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BETTER PLANNING FOR QUEENSLAND

The Queensland Government is committed to delivering a better planning system that enables responsible development and delivers prosperity, sustainability and liveability for now and into the future.

Planning reform is an important part of the Government's plan for Queensland.

Planning reform can contribute to:

  • improving the quality of places and spaces
  • delivering a stronger economy and jobs
  • making housing more affordable
  • making sure new and existing communities are supported with infrastructure
  • protecting important natural resources
  • managing the impacts of natural hazards
  • tackling long term challenges like climate change and the ageing population.

To enable better planning the current planning legislation will be replaced with a new and easy to understand Planning Act.

While the replacement planning bills do recommend changes to the system, the key roles of the state government, local government and the community will remain the same. Learn more (PDF icon 181 KB) about Queensland's planning system and your role in it.

"We believe that planning reform can deliver a more efficient system that supports investment and jobs, but don't believe this must come at the expense of community participation or the role of local government"

Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad (May 2015)

DELIVERING BETTER PLANNING FOR QUEENSLAND

Planning reform is an important part of the government's plan for Queensland, with legislative reform at its core.

The department has drafted replacement legislation, in line with the Government's Better Planning for Queensland - Key Directions Paper (PDF icon 212 KB). The replacement bills are intended to replace the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 and include:

  • The Planning Bill
  • The Planning and Environment Court Bill
  • The Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Bill.

The Honourable Jackie Trad MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment, introduced the three bills to the Queensland Parliament for consideration on 12 November 2015.

The three bills are now under review by the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee.

Supporting instruments consultation

While the bills are under review, the department sought feedback on several instruments that will support the day-to-day operation of the planning system. The public comment period on the four instruments closed at 6pm Friday 5 February 2016. To learn more about the draft instruments see our Resources section below.

Government's planning bills update

An overview of the bills introduced to Parliament

View the presentation (18:49)

The planning bills are now under review by the Parliamentary Committee. View the bills and get involved.

The department sought feedback from Queenslanders on the bills. themes and responses are detailed within a consultation report (PDF icon 729 KB).


The department is committed to keeping industry, local governments and broader community informed on reform initiatives and will post regular updates on this page. If you'd like more information, please sign-up for updates, follow us on Facebook or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 0428 715 609 or 07 3452 6801.

23 November – Planning instruments open for consultation

While the bills are under review, the department is seeking feedback on several instruments that will support the day-to-day operation of the planning system. The four instruments are open for consultation from Monday 23 November to Friday 5 February 2016 (at 6 pm).

17 November – Committee releases consultation details

The Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee has released details of its consultation process for the planning bills.

The committee is seeking feedback on the Government's Bills and the Private Member's Bills (introduced earlier this year).

Public submissions close at 4 pm on Monday 18 January, 2016. View details on the parliament website.

12 November - Planning bills introduced to Parliament

On 12 November 2015, the Honourable Jackie Trad MP, Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade, tabled the planning bills to the Queensland Parliament for consideration.

In her parliamentary address, the Deputy Premier outlined her vision for the bills and how they will contribute to better planning outcomes for Queensland.

The bills are now available via the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee webpage, as they conduct their independent review.

23 October - Consultation closed

The consultation period for the draft planning bills closed on 23 October. The department thanks everyone who contributed or came along to our events and briefings held across the state. A consultation report will be available in November that will outline how the bills changed as a result of consultation and the extent of engagement across the State.

10 September - Planning bills released for consultation

The department is pleased to announce the release of the draft planning bills. The draft bills, which intend to replace the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, will be open for consultation from Thursday 10 September to Friday 23 October.

The support the release of the draft bills, the department has created a suite of materials and videos to assist Queenslanders understand the draft bills and their key elements. The team will also hit the road to talk to Queenslanders about the draft bills. Head to our events section to find more details.

Planning Reform hits the road

The planning reform team will hit the streets of Queensland in August and September to talk about planning in a series of 'Meet a Planner' sessions.

The informal sessions will outline the current planning system and also the draft planning legislation that will be open for public comment.

