Queensland Government Planning Reform


In mid-2017 a new Planning System for Queensland is due to implement new planning legislation, the new Planning Act 2016 will establish a new planning system for the state and replaces the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA). It is believed the new planning laws are to deliver a transparent and efficient system that will contribute to investment and jobs, and will ultimately improve community engagement.

There will be new requirements on council’s and the state government to publish reasons for development decisions, there will be a greater say for the community with local governments now required to consult for longer on new planning schemes and mandatory consultation on state planning instruments.

The new planning system is designed to provide greater certainty through a ‘bounded’ code assessment, or categorised instrument that categorises development and assessment benchmarks (matters an assessment manager is to assess against), as well as exemption certificates for assessable development. This will mean development is assessed more strictly against criteria set out in the code, with the view to providing more rights for the community with the ability to appeal decisions without adverse cost orders.

Comprising of three main elements: 

❶ plan making ❷development assessment

❸ dispute resolution;

State and local government will share the responsibility in its delivering. The system will be performance based, which will allow for innovation and flexibility in how development can be achieved, which also responds to community needs and expectations.


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Ian Adams
Principal Planner

Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Diploma of Management