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Law Reform · Access to Justice

Have your say: local planning scheme guidelines

04 May, 2017

Local planning schemes are important documents in dictating the location and form of development allowed in your area, as well as how that development should be assessed. The draft Minister’s Guidelines and Rules (MGR) are open for your feedback until 5pm Tuesday 9 May 2017.


See more information here, along with a copy of the draft MGR.

This is a statutory instrument which provides the rules for how local governments can draft local planning schemes, as well as the rules and process for making amendments to local planning instruments. The final MGR will replace the current ‘Statutory guideline 01/16: Making and amending local planning instruments’.  Guidance material and factsheets have also been provided by the Department to assist in reviewing the draft MGR (available here).

Local planning schemes are important documents in dictating the location and form of development allowed in your area, as well as how that development should be assessed. They also dictate when you will be allowed to have a say on development proposed, e.g. whether the development type is code assessable (no public consultation or appeal rights); or impact assessable (public consultation and appeal rights apply).

EDO Qld often hears concerns from the community as to the ease with which local planning schemes can be amended by local government. Amendments to a planning scheme can be frustrating for the community, who trust that the final planning scheme published is the final version, particularly after they have provided meaningful input into the drafting of the scheme. Changes to the planning scheme which allow unforeseen development can have significant impacts on the overall planning proposed for a region.

Changes are allowed to planning schemes, but they must go through the processes under the Planning Act and as outlined in the draft MGR. Therefore, these guidelines and rules are important and need to be well drafted to ensure that significant amendments always go through sufficient public consultation.

Things to be aware of – these guidelines help decide whether and how you will be able to comment on planning scheme amendments:

  • The process for making or amending a planning scheme can now be tailored to each circumstance, and will be defined under a notice from the chief executive of the Department. The factors the chief executive must consider when defining what the tailored process will be are provided for in chapter 1 of the MGR.
  • The Planning Act 2016 provides certain factors that must be provided for in the notice as to the process required for making or amending the planning scheme in section 20, including minimum periods for public consultation for new (40 business days) or amended (20 business days) planning schemes. These periods cannot be altered by the MGR.
  • Planning Act s20 empowers the MGR to provide for a different process for amending a planning scheme; under which the guidelines define the process for:
    • Administrative amendments (no public consultation);
    • Minor amendments (no public consultation);
    • Major amendments (20 business days public consultation required); and
    • New: Qualified state interest amendments (20 business days public consultation required) -  a new process for amendments that are considered more than a minor amendment, but not sufficiently complicated to be considered a major amendment due to their relatively low risk from a state interest perspective. The process for these amendments is not as onerous as for major amendments.
  • Check out the definitions for the above forms of amendment in schedule 1 of the draft Guidelines. These definitions determine whether an amendment will be publically notified or not - do you think these definitions are appropriate? Include your suggestions in your submission.
  • If you think new or amended planning schemes should be notified in a certain way or to particular parts of the community – include your suggestions in your submission.
  • NB: reference to ‘days’ always refers to ‘business days’ in the guidelines – see definitions in schedule 8.

How to make a submission

Only properly made submission under the Planning Act 2016 will be accepted.

A properly made submission must:

  • be made to the Planning Minister
  • be received on or before Tuesday 9 May 2017
  • be in writing and, unless the submission is made electronically, is signed by each person who made the submission
  • state the name and residential or business address of each person who made the submission
  • state the grounds of the submission and the facts and circumstances relied on in.

DILGP have provided a word template to assist formatting of submissions.

Properly made submissions can be provided through the following methods:

  • completing the online form
  • emailing your submission (including your full name and email address) to bestplanning@dilgp.qld.gov.au
  • post your submission to:
    Minister’s Guidelines and Rules feedback
    Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
    PO Box 15009
    CITY EAST QLD 4002

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