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On 1 July 2013, the Queensland Government launched the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA). The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) was amended in November 2012 to give effect to SARA, as the first step towards reforming and simplifying the development assessment framework.

A key component of the Queensland Government's planning reform was the introduction of this department as the SARA. Since then, SARA is contributing towards delivering the government's key priority to create the most efficient and effective planning and development assessment system in Australia.

SARA is delivering a coordinated, whole-of-government approach to the state's assessment of development applications.

Some of the many benefits include:

  • a single agency lodgement and assessment point for development applications, where the state has a jurisdiction
  • a final decision maker to ensure no 'unreasonable' requirements are imposed on applicants.

SARA means that the chief executive of SPA, the department's Director-General, is the assessment manager or referral agency for development applications where the state has a jurisdiction. While the department is responsible for a number of referral agency triggers under SARA provisions, there are still a number of other entities that exist outside of SARA that hold jurisdiction for their own referral agency triggers. Schedule 7 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 sets out all referral agencies and their jurisdiction.

The department is continuing to work with other state agencies, industry and local governments to enhance and improve SARA operations, including the introduction of the SARA fast track assessment framework. In addition, on-going regulatory amendments will continue to assist SARA to streamline development assessment processes.

Key performance indicators

The department is committed to improving its customer service experiences and has developed key performance indicators to drive the necessary cultural changes required to deliver a successful and efficient development assessment system.

General enquiries and feedback

If you have any enquiries regarding an application, or are seeking guidance on a possible application, please contact your local regional office.

For MyDAS technical support, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays) or visit Getting started with MyDAS.

If you have any general enquiries or feedback to provide, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MyDAS - online preparation and lodgement system

Pre-lodgement meetings

Development application enquiries and submission centres

Referrals that exist outside of SARA

Further information