Australia: Getting to know the new Queensland Planning Act 2016: Planning instruments and the Ministers powers

Last Updated: 20 February 2017
Article by Kathryn Pacey and Nicole Besgrove

While the Planning Act sets out new powers for the Minister, much of the fine detail on planning will be in a future Planning Regulation.

This article is the second in our series examining the key provisions of the new Planning Act, which is expected to commence on 3 July 2017.

State and local planning instruments

Similarly to the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) (SPA), the Planning Act provides for two types of planning instruments:

  • State planning instruments: made by the Minister to protect or give effect to State interests and is a State planning policy or a regional plan; and
  • local planning instruments: made by a local government, and is a planning scheme, temporary local planning instrument (TLPI) or planning scheme policy.

To the extent of an inconsistency between the planning instruments, the following hierarchy applies:

Where a TLPI is made, it has effect for two years (currently one year under the SPA) after the effective day, or a shorter period stated in the TLPI, unless repealed sooner.

The State planning regulatory provisions (SPRPs) and Queensland Planning Provisions (QPPs) will no longer exist under the Planning Act. It is expected that the current SPRPs (including koala conservation in South East Queensland and maximum adopted infrastructure charges) together with parts of the QPPs will be reflected in the Planning Regulation 2017.

The detailed process for making or amending local planning instruments will be contained in the Planning Regulation 2017 and the Interim Minister's Guidelines and Rules.

The Regulation (currently in draft) will prescribe the zones and use terms that may be adopted and the definitions for planning schemes.

The Minister's Guidelines and Rules (currently available as an interim version) contains the:

  • guidelines setting out the matters that the chief executive must consider when preparing a notice about making or amending planning schemes;
  • rules for making and amending a local planning instrument;
  • rules for making a planning change to a planning scheme to reduce a material risk of serious harm to persons or property on premises from natural events or processes (for example bush fires, coastal erosion, flooding or landslides); and
  • rules for reviewing, making or amending local government infrastructure plan.

Minister's powers under the Planning Act

Similarly to existing SPA provisions, under the Planning Act the Minister will have the power to direct a local government to take action to amend a local planning instrument or designation to ensure it is consistent with the regulated requirements, or to protect, or give effect to, a State interest.

The Ministerial powers apply to a development application, and also to change representations, a change application, an extension application or a cancellation application. The Minister may:

  • direct a decision-maker to give copies of all future applications of a specified type to the Minister at a stated time;
  • direct a decision-maker in relation to an undecided application (such as to exercise one of the decision-maker's functions, to decide or not decide an application within a stated period of at least 20bd, to impose stated development conditions on any development approval given or to give a preliminary approval for all or part of the application);
  • direct a local government or the chief executive in relation to alternative assessment managers (for example, a direction not to keep a list of persons who are appropriately qualified to be an assessment manager in relation to particular type of that development, or to remove a person from that list); and
  • in relation to a development application or a change application other than for a minor change ?direct the referral agency to reissue the referral agency's response or to take an action under the process for administering the application within a stated reasonable period where the referral agency has contravened a period for taking that action.

Under the new Planning Act, the Minister administering the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (currently the Minister for State Development) will also have the power to make the directions outlined above.

Similar to the SPA, the Planning Act allows both the Planning Minister and the Minister for State Development to call in an application to either:

  • assess and decide all or part of the application; or
  • if the call in notice is given before the decision-maker decides the application - direct the decision-maker to assess all or part of the application and decide the application, or part of the application, based on the decision-maker's assessment.

Under the Planning Act, the Minister can also call in a cancellation application and cancel the development approval.

Designations of land for development of infrastructure prescribed by regulation may be made by the Planning Minister, or by a local government. The current ability under the SPA for any Minister to designate land is not continued. Similar to the SPA, to designate land, the designator of land must be satisfied that:

  • the infrastructure will satisfy statutory requirements, or budgetary commitments, for the supply of infrastructure; or
  • there is or will be a planning need for the efficient and timely supply of infrastructure.

To make or amend a designation, the Minister1 must also be satisfied there has been adequate environmental assessment and consultation in carrying out the environmental assessments. The Minister may be satisfied where:

  • the Minister is satisfied that the guidelines for the process for environmental assessment and consultations currently contained in the draft Interim Minister's Guidelines and Rules is followed; or
  • another way.

Development in relation to infrastructure identified in a designation is accepted development (does not need a development permit), except to the extent the development is building work under the Building Act. Unlike the position under the SPA, development under the designation is exempt from both State and local planning instruments, with the exception of building work.

Existing designations made under the SPA will be continued, however development under that designation that was categorised as assessable development by a planning scheme or involves reconfiguring a lot will be accepted development. Otherwise, the category of development stated in the categorising instrument that is a regulation will apply.


1If the designation is proposed by a local government, the local government is required to follow designation process rules. These rules are included in the draft Interim Minister's Guidelines and Rules.


Getting to know the new Queensland Planning Act 2016 – an introduction

Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin. Persons listed may not be admitted in all states and territories.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions