The Planning Act is expected to commence on 3 July 2017,
bringing with it a new regulatory planning framework for
This article is the first in a series which will examine the key
provisions of the new Planning Act 2016 and how it may impact upon
you and existing or future development.
How does the new Planning Act affect you?
The Act is expected to commence on 3 July 2017, bringing with it
a new regulatory planning framework for Queensland. On
commencement, the Act will repeal and replace the current
Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA).
While the Act offers a new structure and introduces some new
supporting instruments, many of the existing planning and
development concepts familiar to uses of the SPA are retained
albeit with some modifications.
Not all concepts from the SPA have made their way to the new Act
however, with the State Planning Regulatory Provisions, Queensland
Planning Provisions as well as compliance assessment and permits
notably absent. Arrangements for how this will work on commencement
of the Act will be covered in the new regulation.
How the Act works?
Broadly the Act is structured around three main elements: plan
making, development assessment and dispute resolution. Similar to
SPA, the State and local governments will share responsibility for
The Act is to be supported by other legislation, including the
Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 and the Planning
(Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016.
In addition, in order to interpret the Act you will also need to
have regard to the following supporting information:
the Planning Regulation 2017 (the Regulation);
State planning instruments being the State Planning Policy and
Local planning instruments being planning schemes, temporary
local planning instruments and local planning scheme policies;
Other statutory instruments including the new Development
Assessment Rules (DA Rules) and the Minister's
Guidelines and Rules.
Categories of development that will be
Like the SPA, the Act provides that development
which is categorised as assessable will require a
development approval before it can be lawfully
carried out. While development still means carrying out:
building work; or
plumbing or drainage work; or
·operational work; or
reconfiguring a lot; or
making a material change of use of premises,
there has been some modification made to the definitions of
building work, operational work
and material change of use.
Development is now categorised as assessable through a
categorising instrument which includes the
Regulation and a local government planning scheme, among
In addition to assessable development, a categorising instrument
can categorise development as prohibited (for
which a development application cannot be made) or as
accepted development (for which a development
approval is not required).
Unlike the IDAS process that was prescribed in the SPA, the Act
sets out a framework for the new planning assessment system and
provides for the creation of the DA Rules, which separately set out
the assessment process that must be followed when:
an applicant makes, changes or withdraws a development
the assessment manager and any referral agency, assesses and
decides a development application.
On commencement a number of transitional provisions will apply
to existing development applications, approvals and planning
the SPA will continue to apply to a development application
that was made before but not decided on commencement of the
a use of premises that was lawful before commencement will
continue to be lawful after commencement; and
development approvals, infrastructure agreements, designations
and planning instruments in effect on commencement of the Act will
continue to have effect as if the document had been made under the
As noted above, the State Planning Regulatory Provisions and
Queensland Planning Provisions will cease to have effect on
In our next article we take a closer look at the State and local
planning instruments, the Minister's powers and compensation
provisions under the Act.
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They 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 bulletin.
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