Infrastructure facilities of significance
Prior to 21 December 2012, when amendments to the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (SDPWO Act) took effect, proponents could apply for approval of their project as an 'infrastructure facility of significance' (IFS).
An IFS is a facility assessed by the Coordinator-General and approved by the Governor in Council as being of significance economically or socially to Australia, Queensland or the region in which the facility is to be constructed.
From 21 December 2012, proponents can no longer apply to have their infrastructure facilities approved as an IFS. Instead, proponents must seek approval as a 'private infrastructure facility' (PIF).
Although the term 'infrastructure facility of significance' will no longer be used for new projects, an approved IFS will continue to be known by that name (as opposed to a PIF).
The former IFS provisions and guidelines will continue to apply to a:
- request - prior to 21 December 2012 - made to the Coordinator-General for Governor in Council approval of an IFS and
- request for the Coordinator-General to take land, for an IFS approved prior to 21 December 2012.
A proponent of an approved IFS must consult and negotiate with landowners and/or native title holders to:
- acquire the land needed for the facility by agreement on commercial terms
- enter into an indigenous land use agreement (where native title exists).
The proponent must notify affected landowners and/or native title holders in writing of the IFS approval and the formal consultation and negotiation period.
In addition, public notices must be published in newspapers circulating in the relevant regions.
Formal consultation and negotiation can begin only after at least one month has passed since the written notice was issued or the public notice was published.
Formal consultation and negotiation must last at least four months, two months of which must occur after the gazettal of the IFS approval.
Purpose of consultation
The proponent must consult and negotiate and hold as many meetings with affected landowners and/or native title holders as reasonably considered necessary to:
- provide details of the proposed IFS
- explain the likely impacts and benefits of the IFS and how the impacts will be mitigated
- seek landowners' and/or native title holders' views on the IFS and its implications for their land
- secure the land needed for the IFS by agreement and on commercial terms
- if native title exists, enter into an indigenous land use agreement
- demonstrate a genuine intention to consult and negotiate in good faith to secure the required land on reasonable terms.
It is important that the proponent documents all decisions and actions taken before and during the formal consultation and negotiation period.
This information will be considered by the Coordinator-General when deciding whether or not the land should be compulsorily acquired.
The proponent must offer to provide the landowners with an independent valuation of the land (at the proponent's expense), prepared by a registered valuer.
If there is disagreement over the value of the land, the proponent must advise the landowners that a second valuation may be obtained from a registered valuer (also at the proponent's expense).
Indigenous land use agreements
If native title exists, the proponent must take reasonable steps to enter into an indigenous land use agreement (ILUA) with the native title holders.
The proponent is advised to engage a suitably qualified native title negotiator to undertake the ILUA negotiations.
If an agreement cannot be reached between the proponent and landowners and/or native title holders to secure the land, the proponent should offer to engage and pay for an independent mediator.
The mediator would facilitate further negotiations in an attempt to broker an agreement.
If this fails, the proponent should submit all relevant valuations and the consultation, negotiation and mediation documentation to the Coordinator-General.
Afterwards, the Coordinator-General may determine whether reasonable steps were taken in trying to reach an agreement.
If negotiations to secure the land by agreement are unsuccessful, the IFS proponent may - as a last resort - apply to the Coordinator-General to compulsorily acquire (or take) the land required for the facility.
The proponent must ensure (among other things):
- reasonable and genuine steps have been taken to consult and negotiate with landowners to secure the land in good faith by agreement
- if native title exists, reasonable steps have been taken to enter into an indigenous land use agreement
- the statutory consultation and negotiation period requirements have been met
- documentary evidence of the formal consultation and negotiation period has been provided
- they can demonstrate a capacity and commitment to proceed with the development of the IFS within a reasonable period after securing the land.
Before initiating the process to compulsorily acquire the land, the Coordinator-General must be satisfied the proponent has met all statutory obligations.
The Coordinator-General may also seek independent advice on whether the proponent has taken reasonable steps to consult and negotiate with landowners and/or native title holders.
If the Coordinator-General agrees to compulsorily acquire the land, the proponent will be required to enter into an agreement with the Coordinator-General, covering matters such as:
- payment of fees
- costs and expenses associated with the compulsory acquisition of the land
- possible compensation payments to landowners and/or native title holders.
Land is compulsorily acquired under the processes set out in the:
- Acquisition of Land Act 1967
- Guidelines for acquisition of land for infrastructure projects by persons other than the state ( 1.34 MB)
Landowners and native title holders have the right to object to any proposed compulsory acquisition of their land or native title rights/interests.
Proponents must pay the fee prescribed in Schedule 7, Part 2 of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Regulation 2020.
Fee schedule 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021
The Application fee to assess a request to take land for a proposed infrastructure facility under former section 125(1)(f) of the SDPWO Act is $65,988.
- goods and services tax (GST) does not apply to this fee
- the making of an application and payment of the relevant fee does not guarantee approval.
This fee is adjusted on 1 January each year to reflect movements in the CPI over the 12 months to 30 September of the previous year. The CPI is based on the all groups index for Brisbane published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The CPI increase for fees payable in 2021 is 0.6%.
The Coordinator-General is also able to recover from the proponent reasonable costs of any services or advice which the Coordinator-General considers necessary to either decide on an application or take other action in relation to the project. Goods and services tax (GST) is applicable.
How to pay
Payment can be made via cheque, care of Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.
Alternatively, via direct bank deposit to:
Account name: Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
Account number: 10007096
Reference: Please include the name of the project and stage of the process that the payment relates to (e.g. XYZ Project IFS Application)
Land that is compulsorily acquired can be vested in the IFS proponent.
The Coordinator-General may do any or all of the following:
- lease, or agree to lease, to any person land taken, or proposed to be taken
- sign an agreement with any person to carry out, own, operate and maintain any works or development on land taken or proposed to be taken
- sign an agreement with any person in relation to works or development for the land taken or proposed to be taken
- sell land taken or agree to sell land to be taken.
Proponents of an approved IFS are required to comply with the following statutory guidelines:
Last updated: Wednesday, Sep 15, 2021