“Vegetation Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018” introduced into QLD Parliament
On 8 March 2018 the QLD Government introduced a bill which proposes amendments to the Vegetation Management Act 1999 (“the VMA”), the Planning Act 2016, the Planning Regulation 2017 and the Water Act 2000 (“the WA”).
These amendments relate primarily to the reinstatement of responsible clearing laws. This is done namely by:
- Extending the protection of high value regrowth vegetation (for example, high value regrowth is to be regulated on further land types, including freehold land);
- Removing high value agriculture and irrigated high value agriculture as a relevant purpose under the VMA (and accordingly, the ability to lodge development applications which propose the clearing of such land is removed);
- Providing for the consistent protection of regrowth vegetation near relevant watercourses in all Great Barrier Reef catchments;
- Reintroducing the requirement under the WA to obtain riverine protection permits for clearing vegetation in a watercourse;
- Providing enhanced compliance measures;
- Providing land owners with the option to request that their land (mapped as category X) be converted to category A in certain scenarios; and
- Providing support for the implementation of the revised accepted development vegetation clearing codes.
You can have your say on this bill until noon of Thursday, 22 March 2018.
Logan Planning Scheme 2015
On 26 February 2018 the public consultation period began for a proposed amendment to the Logan Planning Scheme 2015, “Amendment to the Desired Standards of Service for the Parks and Land for Community Facilities network”. You can make a submission about this amendment until 23 March 2018.
New Planning Legislation in force
On 3 July 2017 the Planning Act 2016, the Planning and Environment Court Act 2016, and the Planning Regulation 2017 commenced.
Accordingly, an appeal or application filed in the Planning and Environment Court on or after 3 July 2017 will be brought under the Planning Act 2016, instead of the now superseded Sustainable Planning Act 2009.
The Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning has produced a guide to the Planning Act 2016 which provides a comparison of the new planning system with the previous planning system. The guide can be accessed here.
Contact us for further information regarding how these changes may affect your land.
The SPP and the SEQRP
With the new planning laws, came new statutory planning instruments. These are the State Planning Policy (SPP) and Regional Plans.
The current State Planning Policy 2017 can be found here. The SPP 2017 contains state interest statements and policies for seventeen State interests which includes agriculture, biodiversity, and natural hazards, risk and resilience.
The South East Queensland Regional Plan (“the SEQRP”) which is also referred to as ShapingSEQ was given effect on 11 August 2017 and is available here.
The introduction of this new framework also transitioned the regulatory provisions out of the SEQRP and into the Planning Regulation 2017.
The Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning have also updated their mapping systems to align with the amended statutory instruments. The mapping functions can be accessed here and can help determine how the SPP 2017 and the SEQRP apply to your land.
City Plan 2014
On 3 July 2017 the Brisbane City Council amended the City Plan 2014 to align with the new planning laws. On 16 February 2018 the new City West Neighbourhood Plan came into force.
There are also a number of amendments to the City Plan 2014 that are currently in progress. These amendments include altering biodiversity provisions, making changes to encourage the expansion and development of residential aged care facilities, and preparing a Draft Local Government Infrastructure Plan 2016 – 2026.
Getting ready for a new planning system
With the commencement of a new planning system confirmed for 3 July 2017, the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning are delivering a series of workshops, live streamed events and community information sessions for interested Queenslanders, to help the community understand and prepare for the new system.
To ensure a smooth transition to the new system, workshops will be held for practitioners to discuss key transitional matters relating to the old and new legislation.
Support materials and demonstration videos will be available in June to showcase the new features and operations of the State’s renewed development application system, MyDAS2, which will become available upon commencement of the new planning system.
The first live streamed information session will be hosted on 19 July 2017.
A learning hub has also been launched on the DILGP website to provide a suite of information to the public on key features of the new laws.
See the DILGP website for more information: http://www.dilgp.qld.gov.au/
Heritage buildings protected for future generations
The Queensland Government has ensured heritage buildings in Queensland will be better protected by imposing tighter laws and tougher penalties, under legislation passed by Parliament on 10 May 2017.
Under the new laws, local government planning approval is required before building approvals can be issued in respect of renovating or demolishing character houses. The legislation also allows for local councils to issue Temporary Local Planning Instruments to have immediate effect to protect heritage buildings from inappropriate demolition.
The tougher legislation also raises the maximum penalty for development offences to almost double at $548,550, intended to deterred unlawful approvals being issued without local government planning approval.
The new legislation also reverts the costs policy so that parties bear their own costs of an appeal, unless otherwise ordered by the Court on exceptional grounds. This will encourage legitimate community appeals against developments that threaten heritage buildings, without the applicant fearing that a costs order will be made against them.
These changes come with the passing of the Local Government Electoral (Transparency and Accountability in Local Government) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016.
Under this same legislation, government candidates are required to provide full disclosure of campaign donations during local government elections to ensure that the public are better informed in placing their votes. This is passed pursuant to a report on transparency and accountability in local government given by the Crime and Corruption Commission in 2015.
