Development application process
Queensland has an integrated development application, assessment and decision-making system. Councils are usually the development assessment manager, however the Planning Regulation 2017 may require that certain development applications will be referred to the State assessment and referral agency (SARA) as a concurrence or advice agency (and in a small number of situations, an alternate assessment manager). If referred to SARA, development applications will assessed against the State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP).
The State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) is the first and only point of contact for development applications where the state has a jurisdiction under the Planning Act 2016.
Guidelines supporting State Planning Assessment Provisions (SDAPs)
- SDAP Guideline: State Code 8: Coastal development and tidal works
- SDAP Guideline: State Code 9: Great Barrier Reef wetlands
- SDAP Guideline: State Code 14: Queensland heritage
- SDAP Guideline: State Code 22: Environmentally Relevant Activities
If your application requires state development assessment under the Planning Regulation 2017, you can request a pre-application meeting with the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DILGP). For information on how to organise a pre-lodgement meeting with SARA, please contact your local DILGP regional office.
The department also offers pre-lodgement meetings if you are seeking direction and advice regarding applications for licenses and permits that relate to development but are not being assessed under the Planning Act 2016, most commonly:
- Environmental authorities (EAs) for environmentally relevant activities (ERAs including EAs for ERAs requiring a development approval)
- Queensland heritage exemption certificates you can also request a pre-lodgement meeting with the relevant local council before lodging the application to ascertain their requirements.
To arrange a free pre-lodgement meeting with the department, contact Permit and Licence Management (PaLM) on 13 74 68 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. If the prelodgement is for an ERA, download and complete the form: Application for prelodgement services ESR/2015/1664 .
You can also request a pre-lodgement meeting with the relevant local council before lodging the application to ascertain their requirements.