If you are a community group and would like to request a one-on-one meeting with the team while we are in your area, please contact us via the details provided on our events tab.

As the team can only travel to so many places, all information shared at these sessions will be made available on this website from early August.

29 June - Free Community Presentations on Planning Reform

Throughout July, the department will speak to community members in Brisbane, Sunshine and Gold Coast about planning reform and what it will mean for them. These free events have been coordinated by the Queensland Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) and several local partner organisations. Details of these free events are shown below:

  • Brisbane, 9 July at the University of Queensland, Steele Room (6pm – 8pm) - RSVP here
  • Sunshine Coast, 15 July at Lake Kawana Community Centre (6pm – 8pm) - RSVP here
  • Gold Coast, 15 July at Robina Community Centre (6:30pm – 8:30pm) - RSVP here

If you're a community group that would like to learn more about planning reform, please contact the department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

15 June - department outlines key elements of Planning Reform

With the recent release of the Directions Paper – Better Planning for Queensland, the department hosted a live stream event to outline the directions in more detail and provide an update on where the team is at and next steps. You can access the video here.

4 June - Live streamed event on Key Planning Directions

With the recent release of the directions paper, Better Planning for Queensland: Next Steps in Planning Reform, the department will host a live streamed event to outline its key directions, the next steps for planning reform, followed by a question and answer session.

Tune in to hear from the department and ask any questions! If you're unable to watch live, a recording will be available on the department's website following the event.

Details: Monday 15 June, 9am – 10.30am.
Stream details: Hear from the department, you will require Microsoft Silverlight (a free application) – Access the live stream.
Questions in advance: If you can't make the event and would like to question answered, send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

25 May - Government outlines key directions for planning reform

Communities across Queensland, local councils and industry will be able to shape the future of their streets, suburbs and regions under the Palaszczuk Government's new planning reforms.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad today released the directions paper Better Planning for Queensland, which will support community and industry consultation and guide the development of a new Planning Act.

You can provide feedback on the directions paper via this online survey.

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 on either This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 0428 715 609 or 07 3452 6801.

The department is always keen to talk to practitioners and members of the community about better planning for Queensland. You can get involved in several ways:

  • Send your feedback to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send us a letter to PO Box 15009 City East QLD Brisbane 4002.
  • Your community meeting – If you would like the department to present on better planning for Queensland to your community group, please contact us on the above email
  • Come talk to us – Across the State, we have a team of local planners who are across your local issues. Find your local planner.

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

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.

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.

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Since the 1960's, the State has continually looked to improve its planning and development framework, in response to its changing needs. The work of the previous government made headway towards an improved system, but we believe that work may have occurred at the expense of some important principles that should underpin reform.

Our proposed reforms build on the earlier work and seek to bring a better balance across industry, environmental and community interests to enable better planning for Queensland.

As we move towards a new planning 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at any time, if you require more information.

While the replacement planning bills do recommend changes to the system, the key roles of the state government, local government and the community will remain the same.

Learn more (PDF icon 181 KB) about Queensland's planning system and your role in it, by accessing our handy one page guide. We have also created a short video that describes that describes the three main areas of the system, and the key roles.

From 23 November to Friday 5 February 2016, the department sought feedback on several instruments that will support the day-to-day operation of the planning system.

The department is now reviewing submissions. New versions of the instruments will be released in the coming months.

The documents below are no longer current, yet aim to assist those interested in understanding how the instruments may change.

DRAFT planning regulation

DRAFT development assessment rules

DRAFT plan making rules

DRAFT infrastructure designation guidelines

The draft bills were released for public comment from 10 September to 23 October 2015. A consultation report outlines how the bills changed as a result of this public submission process.

Key highlights from the public consultation include:

  • received over 16,000 views of the planning reform website by over 10,000 people
  • directly engaged over 1,500 Queenslanders in 18 locations across Queensland
  • held 16 "Meet the Planner" sessions
  • spoke directly with more than 260 people from the community, including representatives from 38 groups (with their own memberships)
  • presented to a dozen sessions attended by more than 500 industry representatives
  • departmental officers travelled over 237,500kms around the State
  • hosted two live streamed events
  • held workshops attended by over 310 planning practitioners
  • Consultation Report (PDF icon 728 KB)

The draft bills and supporting information provided during the 2015 consultation is available below. This information is no longer current, yet aims to assist those interested in understanding how the bills have changed.

