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Planning and Environment Alert: Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 passed by Queensland Parliament - 20 Feb 2012

The Queensland Parliament passed the Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 with amendments on 14 February 2012. The Bill as passed includes a number of key changes to its original provisions.

Here, partner Sarah Persijn and associate Olivia Williamson explain these key changes.

Summary of changes

  • The Bill as passed allows the Minister for the Department of Local Government and Planning, under the urban encroachment provisions of the Sustainable Planning Act, to grant a term of registration for premises for more than the 10 years originally proposed.
  • The Bill as passed includes an additional clause to the Urban Land Development Authority Act 2007, which requires the Urban Land Development Authority, in certain circumstances, to consult with relevant public sector entities when negotiating infrastructure agreements.
  • The provisions of the Bill amending this legislation commenced on 17 February 2012.

Key amendments to the Sustainable Planning Act 2009

The key amendments this Bill makes to the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 are as follows:

  • A requirement for the Minister to consult with affected parties before calling in a development application.
  • A state-wide urban encroachment policy modelled on the Planning (Urban Encroachment- Milton Brewery) Act 2009, designed to allow certain uses to be registered and thereby protected from certain legal proceedings.
  • Amendments to clarify the recent infrastructure charges reform to enable local governments to index adopted infrastructure charges.

HopgoodGanim released an Alert on 13 October 2011, which explains these amendments in more detail. We also released a further Alert on 13 December 2011, which details the specific effects of the new urban encroachment provisions set out in the Bill. We will shortly be releasing another Alert outlining the amendments this Bill makes to the Land Sales Act 1984.

Urban encroachment protection period

The Bill initially contemplated restricting the term for registration for premises to 10 years, unless cancelled or ended sooner. However, following concerns that were expressed regarding the length of that term, an amendment to the Bill allows the Minister to grant a term of registration of greater than 10 years (but not more than 25 years) if, when considering the application for registration, the Minister believes a longer term is appropriate for the premises (section 680W of the Bill).

If the Minister decides to grant a term of registration for the premises of more than 10 years, the notice of decision on these applications must state the extended term (section 680O(4) of the Bill).

It is important to note that the amendment retains, as a default, registration for a minimum of 10 years (thereby providing a certain period for forward business planning) but allows a longer period for protection at the Minister's discretion.

Given the continued evolution in science and technologies, it may be difficult to persuade the Minister that re-assessment beyond a 10 year period is relevant, particularly given that the Bill as passed does not place any limits on the number of times a business can seek to renew its protection.

Compulsory consultation for ULDA when negotiating infrastructure agreements

A new section (section 136E of the Bill) has been added to the Urban Land Development Authority Act 2007, which will apply if a proposed infrastructure agreement is likely to continue to affect land after that land ceases to be an urban development area. In such circumstances, before entering the proposed infrastructure agreement, the Urban Land Development Authority must consult about the terms of the agreement with the entities the authority considers will be the public sector entities that will have responsibility for the infrastructure on the land after the land ceases to be in an urban development area.

A public sector entity is a department (or part of a department) or an agency, authority, commission, corporation, instrumentality, office or other entity established under an Act for a public or State purpose.

This addition addresses concerns that local government and infrastructure providers may be imposed upon and impacted by infrastructure delivery agreements in which they were not initially involved.

For more information about the impact of the Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, please contact HopgoodGanim's Planning and Environment team.

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