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Law Reform · Nature & the Reef

Have your say: state planning instruments

06 February, 2017

Three state planning instruments to protect key environment and community issues across Queensland and dictate many features of our planning framework. Have your say by 10 February 2017.



The three key State planning instruments open for your comment until 10 February are the draft:

Locate the draft proposed instruments, along with factsheets and videos to explain some of the changes on the Department of Planning website, here.

Find the old versions of the instruments to compare the new drafts by following the links in the descriptions below.

Need help making your submission? Download our submission templateDon't forget to replaced highlighted sections with your details, and add your opinions and any personal examples to support your opinions.

You can also check out our slides from the recent EDO Qld and Department of Planning LawJam series for ideas on key issues to raise:

  • EDO Qld slides by law reform solicitor Revel Pointon: here
  • Department of Planning slides by Executive Director James Coutts: here

Get your submissions in by 10 February to have your opinion heard about these instruments. Details of who to make your submission to are below.


Why are these instruments important?

These instruments each affect the whole planning framework across Queensland in different ways.

State Planning Policy (SPP):

  • Expresses the matters the Queensland Government consider to be the most important to protect in planning across the State, and how these matters should be protected.
  • The policies expressed in this document must be integrated into the Regional Plans and Local Planning Schemes, along with Designated Infrastructure and development assessment decision making.
  • In other words, the more specific the wording of the SPP, the better the policies will be reflected throughout the planning framework.

Current SPP available here.

State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP):

  • Provides the detailed criteria by which the Department of Planning State Assessment Referral Agency (SARA) assess proposed impacts to state interests.
  • These provisions replace the role of the specialist agencies, such as the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, previously who would assess and dictate how state interests relevant to their expertise should be dealt with, e.g. through providing conditions, requiring refusal or approval. These provisions therefore must distil clear, detailed criteria to protect our state interests.

Current SDAP available here.

Planning Regulation:

  • Subordinate legislation that makes the new Planning Act operable, replacing the current Sustainable Planning Regulation. The Regulation determines, amongst other matters:
    • how development applications will be assessed, by which body, and against what criteria;
    • when development is prohibited, and when it can go ahead without assessment;
    • when longer public notification periods can be provided; and
    • when and how you have the right to access information about planning decisions.

Current Sustainable Planning Regulation available here.


Key tips in writing an effective submission:


You can provide your submission using one of the following three ways:

1. Department of Planning online submission form available here

2. In writing to:

The Honourable Jackie Trad MP
Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment
c/- State Interest Feedback
Planning Group
Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
PO Box 15009

3. Email to planningpolicy@dilgp.qld.gov.au including your name and residential/business address or electronic address.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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