Planning Reform Queensland

The Queensland Government is undergoing a once-in-a-generation reform of its planning system. The reform is the largest of its kind and aims to deliver the best planning system in Australia that stimulates positive development and opportunities for all Queenslanders.

At the heart of planning reform is replacing the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 with clear and concise legislation. The replacement legislation is currently captured in the Draft Planning and Development Bill and Planning and Environment Court Bill.

The draft bills aim to strip away unnecessary state intervention to give back to local governments the autonomy and flexibility to plan for their communities and create a stable base for the industry to conduct business.

Reform journey Our Planning System News and resources

The reform journey

The state has been making incremental improvements to the system to deliver planning reform in the most efficient way possible.

Approaching reform in this manner has enabled the state to more easily and quickly identify and deliver real wins for the planning community, whilst continuing to progress longer term projects including new legislation. Reform is being delivered across several areas including:

Legislation: The heart of planning reform is the replacement of the Sustainable Planning Act (2009), with contemporary and effective legislation. Currently captured in the draft Planning Bills, the replacement legislation will form the foundation for a renewed planning framework.

Plan Making: A local government planning scheme is the key instrument for delivering development across Queensland. Work in this area focusses on scheme transition, scheme content and how schemes are made or changed.

Development Assessment: Queensland has a common system which sets out how development applications should be made and assessed. The department has identified new processes and forms that will streamline the entire process.

Electronic lodgement: Changes to the state's IT systems will be necessary to support any changes in the planning system e.g. MyDAS and eDA.

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Making it real

The mantra for planning reform is 'making it real'. The team recognises that planning reform will only be successful if delivered in an authentic way, alongside industry, community and local government to ensure the reformed system delivers 'real' benefits and improvements from day one.

Focus groups, monthly and annual forums, round tables and workshops are regularly hosted, along with informal meetings to test ideas and concepts. The testing of ideas and concepts ensures no time and effort is wasted on going down a path which will not deliver real benefit; and the solution is a result of open and transparent engagement.

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Queensland's Planning System

The department has clear direction on what the planning system should be and underpins all reform work. The Planning System should be:

  • fair and flexible, to effectively manage the challenges of urban growth and rural decline
  • open and accountable, to ensure communities and neighbourhoods can fully participate in the planning and development decisions that affect their local areas
  • integrated and efficient, to ensure confidence and certainty of decision-making with an aim for a streamlined, prompt approvals process
  • future-focussed, with an emphasis on long-term strategies that deliver sustainable development
  • grounded in local communities, to recognise and support the central role of local government in land-use planning and decision-making.

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support

The department recognises that true reform can only be achieved if the broader planning community are ready for the renewed system.

Alongside our regional services partners, a dedicated team is solely focussed on supporting local government and industry through the transition.

The team will be out and about throughout 2014/2015 in a bid to talk to as many people as possible about reform and what it will mean for key users of the system. The team will make information available in a variety of ways including meetings, presentations, videos and printed material.

If you feel your organisation would benefit from some additional reform information or presentations, please contact the team at bestplanning@dilgp.qld.gov.au.

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Queensland's Planning System

The driving force of reform is to create the best planning system in Australia, which is clear, transparent and easy to understand and navigate.

Queensland's Planning System comprises three key elements - Legislation (PDF icon 1.3 MB), Plan Making (PDF icon 3.1 MB) and Development Assessment (PDF icon 770 KB).

Supported by the dispute resolution processes, the key elements are strongly integrated and all play a critical role in cohesively delivering positive development outcomes and opportunities for Queensland.

Legislation

At the heart of planning reform is replacing the Sustainable Planning Act (SPA) with clear and concise legislation which delivers real and positive outcomes for Queensland.

The department has prepared the Planning and Development Bill 2014 and the Planning and Environment Court Bill 2014 (the bills), that are proposed to replace SPA. To assist practitioners, a point in time document outlining the Planning and Development Regulation is also available.

Plan making

Plan making is the process of a local government creating a planning scheme with its local community in the context of their aspirations and the state's interests. The planning scheme is the principal instrument which delivers development across local government areas.

Key elements in the plan making system include state interests , state planning policy , regional plans , scheme content and process guidance . The state is working with councils to identify how it can best support the in transitioning schemes to the new legislation.

Development assessment

Queensland has a common system which sets out how development applications should be made and assessed. The system comprises a process , rules and forms . Council is usually the assessment manager; however through the state assessment and referral agency (via the electronic system MyDAS ) the state also manages some applications.

