From the ground up — significant changes to Queensland’s planning and development legislation

By Antra Hood and Andrea Noble

On 1 August 2014, the Queensland government released consultation drafts of the Planning and Development Bill 2014 (P&D Bill) and the Planning and Environment Court Bill 2014 (PEC Bill). The draft planning bills are proposed to replace the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) (SPA) and seek to implement a new land-use planning and development assessment system that promotes prosperity through balancing economic growth, environmental protection and community wellbeing. The government’s stated aim is to develop Australia’s best planning system, and the release of the draft planning bills follows an extensive consultation process with industry over a period of more than 12 months. The P&D Bill is considerably shorter than SPA, at 237 pages in comparison with the 725 pages of SPA.

Importantly, the planning bills represent a positive step in the developing maturity of the Queensland planning system. Many concepts that underpin the current regime are retained, such as the integrated development assessment system, but there are some changes to terminology and removal of sections that are underused or redundant.

The P&D Bill repeals SPA and the associated Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 (Qld) (Sustainable Planning Regulation). The new regulatory framework comprises: the Planning and Development Bill 2014 (Qld); the Planning and Environment Court Bill 2014 (Qld); and the Planning and Development Regulation 2014 (Qld) (P&D Regulation)…

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