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Queensland's planning and development assessment system comprises a hierarchy of planning instruments, starting with the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

diagram depicting Queensland's planning framework

The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) (PDF icon) and Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 (PDF icon) came into effect on 18 December 2009 and replaced the Integrated Planning Act (IPA).

SPA is the legislation applied to Queensland's planning, development and building system. SPA is designed to:

  • manage the process by which development takes place, including ensuring the process is accountable, effective and efficient and delivers sustainable outcomes
  • manage the effects of development on the environment (including managing the use of premises)
  • coordinate and integrate planning at local, regional and state levels.

As part of creating Australia's best planning and development assessment system, the Queensland Government is preparing new planning legislation. The replacement legislation - the draft Planning and Development Bill (PDF icon 883 KB) and draft Planning and Environment Court Bill (PDF icon 227 KB) - present a more concise, streamlined and sensible basis for plan making, development assessment and dispute resolution.

Transitioning from the Integrated Planning Act to the Sustainable Planning Act

The transitional provisions have been designed to minimise disruption and to ensure that all processes commenced under the Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA) can be completed under the IPA. All applications lodged prior to 18 December 2009 will be assessed using the IPA process. All applications lodged on or after 18 December will be assessed using the SPA process.

Local planning schemes made under IPA will remain in effect until they are updated. All new planning schemes or schemes amended to come into effect after 18 December 2009 will need to comply with SPA.

A comprehensive guide, From IPA to SPA (PDF icon 500 KB), outlining what's changed and a summary of the Act, Your guide to the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, are also available.

Amendments to SPA

State Development, Infrastructure and Planning (Red Tape Reduction) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014

The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) was amended by the State Development, Infrastructure and Planning (Red Tape Reduction) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 that was given assent on 15 August 2014.

The amendments:

  • remove redundant iconic places provisions
  • address the unintended consequences of previous amendments to the transitional provisions for declared master planned areas, ensuring that notification and submitter appeal rights are removed where development is consistent with the structure plan
  • provide an optional mechanism for local governments to regulate 'party houses', if so desired by the local government.

As part of the greentape reduction reforms, other amendments to SPA and the Environmental Protection Act 1994 have been made to reduce the regulatory burden by ensuring that, where an activity required approvals under both Acts, a single application could be made and be subject to one integrated assessment process.

The amendments commenced on 1 October 2014.

For further information about the party house provisions, refer to the fact sheet (PDF icon 243 KB).

Sustainable Planning (Infrastructure Charges) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 (SPICOLA 2014)

The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) was amended by the Sustainable Planning (Infrastructure Charges) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 (SPICOLA 2014) that was given assent on 19 June 2014.

SPICOLA 2014 is the result of extensive consultation with local government, the development industry and community stakeholders and delivers on the government's commitment to provide a local infrastructure charges framework that is equitable, certain and transparent, while supporting both local government sustainability and providing confidence to the development industry when planning and delivering projects. For further information on the SPICOLA 2014 refer to the Queensland Legislation website.

SPICOLA 2014 includes amendments to:

  • simplify, streamline and clarify the operations of the long-term infrastructure framework
  • provide certainty and consistency across a whole range of elements such as conditioning, offsets, refunds and the determination of necessary infrastructure
  • specify credits for existing use rights
  • improve the dispute resolution and infrastructure agreement processes
  • align the water distributor-retailer infrastructure charging and planning arrangements with the local government framework
  • simplify infrastructure conditioning arrangements for state agencies.

Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation (SPOLA) 2012

The Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment (SPOLA) Bill was introduced into Parliament, with assent on 22 November 2012 to become the SPOLA Act.

This legislation is the first step towards reforming and simplifying the planning framework and is the result of extensive consultation with local government, the property and construction industry and the environmental sector. SPOLA delivers on the government's commitment to restoring the efficiency, consistency and certainty to the planning and development system.

A key component of this act is establishing a single state assessment and referral agency for development applications.

On 22 November 2012, Parliament passed the SPOLA Bill (No. 2) 2012.

The Act makes a number of amendments to the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 and consequential amendments to a range of other legislation.

The amendments are designed to:

  • streamline planning, assessment and approval processes
  • remove unnecessary red tape
  • re-empower local governments to plan for their communities.

