On Thursday November 12, 2015, Deputy Premier Hon Jackie Trad MP
introduced the Planning Bill 2015, Planning and Environment
Court Bill 2015 and Planning (Consequential) and Other
Legislation Bill 2015 (Bills) into State
parliament. The Bills aim to provide Queensland with an:
... efficient, effective,
transparent, integrated, coordinated and accountable system of land
use planning and development assessment to facilitate the
achievement of ecological sustainability.
The Bills are the result of a community consultation process
that commenced in September 2015 and will replace the current
planning framework in Queensland.
The form and content of the Bills have changed very little since
they were released for public comment in September 2015. Of note is
the abandoning of the development terms 'standard
assessable' and 'merit assessable' in favour of the
current terms, 'code assessable' and 'impact
assessable'. The transitional provisions have also been further
developed. It should also be noted that the final content of the
supporting documents is yet to be revealed.
In terms of how the Bills differ from the current planning
legislation, some of the key changes are as follows:
The number of state planning instruments is to
be reduced from four to two by removing the State Planning
Regulatory Provisions and the Standard Planning Scheme Provisions
from the Bills.
The categories of development are to be
changed to accepted, assessable and prohibited. Assessable
development retains the sub-categories of code assessable and
Exemption certificates can be issued to
certify that a development approval is not required for assessable
development under certain circumstances.
Referral agencies will no longer be
categorised as 'concurrence agencies' and 'advice
agencies' and will exist under the 'catch all' name of
simply referral agencies. Some referral agencies will be limited to
providing advice only.
A local government (or the chief executive) may nominate
another entity to be the assessment manager for
code assessable developments.
The currency periods have been extended to six
years for a material change of use, four years for a
reconfiguration of a lot and two years for all other development.
The concept of 'related approvals' (and 'rolling
forward') has been retired.
The term 'minor change' now applies to
both changes to development applications and development approvals.
Scope is also provided for approvals to be changed if the change is
The test for a minor change will no longer require the
proponent to consider whether a third party may make a properly
made submission objecting to the change.
The Building and Development Dispute Resolution Committee is to
be replaced by the Development Tribunal.
The current discretionary cost provisions of
the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 are to be restricted and
the general concept of each party bearing their own costs in
Planning and Environment Court litigation is to be
Enforcement orders made by the Court are to be
recorded on title and bind the owner and the owner's successors
in title. An order may be removed by obtaining a compliance
The Bills will now go to the Infrastructure, Planning and
Natural Resources Committee for review.
As mentioned above, key supporting documents have not been
finalised, namely the:
development assessment rules (containing the new IDAS
planning making rules;
infrastructure designation rules; and
The State Government intends to release these documents for
public consultation for two weeks from Monday, 23 November
We will keep an eye on how the new legislation and supporting
documents progress leading up to their intended commencement in
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