The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA)
provides the framework for planning and development assessment across Queensland
with the object of managing development and its effects in a way that is
The SPA establishes
processes for making and amending state and local planning instruments, deals
with planning partnerships, including declared master plan areas, and set out
the process for designating land for community infrastructure.
The SPA also
establishes the Integrated Development Assessment System which links policies
expressed through a range of planning instruments with real outcomes through a
comprehensive, flexible, responsive and accountable performance-based
development assessment system.
The SPA provides for
uniform enforcement and appeal provisions, and also covers other matters
concerning development, including infrastructure charging and regional
The following Subordinate Legislation should be examined:
- Sustainable Planning
Regulation 2009 (SPR)
The following Guides or Booklets are available:
The Department of
Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning's website contains a variety of
publications including guidelines and fact sheets about IDAS, plan making,
community infrastructure designation and infrastructure changing.
comprehensively defines each of the following elements of development:
out of building work
out operational work
a material change of use of premises.
the SPA, there are five categories of development. Development may either be:
requiring compliance assessment
SPR prescribes the category of development for particular activities. A
planning scheme may also identify self-assessable development, development
requiring compliance assessment, assessable development and prohibited
All development is considered
to be exempt development unless it falls within one of the other categories of
development. A development permit is not necessary for exempt development.
A development permit
is not necessary for self-assessable development, however it must comply with
any applicable codes.
A compliance permit
is required for development prescribed for compliance assessment. This is
intended to be a quick application process for purely technical issues.
An application which
is assessable development may be subject to either code assessment or impact
assessment; impact assessment being the more detailed of the two, and also
involving public notification. For assessable development, the assessment
manager nominated under the SPR administers and decides development
applications, which may be referred to concurrence agencies or advice agencies
(known as referral agencies, and also identified by the SPR). The assessment
manager assesses the application against the relevant matters, consolidating
the responses of the referral agencies, and gives a decision notice for the
An application for a
development approval or a request for compliance assessment cannot be made for prohibited development.
There are various enforcement mechanisms
under the SPA, including:
- show cause notices
- enforcement notices
- enforcement proceedings in the Magistrates
- enforcement proceedings in the Planning and
An assessing authority may give a show cause notice and
subsequently an enforcement notice to a person suspected of committing a
development offence. In limited circumstances, an assessing authority can issue
an enforcement notice without first issuing a show cause notice. The notice may
require a person to stop committing an offence or to remedy the commission of
an offence. If a person fails to comply with an enforcement notice fines may apply.
Any person, with some exceptions, may prosecute another person for
a development offence in a Magistrates court. The Magistrates Court may make any order it
considered appropriate against a defendant including the requirement to take
remedial action and/or pay compensation or fines.
Any person may bring a proceeding for an enforcement order, in the
Planning and Environment Court, to remedy or restrain the commission of a
development offence. An enforcement order may require a person to return
anything to a condition as close as practicable to the condition it was in immediately
before the development offence occurred.
Enforcement and penalty provisions in other Acts about development
offences may apply to development offences under the SPA.
The SPA allows for a range of matters to be
brought to either the Planning and Environment Court or a Building and
Development Dispute Resolution Committee.
Any person may seek a declaration from the Planning and
Environment Court about any matter done, to be done, or that should have been
done. Declarations may also be used to settle disputes about the interpretation
of the SPA and associated legislation.
A Building and Development Dispute Resolution Committee may also
hear appeals of a technical nature which otherwise would not warrant the cost
and time involved in an appeal to the Court. Not withstanding, a decision by a Building
and Development Dispute Resolution Committee may be appealed to the Planning
and Environment Court.
Rights of appeal to the Planning and
Environment Court exist for applicants
dissatisfied with various matters relating to
development approvals, third parties who have objected to development approvals
involving impact assessment, and persons who have been given enforcement
notices. A person may also appeal to the Planning and Environment Court about
decisions on compensation claims, and various other matters. A further appeal,
with leave, to the Court of Appeal is available on matters of law.