Draft Planning Bill

The Draft Planning Bill sets up the improved planning and development assessment system.

Draft Planning and Environment Court Bill

Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill

The 2015 Planning Summit was held on 28 July 2015 and brought together over 200 representatives from the planning community including Local Government elected members, planning practitioners, peak bodies, industry, development, community and environmental groups.

At the Summit, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Jackie Trad outlined her vision for the State and presented the latest research and trends that must be considered, when planning for our cities, towns and communities. Parts of the day were live streamed and all presentations were filmed and recorded. All presentations were filmed or recorded and are shown below.

Note: While watching the videos, you can use the 'speech bubble' icon (bottom right of the screen) to ask us a question.

Presentations

Greg Chemello - Deputy Director-General of the Planning Group

SUMMIT WELCOME
Greg Chemello opens the Summit and talks about his plan for planning reform.
View the presentation (06:15)

Ms Jackie Trad - Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning

QUEENSLAND'S FUTURE PLACES, TOWNS AND CITIES
Ms Jackie Trad outlined the Government's vision for Queensland's future places, towns and cities, and to start the discussion on some of the latest research that need to be considered in best practice land-use planning.
View the presentation (13:02)

Dr Stefan Hajkowicz - Principal Scientist in Strategic Foresight at CSIRO

MEGATRENDS THAT WILL SHAPE OUR PLACES
Stefan shared his latest research on global megatrends and how they will translate to the Queensland landscape. This is a must-see address for all Queenslanders!
View the presentation (53:49)

Michelle Blicavs - Chief Executive Officer, IAP2 Australasia

A NEW WAVE OF ENGAGEMENT
The Government is committed to public participation in planning, and so the CEO of the International Association of Public Participation Australasia, Michelle Blicavs gave an outline on contemporary engagement principles and practices.
View the presentation (20:20)

Malcolm Middleton - Queensland Government Architect

WHAT'S THE FORMULA FOR OUTSTANDING URBAN DESIGN?
Malcolm described the formula for achieving outstanding urban design and how it applies to places and spaces across the State.
View the presentation (23:33)

Concurrent Sessions

A series of concurrent sessions covered key topic areas including infrastructure, a new economy, a new bill, evolution of engagement and new approaches in planning. You can listen to these short 20-minute sessions and access the presentation material used (this includes presenter details).

The Role of Infrastructure

Listen to audio (1:10:26)
Download slides
(PDF icon 519 KB)

A New Economy

Listen to audio (22:25)
Download slides
(PDF icon 3.3 MB)

A New Bill

Listen to audio (21:12)
Download slides
(PDF icon 303 KB)

The Evolution of Engagement

Listen to audio (22:46)
Download slides
(PDF icon 1.7 MB)

Revitalisation: New Approaches in Planning

Listen to audio (22:02)
Download slides
(PDF icon 331 KB)

Expert Panel

What does it all mean for Queensland?
We finished the day with an engaging panel discussion comprising key thought leaders on how the megatrends will translate for Queensland and what we need to do as a collective to ensure our State continues to prosper.

Panellists include:

  • Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier and Minister For Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
  • Michelle Blicavs, CEO, IAP2 Australasia
  • Stefan Hajkowicz, Principal Scientist in Strategic Foresight, CSIRO
  • Chris Mountford, Queensland Executive Director, Property Council of Australia
  • Dy Currie, Director Planning & Environment, City of Gold Coast
  • Brendan Nelson, President, Planning Institute of Australia
  • David Nicholls, Partner Hopgoodganim, Urban Development Institute of Australia

View the presentation (01:14:17)

In May 2015, the Government released its 'Better Planning for Queensland – Directions Paper'. This set the course for reform and key areas in which the Government was seeking feedback.