The state is working with councils to support them in transitioning their existing development assessment processes and systems.

announcements

The department is committed to keeping industry and local government informed on reform initiatives and will post regular updates on this page.

March 2015

24 March - Continuing the planning reform process

When the election was called in January 2015, the Parliament and all its Committees were dissolved. The draft Planning Bills had entered Parliament on 25 November 2014 and were being reviewed by the then, Committee.

The new government is committed to continuing the planning reform process to ensure Queensland's planning system is contemporary, efficient and effective. The timing of the reform effort is being reviewed and when confirmed, the department will share this information with the broader planning community.

January 2015

8 January - Committee Inquiry on Planning Bills ceases due to election

With the Queensland Government now in caretaker mode, all existing Parliamentary Committees cease to exist (with the exception of the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee), along with their inquiries and referrals. If you or your organisation were preparing a submission to the State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee on the Planning Bills, this is no longer required. In the interests of continued effective engagement, the department will still accept feedback on the draft Planning and Development Regulation and supporting documents (due 13 February 2015).

December 2014

15 December - Consultation Report now available

In August, the department released the draft bills for public comment. 224 submissions were received and considered by the department. A consultation report (PDF icon 998 KB) is now available, which outlines how submissions were treated and expressed in the current version of the bills.

10 December - Great turn out at live stream event!

Over 200 Queenslanders tuned in to take part in the department's live stream event on 5 December. The department outlined how the reform program was tracking, the parliamentary review process and explained the supporting elements and current thinking that aligns with the draft bills. Recordings of the live stream are available within the resources section, along with the supporting material.

4 December - Parliamentary Committee Review

The Parliamentary Committee is in the process of scrutinising the planning bills. The review process is a separate process in which the department is not involved. Find out more about the review process and how to get involved.

November 2014

26 November 2014 - Planning bills introduced to Parliament

On 25 November, the Queensland Government introduced the planning bills into Parliament. The bills will now be reviewed by the Parliamentary Committee. View the planning bills and learn more about the review process.

26 November – Supporting Information (including draft regulation)

To support the introduction of the Planning Bills, a suite of supporting material has also been released to assist the community and practitioners better understand the elements of the proposed new system. Visit our resources section for details.

October 2014

27 - Planning Reform Queensland attend LGAQ Conference!

Planning Reform Queensland were in attendance at the LGAQ Conference, held in Mackay last week. Deputy Director-General of Planning and Property, Greg Chemello took the opportunity to attend the conference and speak with local government about planning reform. Members of the team were also on hand in our reform booth to speak with Council representatives throughout the conference. Thanks to everyone who stopped by for a chat!

September 2014

29 - Out and about

Throughout the eight week consultation period for the draft bills the department talked to over 2,000 people across the state. Industry and council sessions were held in the majority of regions across Queensland, in addition to several live streamed events and presentation recordings.

The team also spoke at several community and peak body events in a bid to further assist those interested in understanding the intent and main elements within the draft bills.

22 - Watch and learn about draft planning bills

Several presentations on the draft planning bills are available to watch from this page. The presentations outline how the draft planning bills differ to the current legislation; in order to assist people in understanding the key elements.

20 - Detailed information on draft regulation

After receiving feedback throughout the consultation period regarding the content of the regulation, the team has developed a detailed information paper. The information paper outlines the likely content within each section of the regulation.

12 - State testing draft tools

Several workshops were held across the state to discuss and table ideas covering planning scheme transition and the proposed development assessment rules. If you'd like more information on these sessions, please contact your regional services office.

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frequently asked questions

As we go through the reform journey, we'll regularly update our Frequently Asked Questions. If you can't see your question below, please get in contact. For information on the draft planning bills, download our questions so far document (PDF icon 380 KB).

Where is reform at?

When the election was called in January 2015, the Parliament and all its Committees were dissolved. The draft Planning Bills had entered Parliament on 25 November 2014 and were being reviewed by the then, Committee.

The new government is committed to continuing the planning reform process to ensure Queensland's planning system is contemporary, efficient and effective. The timing of the reform effort will be confirmed over the coming weeks. When confirmed, the department will share this information with the broader planning community (expected late April / early May 2015).

What department is responsible for delivering planning reform?

The Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning is responsible for delivering reform, within the Planning Group.

Why is the state writing new legislation? Why not just tweak the existing?

Queensland's current planning legislation - The Sustainable Planning Act (2009) (SPA) - is long, complex and unresponsive. The highly-regulated legislation has also created a process-driven industry, rather than one focussed on delivering positive outcomes.

