The Coordinator-General is an independent statutory position that facilitates and regulates major projects that drive the State of Queensland's economic growth.
The Coordinator-General administers the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (SDPWO Act), along with the relevant Minister.
The Coordinator-General decides whether complex and important private and public projects require whole-of-government environmental coordination, and the conditions under which these projects may proceed. To do this, the Coordinator-General assesses social, economic and environmental factors to achieve a balanced and sustainable outcome for Queensland.
Development of major projects can be complex and involve the resolution of several statutory requirements of local, state and Australian Governments.
The Coordinator-General can, if necessary, intervene in the approvals process in a number of ways to ensure timely decision-making for a prescribed project.
The Coordinator-General is also responsible for the planning, establishment and ongoing management of state development areas (SDAs) throughout Queensland. SDAs are clearly defined areas of land established to promote economic development in Queensland. They typically take the form of one of the following:
- industrial hubs for large-scale, heavy industry, mainly located on the coast of Queensland, in close proximity to ports, rail and major road networks
- multi-user infrastructure corridors; for the co-location of infrastructure such as rail lines, water and gas pipelines, and electricity transmission lines
- major public infrastructure sites; for example, the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital
In an SDA, the Coordinator-General:
- undertakes land use planning and establishes the development assessment process for regulated development through the relevant approved development scheme
- implements the approved development scheme
- assesses and decides applications and requests related to development in an SDA that can be made under an approved development scheme and
- has compulsory land acquisition powers
Each SDA is subject to a development scheme, a regulatory document that controls planning and development in the SDA. Prepared and implemented by the Coordinator-General, the development scheme ensures development in the SDA is well planned and managed.
Broadly, the development scheme:
- identifies land uses compatible with the objectives of the SDA
- sets out the processes and procedures for the assessment of applications and requests related to development in the SDA
- assists in avoiding or minimising impacts to environmental, cultural heritage and community values
- ensures orderly development
The development scheme takes into account industries that already exist in the SDA as well as surrounding land uses. It overrides local and state government planning instruments related to the use of land for development regulated by the approved development scheme for the relevant SDA.
The Coordinator-General is supported by:
Coordinated Project Delivery Division
The Coordinated Project Delivery Division coordinates the environmental impact assessment process for projects declared under Part 4, section 26(1) of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (SDPWO Act). This includes:
- assignment of a senior and experienced project manager to provide a single point of contact and coordination across government
- coordination of other government processes, infrastructure and the resolution of other approval issues
- strategic assistance on a range of project-specific issues
- support in liaising with the Commonwealth, state and local Governments and other statutory bodies.
State Development Areas Division
Industrial development of regional, state and national significance wanting to locate their project in Queensland may find suitable sites within the SDAs.
The State Development Areas Division can assist with advice and infrastructure planning for these major project sites.
Land Acquisition and Delivery Division
The Land Acquisition Delivery Division uses a number of tools included in the SDPWO Act to facilitate and support major project development, economic development and jobs growth in Queensland. Legislative tools that the Coordinator-General can use to facilitate the planning and delivery of major projects include:
The declaration of 'prescribed project' ensures a timely approvals process and can, if necessary, intervene in the approvals process in a number of ways.
A resource project proposal can be declared a 'prescribed development'. For each prescribed development the Coordinator-General prepares an infrastructure coordination plan.
The Land Acquisition and Delivery Division can assist with advice and infrastructure planning for these major project sites, through the assignment of a senior and experienced project manager to provide advice on the approval process across whole of government.