The department sought feedback on the Directions Paper and used that as it re-commenced drafting the bills over the coming months.

Members of the department are regularly out and about speaking about planning reform. If your organisation would like a presentation about Planning Reform by the department, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 0428 715 609 or 07 3452 6801. The department will make every effort to accommodate these requests.

Current events

No events are currently scheduled for planning reform.

Past events

While the planning bills are under review with the Committee, the department will seek feedback on several planning instruments that support the day-to-day operation of the system. The instruments will be open for consultation from Monday 23 November to Friday 5 February 2016 (at 6 pm) and include the:

  • development assessment rules
  • plan making rules
  • infrastructure designation process
  • planning regulation.

To help Queenslanders understand the instruments, the department will host a Community session in Brisbane on Thursday 10 December. View the details below.

Time Topic Links
Thursday 10 December
5.00–7.30 pm
Community session
Drop into this session at any time to learn more about each instrument. The format will comprise a 30 minute presentation given at 5.15 pm and 6.15 pm, followed by table discussions.
Brisbane CBD
Cliftons
288 Edward Street
Brisbane City

On Wednesday 21 October, the department held a live Q&A on the draft bills in order to help Queenslanders prior to the close of public consultation. You can watch the Q&A here.

The planning reform team will hit the streets of Queensland to talk about planning and the soon-to-be-released draft planning bills. The draft planning bills would replace the current planning legislation and aim to create a planning system that is open, transparent, fair and easy to understand; and contribute to prosperous and flourishing places and spaces across our great State.

The sessions will run from 6.00pm to 7.30pm and no bookings are required.

If you are a community group and would like to request a one-on-one meeting while the team is in your local area, please contact us (see phone numbers below) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Location Date Venue Phone
Cairns Monday 14 September
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Rydges Tradewinds Hotel, 137 The Esplanade, Cairns 07 4037 3214
Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore Wednesday 16 September
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Mike Ahern Government Office Building, 12 First Avenue, Maroochydore 07 5352 9701
Mt Isa Thursday 17 September
6.00pm to 7.30pm
The Buff's Club, Grace Street, Mt Isa 07 4747 3900
Rockhampton Thursday 17 September
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Fitzroy Room, Rockhampton Regional Library, Bolsover Street, Rockhampton 07 4924 2913
Toowoomba Monday 21 September
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Toowoomba Sports Ground, Corner of Mary and Arthur Streets, Toowoomba 07 4616 7307
Bundaberg Tuesday 22 September
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Level 1, 7 Takalvan Street, Bundaberg 07 4331 5614
Mackay Thursday 24 September
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Souths Football Club, 181 Milton Street, Mackay 07 4898 6888
Townsville Thursday 24 September
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Townsville RSL, 139 Charters Towers Road, Hermit Park 07 4758 3404
Gold Coast, Robina Monday 28 September
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Robina Community Centre, Library Building, 196 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina 07 5644 3200
Ipswich Tuesday 29 September
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Studio 188, 188 Brisbane Street, Ipswich 07 3432 2413
Brisbane City, Annerley Wednesday 30 September
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Annerley Hall, 8 Waldheim Street, Annerley 07 3452 6801
Brisbane, Chermside Tuesday 13 October
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Kedron Wavell Services Club, 21 Kittyhawk Drive (off Hamilton Road), Chermside South 07 3452 6801
Brisbane, Coorparoo Monday 19 October
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Queen Alexandra Home, 347 Old Cleveland Road, Coorparoo 07 3452 6801
Brisbane, Spring Hill Wednesday 21 October
6.00pm to 7.30pm
Upper Hall, Brisbane Central State School, Cnr St Pauls Terrace and Rogers St, Spring Hill 07 3452 6801

The 2015 Planning Summit was held on 28 July 2015 and brought together over 200 representatives from the planning community including Local Government elected members, planning practitioners, peak bodies, industry, development, community and environmental groups.

At the Summit, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Jackie Trad outlined her vision for the State and presented the latest research and trends that must be considered, when planning for our cities, towns and communities. Parts of the day were live streamed and all presentations were filmed and recorded. All presentations were filmed or recorded and are shown below.