New Planning Law to Commence 3 July 2017
The final versions of the Planning Act 2016, the Planning and Environment Court Act 2016 and the Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Act 2016 are due to commence on 3 July 2017. This legislation supersedes the current Sustainable Planning Act 2009.
The Queensland Government claims that “the new Act cuts through the complexity of the current legislation and will ensure Queensland’s planning system is fair, open, transparent and easier to navigate for planners, developers, local government and the community.”
According to the government, key features of the Planning Act 2016 include:
- A requirement for assessment managers and referral agencies to publish reasons for their decisions during the procession of development application;
- Reinstated public access to information
- Public notification is now required for all impact assessable developments
- Streamlined development assessment processes
- New terminology categories of development and levels of assessment
- Code assessment decision rules now explicitly recognising a presumption in favour of approval for code assessment
- Reinstated requirements for regular review of local planning schemes and infrastructure plans
- Automatic indexing of infrastructure charges; and
- Clear transitional arrangements to facilitate moving from the old legislation to the new.
Of particular importance are the changes made to the costs provisions, which have reintroduced the position whereby each party bears their own costs, subject to some exceptions, where the court may impose a costs order.
Clients should be aware that due to the application of transitional provisions, appeals which have been commenced under the existing legislation may now be governed by rules under the Planning Act 2016.
Clients with general queries regarding the new Planning Law and how it may impact their matter are encouraged to contact Milne Legal.
More information regarding the new planning law is available from the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning website at <http://www.dilgp.qld.gov.au/planning-reform>.
Release of the Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan
The Draft South East Queensland Regional Plan (SEQRP) was released by the Queensland Government on the 20th of October 2016. The Draft SEQRP updates the current ‘South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031’ and aims to deliver more than 30,000 new dwellings each year in response to the regions continual growth.
To have your say on the Draft SEQRP submit a formal submission to the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning before midnight of Friday the 3rd of March 2017.
BCC Draft Neighbourhood Plans
BCC Neighbourhood Plans guide the development of local areas and involve community input. The draft City West Neighbourhood Plan is currently open for public consultation and written submissions will be accepted until 5pm on Friday 2nd December 2016.
Planning Bills passed
On 12 May 2016, the Queensland Parliament passed the Planning Act, the Planning and Environment Court Act and the Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Act, to replace the current Sustainable Planning Act 2009.
The new legislation will commence in 2017 and is promised to create a more efficient system of regulating planning and development across Queensland.
The legislation is available from the Queensland Legislation website, which will be soon be accompanied by supporting materials to help the public understand the new framework.
A media statement made by Jackie Trad, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment, outlined the key features of the new legislation, including:
- A requirement for assessment managers and referral agencies to publish reasons for their decisions on development applications
- Reinstated public access to information
- Public notification for all impact assessable developments
- Reintroduced costs provisions whereby each party bears their own costs
- Streamlined development assessment process
- Clearer, simpler categories of development and levels of assessment
- Code assessment decisions rules explicitly recognising a presumption in favour of approval for code assessment
- Reinstated requirement for regular review of local planning schemes and infrastructure plans
- Automatic indexing of infrastructure charges
For more information about the new planning system visit this website.
Status of the Queensland Planning Bill
The new draft Planning Bill 2015, released in September 2015 looks to simplify the current planning legislation and reduce the number of State Planning Instruments. It has been drafted in line with “Government’s Better Planning for Queensland – Key Directions Paper” (May 2015).
The Planning Bill, the Planning and Environment Court Bill and The Planning (Consequential) and Other Legislation Bill are intended to replace the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.
The public submission period ended on 23 October 2015, and on 12 November 2015 the Planning Bill 2015 was referred to Committee. The Consultation Period resulted in some minor changes to the Planning Bill based on stakeholder feedback, including:
- The introduction of a more substantive purpose with additional description of the means by which the environment is to be protected and the recognition of Aboriginal traditions and customs.
- The enhancement of accountability measures by requiring assessment managers and referral agencies to publish reasons for their decisions and increasing instances of mandatory public notification.
- The re-introduction of the terminology of the SPA as well as the requirement for regular review of local planning schemes and infrastructure plans.
The next step for the Planning Bill is to be introduced into the Legislative Assembly and be put through the Parliamentary Committee review process. Once this occurs, further consultation will be undertaken on the draft Regulations and other supporting legislation.
Moreton Bay Regional Council new planning scheme has been adopted and a date for commencement has been set
The Moreton Bay Regional Council was given approval on 16 November 2015 by the Deputy Premier to adopt the new Moreton Bay Regional Council Planning Scheme. The council adopted the Planning Scheme on 24 November 2015 and the Council has made a copy of the planning scheme available here.
The commencement date for the new Planning Scheme has been set for 1 February 2016, however until the adopted scheme commences, the existing Planning Schemes will remain in effect (including the Redcliffe, Caboolture and Pine Rivers schemes).
Public consultation on the new Redlands Scheme has recently closed and it is now being revised
The public consultation on the Draft Redland City Plan 2015 closed on Friday 27 November 2015. The submissions are now being assessed by Council officers and recommendations will be made to Council. The council will revise these recommendations and a report will then be provided to the State Government regarding issues raised and any proposed amendments.