Planning reform is back on the State's agenda and based on a recent announcement we can expect to see:

  • consultation with key stakeholders start as early as June 2015;
  • draft bills published in October 2015; and
  • the new regime to commence in the second half of 2016.

After months of industry speculation, the Queensland Government has given a formal statement about the direction of the State’s planning reform. On 25 May 2015, the Hon Jackie Trad MP, Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning  published a Directions Paper titled “ Better planning for Queensland – Next steps in planning reform ” (Directions Paper).

The Directions Paper confirms that the Government is committed to planning reform and foreshadows that the State intends to elevate the role of community participation in the planning system going forward. The Government has set a timetable which aims to have a new planning system commence in the second half of 2016.

We expect that the Government will use the former Planning and Development Billand the Planning and Environment Court Bill as foundations for its reform agenda. Some of the more controversial aspects of those Bills are likely to be reviewed and amended prior to the new draft bills being published in October 2015.

The Directions Paper indicates that the State is working to introduce: 

  • a new planning bill that establishes a reformed planning and development assessment system;
  • a Court bill that separately establishes the Planning and Environment Court; and
  • a third bill that ‘tidies up’ the other acts that work with the planning legislation.