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Approved works

Under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (SDPWO Act), the Coordinator-General may recommend to  the Minister and the Governor in Council that certain works be undertaken by a local body.

Similarly, the Coordinator-General (or another person acting on behalf of the Coordinator-General) may be directed, via a regulation, to undertake approved works.

The definition of 'works' under the SDPWO Act is very broad. It includes the whole and every part of any work, project, service,   utility, undertaking or function that the Coordinator-General, another person on behalf of the Coordinator-General or a local body is authorised under the Act to undertake.

Works by local body

The Coordinator-General may recommend to the Minister that a local body carry out particular works.

If the Minister and the Governor in Council approve the Coordinator-General's recommendation, a regulation may be made that   directs the local body to undertake the recommended works.

What is a 'local body'?

Local bodies include:

  • government-owned corporations
  • statutory bodies
  • other bodies established under an Act
  • corporations whose shares are wholly owned by the State and/or local government/s
  • subsidiaries of the abovementioned corporations.


The Minister may specify a timeframe for the commencement or completion of the works.

Failure to comply

If the local body fails to comply with the works regulation, the Governor in Council may authorise the Coordinator-General or a   project board to commence or complete the works.

All the costs of remedying the default must be paid by the local body.

Works by Coordinator-General

If the Coordinator-General is directed to carry out works, the Coordinator-General or the person authorised by the Coordinator-General is exempt from the approval and planning requirements of the Planning Act 2016.

The exemption only applies when the functions of the Coordinator-General are performed under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971.

The Coordinator-General has been directed by regulation to undertake facilitation works for these projects:


The works must be undertaken as soon as practicable after the regulation is made.

Coordinator-General's powers

To ensure the timely delivery of the works, the SDPWO Act gives the Coordinator-General the power to (among other things):

  • compulsorily acquire land, if required, and deal with land
  • temporarily enter private land to, among other things:
    • temporarily occupy the land
    • carry out an investigation
    • dig or bore into the land
    • demolish buildings and remove plant and machinery
    • construct buildings and bring in plant and machinery
    • make roads
    • deposit or take earth, timber and other materials.

The Coordinator-General can remain on the land for as long as considered necessary.

Notice to land owners and occupiers

Where practicable, the Coordinator-General is required to give the occupier of the land (or owner, in lieu of any occupier) seven days written notice of the intention to enter the land.


A person who claims to have suffered damage resulting from the exercise of the Coordinator-General's power to enter private land is entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Such a claim may include:

  • compensation for damage to property of a temporary or permanent nature
  • compensation for the taking of clay, soil or other material from the land (excluding  water).

Delegation of works

A power, function or duty given to, or imposed on, the Coordinator-General under a works regulation can be delegated by the   Coordinator-General to a:

  • local body, or
  • chief executive, senior executive or term appointee under the Public Service Act 2008 whose remuneration is equal to or greater than a senior executive's.

This delegation is subject to the prior approval of the Minister and the Governor in Council.

More information

For information on the latest approved works, read the State Development and Public Works Organisation Regulation 2020.

Last updated: 09 Nov 2021