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State Assessment and Referral Agency

On 1 July 2013, the Queensland Government launched the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA). The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) was amended in November 2012 to give effect to SARA, as the first step towards reforming and simplifying the development assessment framework.

A key component of the Queensland Government's planning reform was the introduction of DSDIP as the SARA. Since then, SARA is contributing towards delivering the government's key priority to create the most efficient and effective planning and development assessment system in Australia.

SARA is delivering a coordinated, whole-of-government approach to the state's assessment of development applications.

Some of the many benefits include:

  • a single agency lodgement and assessment point for development applications, where the state has a jurisdiction
  • a final decision maker to ensure no 'unreasonable' requirements are imposed on applicants.

SARA means that the chief executive of SPA, being the Director-General of DSDIP, is the assessment manager or referral agency for development applications where the state has a jurisdiction. While DSDIP is responsible for a number of referral agency triggers now that the SARA provisions have commenced, there are still a number of other entities that exist outside of SARA, that still hold jurisdiction for their own referral agency triggers. Schedule 7 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 sets out all referral agencies and their jurisdiction.

The department is continuing to work with other state agencies, the industry and local governments to enhance and improve SARA operations. In addition, on-going regulatory amendments will continue to assist SARA to streamline development assessment processes.

Review of Queensland’s development assessment fees

The Queensland Government is reviewing development assessment fees for state interests, including all the fees associated with making an application or referral to SARA. The aim of the fee review is to introduce a consistent methodology for setting development assessment fees for state interests based on a ‘user pays’ approach. This will enable the government to more fully recover the cost of providing development assessment services and reduce the burden of taxpayer funding for these services. The revised fee structure will commence in the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 on 1 July 2014.

Key performance indicators

The department is committed to improving its customer service experiences and has developed key performance indicators to drive the necessary cultural changes required to deliver a successful and efficient development assessment system.

General enquiries and feedback

If you have any enquiries regarding an application, or are seeking guidance on a possible application, please contact your local DSDIP regional office.

For MyDAS technical support, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays) or visit Getting started with MyDAS.

If you have any general enquiries or feedback to provide, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • MyDAS - online preparation and lodgement system

    SARA is supported by MyDAS - a new online system that allows you to prepare and lodge or refer particular applications to DSDIP, as the single state assessment and referral agency.

    If you are lodging a development application to local government, as assessment manager, you do not use MyDAS to lodge the application to the local government.

    MyDAS will provide:

    • online lodgement of development applications and tracking through the Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS) process
    • access to and assistance with preparing IDAS forms
    • integration with the SARA online mapping system
    • electronic payment of fees.
    • prepare the IDAS forms through MyDAS
    • prepare the IDAS forms

    MyDAS can be accessed at www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/MyDAS

    For MyDAS technical support, call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays) or visit Getting started with MyDAS.

    To prepare IDAS forms for lodgement there are two options:

    1. prepare the IDAS forms through MyDAS
    2. prepare the IDAS forms from a PDF format document to either print and write on, or fill in electronically.

    IDAS checklists are also available to assist applicants determine if their development is assessable development under Schedule 3 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 and therefore requiring a development application. These checklists are available on the IDAS forms page.

    Please note:

    On 2 December 2013, the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 was amended in line with recent government reforms. Please check that these amendments do not affect your application prior to lodgement. The amendments include changes to triggers* 6.3.2, 7.2.4, 7.3.10 and removal of 7.1.15, 7.2.7A, 7.2.15A, 7.2.33A, 7.3.14A and 7.3.15.

    *Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS) trigger numbers are to be read, for example, as Schedule 6, Table 3, Item 2 (i.e. 6.3.2).

    View the amendments factsheet (PDF icon 62 KB).

  • Pre-lodgement meetings

    Pre-lodgement discussions are encouraged to improve the quality of incoming applications and potentially reduce the requirement for information requests.

    Applicants can lodge a pre-lodgement meeting request form via MyDAS online or by using the pre-lodgement form (PDF icon 84 KB) and sending it directly to your local DSDIP regional office.

  • Development application enquiries and submission centres

    Development application enquiries

    Development applications will be managed and assessed by DSDIP regional offices. For any queries, please contact your local regional office or email the relevant office:

    • Far North Queensland: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Mackay Isaac Whitsunday: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • North and Central West: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • North Queensland: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Fitzroy and Central Queensland: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Wide Bay Burnett: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Darling Downs South Queensland: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • South East Queensland North: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • South East Queensland South (Ipswich): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • South East Queensland South (Gold Coast): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Brisbane Central: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    SARA submission centres

    If you need to lodge your development application over the counter, you can only do this at the following DSDIP offices:

    Location Address Phone
    Cairns Cnr Grafton and Hartley Streets, Cairns 07 40481111
    Townsville Level 5, Central Plaza, 370 Flinders Street, Townsville 07 47997414
    Mackay Level 1, 73 Sydney Street, Mackay 07 49671099
    Rockhampton Level 3, 130 Victoria Parade, Rockhampton 07 49384686
    Gladstone The Old Post Office, 33 Goondoon Street, Gladstone 07 49712320
    North Lakes 6 Endeavour Boulevard, North Lakes 07 54708170
    Maroochydore Level 8, Mike Ahern Building, 12 First Avenue, Maroochydore 07 54708170
    Ipswich Ground Level, Tower Central, 114 Brisbane Street, Ipswich 07 33817570
    Southport Level 1, 7 Short Street, Southport 07 55837591
    Toowoomba 128 Margaret Street, Toowoomba 07 46161965
    Mt Isa 1/75 Camooweal Street, Mt Isa 07 47472144
    Bundaberg Level 1, 7 Takalvan Street, Bundaberg 07 41519746
    Brisbane Level 6, 63 George Street, Brisbane 07 34053484
  • Referrals that exist outside of SARA

    While DSDIP is responsible for a number of referral agency triggers now that the SARA provisions have commenced, there are still a number of other entities that exist outside of SARA, that still hold jurisdiction for their own referral agency triggers.

    Schedule 7 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 sets out all referral agencies and their jurisdiction. While many of these are now held by the chief executive of SPA, being the DG of DSDIP, it is important to note that not all are. The following entities are all referral agencies listed in schedule 7, which all operate independently of SARA:

    • Energex
    • Ergon
    • Powerlink
    • Gold Coast Waterways Authority
    • Ports North
    • North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation
    • Port of Townsville
    • Port Alma (Rockhampton)
    • Gladstone Ports Corporation
    • Port of Bundaberg
    • Port of Brisbane
    • SEQ Water
    • Santos
    • the relevant licence holder (as relevant under the Petroleum Act 1923)
    • Minister for Transport
    • the minister administering the Strategic Cropping Land Act 2011
    • the minister under the Transport Infrastructure Act 1994 - for strategic port land and airports
    • Department of Community Safety (Queensland Fire and Rescue)
    • Safe Food Queensland
    • Queensland Health
    • the relevant local government
    • Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Hazardous Industries and Chemicals Branch)
    • Department of Justice and Attorney- General (Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland)
    • Department of Justice and Attorney- General (Private Sector Industrial Relations)
    • Department of Education, Training and Employment
    • Building work against the building assessment provisions of the Building Act 1975 or the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990.

    Ultimately it is the applicant's responsibility to correctly refer applications under Schedule 7 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009.

Further information

Last updated on Friday, 11 April 2014