Submission of spatial information

Spatial information refers to geographic location data (spatial data) and information related to project infrastructure and activities such as land disturbance and rehabilitation. Spatial information consists of data that can be mapped, and any associated information such as metadata which provides context and meaning. Spatial data represents the locations and shapes of geographic features and the relationships between them and is usually stored as coordinates.

The location of any activity or infrastructure that is located within the boundary of an environmental authority may be considered spatial information. Examples include, but are not limited to the location of:

  • buildings
  • excavations
  • sorting areas
  • holding tanks
  • storage areas
  • wells
  • rehabilitation areas.

Several application and approval processes under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (the EP Act) require the submission of spatial information to the Department of Environment and Science. Approved forms identify spatial information requirements and environmental authority holders are required to familiarise themselves of the relevant spatial information obligations.

Where an approved form requires the submission of spatial information, it must comply with the Spatial Information Submission Guideline (PDF, 732.8KB) , all requirements such as naming convention, file size and type, must be met in order for the application to be valid. The content must also comply with the schema as outlined in the approved form for the relevant process, with the exception of the annual return where the schema is provided in the master schema (XLSX, 56.2KB) not the approved form.

The approved forms for estimated rehabilitation cost (ERC), plan of operations and progressive rehabilitation and closure plan (PRC plan) are available at Business Queensland.

Quick guide to validating your spatial data (shapefiles)

To ensure that your spatial data is successfully validated before submitting it to the department, we recommended that you:

  • use the shapefile template for the relevant process and avoid creating shapefile fields
  • all field names should be UPPER CASE TEXT. Not mixed or lower case. No spaces at the start or end of field names.
  • have one zip folder for each shapefile. Do not use sub-folders within the zip folder.
  • ensure you include a metadata file (.xls or .xlsx) in the zip folder for each shapefile. Refer to the Spatial Information Submission Guideline (PDF, 732.8KB) for more information about the metadata requirements
  • ensure that any digital PDF maps are attached separately to shapefiles in emails submissions. Do not include them in the same zip folder
  • you only need to submit (1) one shapefile per relevant geometry type (line, point or polygon), for each approved form (annual return, ERC etc.). Do not break apart shapefiles by disturbance or rehabilitation status types.
  • adhere to the file naming convention in the Spatial Information Submission Guideline (PDF, 732.8KB) . The filename of the shapefile and the corresponding zip folder must be the same
  • if you are re-submitting data that did not pass validation the first attempt, please use the current date when you re-submit the new file. Do not use the previous date in the filename.

Please ensure your geometry is valid before submitting data. Common types of invalid geometry are (but not limited to);

  • No geometry. A record in the attribute table is unable to retrieve geometry information
  • Empty geometry. A geometry does not contain geometric information, represented by no information of SHAPE_LEN and SHAPE_AREA fields
  • Mixed geometries. Points, lines, and polygons must be separated. Any geometry mixed with lines, points, and polygons is invalid.
  • Contains discontinuous parts. One of the geometry's parts is composed of disconnected or discontinuous parts.
  • Contains self-intersecting polygons. A polygon must not intersect itself, including a polygon on top of another polygon

All GIS software has Geometry checking & handling/repair tools used to validate and repair spatial geometry. Please ensure all geometry is valid and geometry errors are repaired before submitting. Files containing Invalid geometry will be returned for repair.

ArcGIS Pro:


Master schema

The master schema (XLSX, 56.2KB) provides the format and content requirements for spatial data to assist you with the populating the shapefile template for each application or submission type that requires the submission of spatial data. It provides a tab for each application or submission type, including annual returns for resource activities, ERC, plan of operations and PRC plan.

Shapefile templates

Shapefile templates are provided to ensure that you provide shapefiles that comply with the requirements of the Spatial Information Submission Guideline (PDF, 732.8KB) . It is strongly recommended that you populate the shapefile templates with the required features and spatial information as stated in the relevant schema.

Annual return

The annual return for resource activities requires environmental authority holders to submit GIS spatial information or static maps (eligible resource activities only), which represent the onsite disturbance, rehabilitation and, if there is an approved PRC plan, improvement information.

Annual return templates

Estimated rehabilitation cost

Any applications or amendments to the ERC process requires the submission of spatial data, as directed in the approved form.

Estimated rehabilitation cost templates

Plan of Operations

The submission of a plan of operations must also include spatial information, as outlined in the approved form.

Plan of Operations templates

Progressive rehabilitation and closure plan

The submission of a PRC plan or amendment to the final site design in a PRCP schedule requires the submission of spatial data, as directed in the approved form.

Progressive rehabilitation and closure plan templates

Related information

To submit spatial information, email shapefiles to

For any other queries about submitting spatial files, please email