keeping with the drafting principle of plain English (e.g. the move away from the term 'have regard to' to be replaced by the word 'consider').


In conclusion, we are of the opinion that the key differences between the P&D Bill and its Consultation Draft are positive. The provisions which were no doubt the subject of most angst for local government (i.e. the obligation on them to advise proponents of the pending expiry of development approvals), and for proponents (i.e. the potential for exemption certificates to be withdrawn) have been removed. In this regard, it is likely that the P&D Bill will have a relatively peaceful committee process, and passage into legislative form.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Most awarded firm and Australian deal of the year
Australasian Legal Business Awards
Employer of Choice for Women
Equal Opportunity for Women
in the Workplace (EOWA)

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions