Urgent amendments to Queensland's planning legislation are now in effect to address concerns raised by a range of stakeholders, including local government and industry, in response to the COVID-19.

Queensland's planning legislation has been amended to:

  • allow the Minister to decide when an essential business or use, for example supermarkets, should be able to operate and restock 24 hours per day, seven days a week, during an event such as the COVID-19 public health emergency, or other future disasters
  • provide the opportunity for any person to seek relief from existing development application conditions or other operating constraints through a simple application to the state for a temporary use licence made to the state
  • introduce flexibility for the Minister to suspend or extend any of the statutory timeframes across the planning framework.

The new provisions provide for business continuity and supply by removing planning constraints which could be limiting the operation and delivery of essential services. The amendments also ensure that development assessment, plan-making, and other statutory timeframes under the Planning Act 2016 and Economic Development Act 2012 can be managed, and that local and state government can continue to make decisions and ensure statutory timeframes can be met even if workforces are affected or reduced.

These provisions are now a permanent part of our planning framework, providing flexibility to respond to not only COVID-19, but also to floods, bushfires, cyclones and other disasters. However, the effect of these powers is temporary and only applies for the duration of the declared event.

These provisions commence when the Minister for Planning declares that there is an event, such as a public health emergency or a natural disaster, that will affect state interests.

Declarations of applicable events

The Minister for Planning declared an applicable event on 19 March 2020, taking effect from 20 March 2020. View the applicable event notice (PDF icon 18 KB).

The Minister for Planning has extended the COVID-19 emergency applicable event to 31 October 2020. View the extension notice (PDF icon 18 KB).

Declarations of uses and classes of uses

Extension or suspension of planning framework periods under the Act

Temporary use licences

Planning (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020

This temporary regulation establishes new requirements for:

  • public notification of development applications, recognising many local newspapers are ceasing hard copy production; and;
  • keeping documents physically available for inspection and purchase in recognition of health and safety restrictions, enabling local governments to continue to meet their statutory obligations.

This regulation is in effect to 31 December 2020.

More information

For more information about changes under the:

  • Planning Act, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Economic Development Act, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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