Note: While watching the videos, you can use the 'speech bubble' icon (bottom right of the screen) to ask us a question.

Presentations

Greg Chemello - Deputy Director-General of the Planning Group

SUMMIT WELCOME
Greg Chemello opens the Summit and talks about his plan for planning reform.
View the presentation (06:15)

Ms Jackie Trad - Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning

QUEENSLAND'S FUTURE PLACES, TOWNS AND CITIES
Ms Jackie Trad outlined the Government's vision for Queensland's future places, towns and cities, and to start the discussion on some of the latest research that need to be considered in best practice land-use planning.
View the presentation (13:02)

Dr Stefan Hajkowicz - Principal Scientist in Strategic Foresight at CSIRO

MEGATRENDS THAT WILL SHAPE OUR PLACES
Stefan shared his latest research on global megatrends and how they will translate to the Queensland landscape. This is a must-see address for all Queenslanders!
View the presentation (53:49)

Michelle Blicavs - Chief Executive Officer, IAP2 Australasia

A NEW WAVE OF ENGAGEMENT
The Government is committed to public participation in planning, and so the CEO of the International Association of Public Participation Australasia, Michelle Blicavs gave an outline on contemporary engagement principles and practices.
View the presentation (20:20)

Malcolm Middleton - Queensland Government Architect

WHAT'S THE FORMULA FOR OUTSTANDING URBAN DESIGN?
Malcolm described the formula for achieving outstanding urban design and how it applies to places and spaces across the State.
View the presentation (23:33)

Concurrent Sessions

A series of concurrent sessions covered key topic areas including infrastructure, a new economy, a new bill, evolution of engagement and new approaches in planning. You can listen to these short 20-minute sessions and access the presentation material used (this includes presenter details).

The Role of Infrastructure

Listen to audio (1:10:26)
Download slides
(PDF icon 519 KB)

A New Economy

Listen to audio (22:25)
Download slides
(PDF icon 3.3 MB)

A New Bill

Listen to audio (21:12)
Download slides
(PDF icon 303 KB)

The Evolution of Engagement

Listen to audio (22:46)
Download slides
(PDF icon 1.7 MB)

Revitalisation: New Approaches in Planning

Listen to audio (22:02)
Download slides
(PDF icon 331 KB)

Expert Panel

What does it all mean for Queensland?
We finished the day with an engaging panel discussion comprising key thought leaders on how the megatrends will translate for Queensland and what we need to do as a collective to ensure our State continues to prosper.

Panellists include:

  • Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier and Minister For Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
  • Michelle Blicavs, CEO, IAP2 Australasia
  • Stefan Hajkowicz, Principal Scientist in Strategic Foresight, CSIRO
  • Chris Mountford, Queensland Executive Director, Property Council of Australia
  • Dy Currie, Director Planning & Environment, City of Gold Coast
  • Brendan Nelson, President, Planning Institute of Australia
  • David Nicholls, Partner Hopgoodganim, Urban Development Institute of Australia

View the presentation (01:14:17)

Throughout July, the department will speak to community members in Brisbane, Sunshine and Gold Coast about planning reform and what it will mean for them. These free events have been coordinated by the Queensland Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) and several local partner organisations. Details of these free events are shown below:

  • Brisbane, 9 July at the University of Queensland, Steele Room (6pm – 8pm) - RSVP here
  • Gold Coast, 15 July at Robina Community Centre (6:30pm – 8:30pm) - RSVP here
  • Sunshine Coast, 16 July at Lake Kawana Community Centre (6pm – 8pm) - RSVP here

If you're a community group that would like to learn more about planning reform, please contact the department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

With the recent release of the directions paper, Better Planning for Queensland: Next Steps in Planning Reform, the department hosted a live streamed event to outline its key directions, the next steps for planning reform, followed by a question and answer session.

Watch the session here

GOT A QUESTION?

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

0428 715 609 or 07 3452 6801

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The department will make every effort to accommodate these requests.