Whilst the system was never claimed to be fundamentally 'broken', the accumulation of recommended changes from all stakeholder groups (government (state and local), industry, professional and other stakeholders), collectively, necessitated a new Act rather than simply 'tweaking' SPA.

Planning reform is a significant change for the industry. What support will be provided?

The department has made the commitment that it will support local government, industry and the community through any planning reform.

Detailed information, presentations and content will be available for all users of the planning system and are available from the reform website. The team has accepted several invitations to present to community, environmental and industry groups on planning reform and will continue to do so.

The government will endeavour to provide up to six months between the any new planning legislation passing and its enactment, which will provide local governments more time for transitional work with certainty as to the structure of the new system.

More details on the training and support model will be shared over the coming months.

My Council has heard that a new planning scheme will be required to support any new legislation. Is that true?

No. The transitional arrangements with any new planning legislation will ensure planning schemes (IPA or SPA) are valid and operational on 'day one' of a new system. The government is extremely cognisant of the effort already made by local governments towards new schemes and the efforts and costs required in this process.

To prepare for 'day one' of the new planning system, the government is committed to supporting councils and communities by providing a suite of tools and information that will not only support in transition, but provide the opportunity to improve the overall effectiveness of the planning scheme.

If your council would like more information on scheme transition, contact us on bestplanning@dilgp.qld.gov.au.

got a question?

email: bestplanning@dilgp.qld.gov.au

phone: 0428 715 609

resources

As we transition to the new system, the department will post a range of resources to help you better understand reform and what it means for you. Please contact the department on bestplanning@dilgp.qld.gov.au at any time, if you require more information.

Queensland's Planning System

On 26 November 2014, the department released a suite of supporting documents to accompany the then, draft Planning Bills. The documents outline the four main elements of reform (Legislation, Plan Making, Development Assessment and IT Systems) and how, under the proposed new legislation how these elements will be reflected.

While the planning bills ceased their parliamentary review when the election was called in January 2015, the information below still represents current and does represent the most current thinking of the department.

Draft Planning Bills

Key changes (PDF icon 119 KB)
key changes to the planning bills between the consultation drafts and the final bills presented to Parliament in 2014.

Draft Bills Overview (PDF icon 1.3 MB) (includes draft regulation and access rules)

Legislation overview – James Coutts (5 December 2014).
Executive Director of Planning Services provides an overview of the draft planning bills and where they are at.

Planning Bills Consultation report (PDF icon 998 KB)

View the draft Bills

Planning and Development Bill

Draft Planning and Development Regulation (PDF icon 667 KB)

Planning and Development (Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill

Planning and Environment Court Bill

Plan Making

Proposed Plan Making System (PDF icon 3.1 MB)

Plan Making System – James Coutts (5 December 2014).
James talks about how the state is proposing to change its approach to plan making.

Infrastructure Designation – Tom Leach (5 December 2014).
Project Lead, Tom Leach runs through the key changes within Infrastructure Designation.

Scheme transition – James Coutts (5 December 2014).
James gives an overview of where the department is at in regards to scheme transition.

Development Assessment

Proposed Development Assessment System (PDF icon 4.1 MB)

Proposed DAQ Process – Kim Kirstein (5 December 2014).
Project Lead, Kim Kirstein provides a high level view of the proposed changes in the development assessment space.

Detailed Development Assessment Process – Kim Kirstein (18 November 2014).
Kim Kirstein, gives a detailed overview of the proposed DA process.

MyDAS

Supporting Systems (MyDAS) (PDF icon 581 KB)

MyDAS overview – James Coutts (5 December 2014).

hear from us

Members of the department are regularly out and about speaking about planning reform.

If your organisation would like a presentation about the draft bills by the department, please contact bestplanning@dilgp.qld.gov.au. The department will make every effort to accommodate these requests.

Events

The department will host a number of free events to help you better understand reform and what it means for you. The Planning Reform team is currently preparing its schedule of 2015 events. Information will be available in early 2015.

A conversation about planning reform - on Friday 5 December, the department hosted a free live streamed event to describe where reform is at, the next steps and provided an overview of the key supporting elements. Recordings from the live streamed event can be seen in the resources section. View the full presentation (PDF icon 2.1 MB).

hear from us

Members of the department are regularly out and about speaking about planning reform.

If your organisation would like a presentation about the draft bills by the department, please contact bestplanning@dilgp.qld.gov.au. The department will make every effort to accommodate these requests.