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Planning Reform Queensland

The Queensland Government is undertaking a once-in-a-generation reform of its planning system that will recast the way that planning and development is done in Queensland.

Launched when the Newman Government came into office in 2012, the reform program has already delivered initiatives such as the State Assessment and Referral Agency, the State Planning Policy and revised infrastructure charges arrangements.

The reformed system will provide strong, positive planning and development outcomes for all Queenslanders.

The reform program aims to:

  • streamline assessment and approval processes
  • remove unnecessary red tape
  • re-empower local governments to plan for their communities.

The Draft Bills

As part of its aim of having Australia's best planning and development assessment system, the Queensland Government is preparing new planning legislation.

The draft Planning and Development Bill and draft Planning and Environment Court Bill provide the basis for an efficient, effective, integrated, transparent and accountable planning and development assessment system.

The proposed legislation focuses on driving Queensland's prosperity, balancing community wellbeing, economic growth and environmental protection.

Learn more about the draft planning bills

You can make a comment on the draft bills until 26 September 2014.

Between now and then, the department will be meeting with local government and industry and presenting at several industry events (please note these are paid events). Please check this page regularly, as more events will be added over the coming weeks.

Several presentations will be recorded and shared on this page, to provide an easy way to learn about the purpose and content of the draft bills.

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.

Event Name Organiser Description Details Location
Queensland's draft Planning and Development Bill 2014 Queensland Environmental Law Association Evening seminar to provide an overview of the draft legislation 5pm to 7pm
Wednesday, 20 August
Royal on the Park, Brisbane
Queensland's new draft Planning and Development Bill Planning Institute Association A half-day seminar to outline the main elements of the draft bills Midday to 5.30pm
Tuesday, 26 August
Royal on the Park, Brisbane
Spotlight On: Queensland's Planning and Development Act Urban Development Institute of Australia Hear from a range of speakers about the content of the draft bills 8am to 10.30am
Thursday, 4 September
Southbank Institute of Technology, Brisbane
Draft Planning Bills – Question and Answer Session Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning A free Q&A event with the department which will be streamed live, so people across the state can participate 10am to midday
Friday, 19 September
Brisbane
(venue and streaming details to be confirmed)

The SPOLA Bill 2012

The Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment (SPOLA) Bill was introduced into Parliament, with assent on 22 November 2012 to become the SPOLA Act.

This legislation is the first step towards reforming and simplifying the planning framework and is the result of extensive consultation with local government, the property and construction industry and the environmental sector. SPOLA delivers on the government's commitment to restoring the efficiency, consistency and certainty to the planning and development system.

A key component of this act is establishing a single state assessment and referral agency for development applications.

Key changes brought about by the Bill provide for:

  • establishing a single state assessment and referral agency for development applications
  • removing of ineffective structure planning and master planning arrangements for declared master planned areas
  • reducing the regulatory red tape for development applications involving state resources, by removing the requirement for evidence of the resource entitlement or allocation to be submitted with applications
  • giving assessment managers, in particular local governments, discretion to accept development applications as properly made, despite non-compliance with the provision of mandatory supporting information
  • providing for the Queensland Planning Provisions to apply across all local governments to enable consistency in assessment levels for certain low risk developments, such as landscaping and car-parking
  • giving the Planning and Environment Court discretion to award costs for some proceedings, except for enforcement orders about development offences.
  • giving the Planning and Environment Court power to direct that the Alternative Dispute Resolution registrar may hear and determine minor disputes.

Further information

State Planning Policy

The Queensland Government has established a new approach to state planning policies that simplifies and clarifies state interests.

The single State Planning Policy has been developed to replace the various current state planning policies in existence.

Infrastructure contributions framework

The local infrastructure contributions framework system is being reviewed to introduce a well-balanced infrastructure charging framework that is equitable, transparent and provides certainty.

On 1 July 2013 the department released a discussion paper (PDF icon 614 KB) for public consultation.

Read more about infrastructure charges and the review to this system.

Sustainable Planning Act 2009

The Act came into effect on Friday 18 December 2009, replacing the Integrated Planning Act:

To understand the differences between the IPA and SPA, please read:

The Act:

  • shifts the focus from planning process to delivering sustainable outcomes
  • reduces complexity through standardisation
  • adopts a risk management approach to development assessment
  • introduces a broader range of opportunities for people to reach agreement and resolve disputes
  • provides improved opportunities for the community to understand and participate in the planning system.

Planning instruments

Planning instruments made under the IPA continue to have effect as though they were made under SPA.

An innovation in SPA is the creation of the Queensland Planning Provisions, a standard approach to planning schemes to improve community engagement and understanding of planning.

Integrated Development Assessment System forms and eDA

SPA maintains the benefits of an integrated development assessment system and enables the use of electronic planning tools such as eDA (electronic development assessment).

  • For applications lodged on or before 17 December 2009, please send your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
  • For applications lodged on or after 18 December 2009, the SPA IDAS forms will need to be used.

Development assessment process reform—operational works and large subdivisions

To streamline assessment processes, the Development assessment process reform – operational works and large subdivisions project will achieve an average 25 per cent reduction in assessment timeframes for large subdivisions and the majority of operational works applications.

The project is an initiative of the Council of Mayors (SEQ) and Local Government Association of Queensland, and is funded by the department.

Further information

Contact the department for further information on planning.

Last updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Draft Planning Bills - Open Consultation

The Draft Planning and Development and Planning and Environment Court Bills are open for consultation from 1 August to 26 September 2014.

Copies of the Draft Bills are available at haveyoursay.dsdip.qld.gov.au. Feedback and comments can also be lodged.