Australia: Planning & Environment Update: Did you know...

Last Updated: 28 November 2016
Article by Vanessa Thompson

Planning & Environment Update: Did you know...

Services: Property & Projects
Industry Focus: Property

Climate change is a focus of the new Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan?

An important piece of the planning puzzle for South East Queensland, the new Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan (Draft SEQRP) aims to ensure the impacts of climate change are managed as development continues in the region.

Setting out a 25 year planning framework and a 50 year vision, the Draft SEQRP acknowledges the impact climate change and extreme weather events will have, and makes disaster resilience and the protection of both man-made and natural assets a consistent theme throughout the document.

In particular, the Draft SEQRP:

  • requires disaster resilient planning which responds to the potential for more frequent and severe weather events, sea level rises and fluctuations in rainfall
  • promotes sustainable communities that minimise greenhouse gas emissions
  • recognises of the pressure of climate change on ecosystems and the need to protect those ecosystems

Unlike previous versions, the Draft SEQRP and its regulatory provisions do not take immediate effect. The current version remains in force until the new version is formally adopted.

Public consultation for the Draft SEQRP is open until 3 March 2017.

There are calls for legislative changes to prevent the demolition of character homes in Brisbane?

In the wake of the recent demolition of two character houses in Norman Park, Brisbane City Council has called on the Queensland Government to tighten 'loopholes' in private certification which it says leads to character buildings being demolished without proper assessment.

The Council has said that the demolition was approved by a private certifier but, despite the houses being subject to the Council's Traditional Building Character Overlay (Overlay), was not assessed or approved by the Council.

The 'loophole' relates to whether private certifiers have the power to issue building approvals to demolish buildings subject to the Overlay, or whether all applications to demolish character buildings subject to the Overlay need to be assessed by the Council.

A recent series of Planning & Environment Court decisions suggest that there is a distinction between applications involving construction and alterations to traditional buildings (which may only require assessment by a private certifier) and demolition (which may need to be assessed by the Council).

Where character buildings are illegally removed, the maximum penalty is currently $202,000, which is set to increase to $548,550 under the new Planning Act 2016 when it commences next year. However, it has been reported that only four fines have been issued in the last three years for illegally demolishing character homes in Brisbane, resulting in less than $40,000 in fines. This is in stark contrast to the possible financial benefits, including land value and development potential, associated with removal of character buildings.

The Queensland Government is considering legislative changes to address the Council's concerns.

The Federal Treasurer has cited planning regulation as a key reason for the lack of affordable housing?

Weighing into the affordable housing debate, this week the Federal Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison, identified planning restrictions impeding housing supply as a key factor driving up housing prices. He suggested that supply is being constrained from responding to genuine demand by factors including insufficient land release, complex planning and development regulation and public attitudes towards infill development.

He identified the easing of planning regulation for residential development as a focus for the upcoming Council on Federal Financial Relations in December, where both Commonwealth and State Government representatives will meet.

Housing affordability is also a focus of the Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan, which was released for public consultation this week, and seeks to strike a balance between a growing population and the supply of affordable or social housing.

This week the Planning and Environment Court granted an application to start use of a development pending the outcome of an appeal?

Harburg Nominees Pty Ltd v Brisbane City Council & Anor [2016] QPEC 52 – an application was granted allowing use of a development to start before the decision on an appeal against a condition of the development approval. The disputed condition required a road upgrade for a left turning facility. The applicant undertook to carry out the road upgrade if the appeal was unsuccessful.

The Co-Respondent, the Chief Executive administering the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (a concurrence agency for the development application) imposed the disputed condition and opposed the application. It submitted that the outcome of the appeal would be affected if the order was made, and that the requirements of the condition should be met prior to the use being able to commence.

In allowing the application, the Court observed that the outcome of the appeal would be that either, the relevant roadworks condition would remain, or it would be removed with a possible financial contribution instead. Either way, it was satisfied that the outcomes of the appeal would not be affected if use of the development commenced.

This article is intended to provide commentary and general information. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this article. Authors listed may not be admitted in all states and territories

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
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

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.

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 by clicking here .

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.


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.