Law Reform · Nature & the Reef

Introduction of a Single State Planning Policy

01 January, 2014

In mid 2013, the Queensland Government released a draft single State Planning Policy in an attempt to bring about a dozen existing State Planning Policies into one single document.

Submissions were invited on the draft at the time. EDO Qld raised a number of concerns including that it failed to protect koala habitat, didn’t take into account climate change, and failed to advance the purposes of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) being ecological sustainability.

You can read our final submission here.

After reviewing those submissions, the new single State Planning Policy (SPP) has just been released. It sets out the ‘matters of state Interest’ the State Government has in Queensland planning matters. For each of these matters, the State sets out requirements which the Local Governments must incorporate into their Planning Schemes.

EDO Qld believe our submission on the draft helped to deliver some marginally better outcomes for Koalas and other protected areas than was previously included in the draft. Our submissions also strengthened the language of the final document in certain key areas.

Nevertheless, in our view, their remain some serious flaws with the final SPP, namely protection is only afforded to ‘higher categories’ of threatened wildlife and a requirement to address climate change in Local Planning Schemes has effectively been ignored calling only for adaptation of ‘natural hazards’.