Key changes brought about by the Bill provide for:

  • establishing a single State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) for development applications
  • removing of ineffective structure planning and master planning arrangements for declared master planned areas
  • reducing the regulatory red tape for development applications involving state resources, by removing the requirement for evidence of the resource entitlement or allocation to be submitted with applications
  • giving assessment managers, in particular local governments, discretion to accept development applications as properly made, despite non-compliance with the provision of mandatory supporting information
  • providing for the Queensland Planning Provisions to apply across all local governments to enable consistency in assessment levels for certain low-risk developments, such as landscaping and car-parking
  • giving the Planning and Environment Court discretion to award costs for some proceedings, except for enforcement orders about development offences
  • giving the Planning and Environment Court power to direct that the Alternative Dispute Resolution registrar may hear and determine minor disputes.

Commencement of provisions

All of the provisions commenced on assent, except for those related to the establishment of SARA.

The delayed commencement of these provisions allows for operational arrangements to be finalised and for further consultation about the changes to occur with affected entities. Additionally, amendments to the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 will be necessary to enable the new arrangements to take effect.

Sustainable Planning Regulation (SP Regulation) amendments

Since the commencement of the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009, there have been a number of amendments made which are detailed below. Please note any amendments to the SP Regulation initiated and led by other state agencies are not necessarily listed below.

Amendments commencing 1 May 2015

Sustainable Planning Amendment Regulation (No.1)

The Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 was amended on 30 April 2015. These amendments take effect on 1 May 2014.

The amendments are as follows:

  • include the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing in Schedule 4, table 5 to exempt all aspects of development from assessment under a local government planning scheme, temporary local planning instrument or a preliminary approval to which section 242 of SPA applies
  • update the project title and map location for the Gold Coast Rapid Transit project in Schedule 4, table 5, item 10A
  • amend the wording of the trigger for assessable development involving a reconfiguration of a lot and clearing vegetation in Schedule 7, table 2, item 4, to clarify which applications should be referred. The amendment does not change the trigger, only clarifies what is to be referred.
  • amend Schedule 4 to address recommendation 7.18 from the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry. The amendment will assist local governments in ascertaining which aspects of development are exempt under Schedule 4 through cross referencing between items in the SPR. The exemption does not apply to private sector development which is assessable under the planning scheme.
  • amend Schedule 7, table 2, item 15 to remove duplication in the assessment of government supported transport infrastructure projects for maritime safety matters. This will reduce unnecessary referrals and associated fees.
  • amend the definition of non-profit organisation to align with definitions in other state and federal legislation
  • remove the definition and all references to eligible development to facilitate fee concessions for non-profit organisations for a range of developments
  • correct a typographical error in Schedule 3, table 5, item 7.

Amendments commencing 27 October 2014

Amendments commencing 4 July 2014

Amendments commencing 28 April 2014

Amendments commencing 2 December 2013

Amendments commencing 11 October 2013

Amendments commencing 30 August 2013

Amendments commencing 2 August 2013

Amendments commencing 1 July 2013

Amendments commencing 12 April 2013

Amendments commencing 15 March 2013

Amendments commencing 14 December 2012

Chapter 8A of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009: urban encroachment provisions register of premises

The urban encroachment provisions of the SPA commenced in February 2012. The provisions enable particular premises to register for protection from specific nuisance actions brought by encroaching intensifying urban development.

Registration can be sought by existing industries and particular activities with significant economic, heritage or infrastructure values to the state, regional, local area or community within which they are situated.

Registration of Milton Brewery

Name of the premises:

Milton Brewery
Castlemaine Perkins Pty Limited
185 Milton Road
Milton Queensland
Lot 35 Plan SL805565
View a map of the affected area (PDF icon 2.19 MB)

Details of activities as per the Certificate of Registration (PDF icon 202 KB) and EPA Permit (PDF icon 1.16 MB) and Spill Lighting Measurements Report (PDF icon 632 KB).

The registration ends on 27 April 2019.

Note: The existing protection for Milton Brewery was transferred to SPA, and Milton Brewery is taken to be premises registered under Chapter 8A, part 3 of the SPA.