Key Points:

Submissions on the Bills can be made to the Committee until Monday, 18 January 2016.

The Queensland Government's planning reform bills were tabled in Parliament on 12 November 2015. There are three bills which together would repeal and replace the current Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) being the:

  • Planning Bill 2015;
  • Planning and Environment Court Bill 2015; and
  • Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015.

The Bills have been referred to the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee to report to the House by 21 March 2016. Submissions on the Bills can be made to the Committee until Monday, 18 January 2016.

In addition to the Bills, the State has also released a number of draft statutory instruments for public consultation until 5 February 2016. The draft instruments that have been released are the:

  • draft Planning Regulation
  • draft Development Assessment Rules
  • draft Plan Making Rules
  • draft Infrastructure Designation Guidelines.

Fact sheets and other supporting information are also available on the Department's website.

The Bills represent the most drastic overhaul of Queensland’s planning laws since the introduction of the Integrated Planning Act 1997 and are the culmination of the planning reform process that has now been ongoing for a number of years.

The Bills introduce changed terminology for many of the planning concepts that would be retained, and deregulates and streamlines a number of processes that exist under SPA. There are a number of matters under SPA that would be discontinued under the Bills, including:

  • State planning regulatory provisions and standard planning scheme provisions (although elements will be continued through other instruments, including the Regulations);
  • the EIS process; and
  • compliance assessment.

For local government, these changes would mean new assessment and approval processes, new planning instruments, and some new compliance obligations. The Government has stated it will offer local governments assistance to examine their planning schemes and to transition them prior to commencement of the Planning Bill.

For developers, the key issues will be the whole of the assessment process, and the transitional arrangements for any applications or appeals under way at commencement.