MBRC Planning SchemeThe Planning Act 2016

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The Planning Act 2016 (the Act) was passed in May 2016 by the Queensland Parliament and will establish a new planning system for the entire state. Commencing 3 July 2017, the new Act will replace the current Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA). Broadly speaking, the new planning system comprises three main elements: plan making, development assessment and dispute resolution; with state and local government sharing the responsibility in delivering it. The system is performance based, which allows for innovation and flexibility in how development can be achieved, which also responds to community needs and expectations.

Since the Planning Act 2016 was passed Council has been preparing for this change and the commencement of the Act (and other associated legislation) on 3 July 2017 by updating its processes, forms and templates and preparing an Alignment amendment to its planning scheme.

Changes to the MBRC Planning Scheme

On 27 June 2017, Council adopted an Alignment amendment to its planning scheme to commence on 3 July 2017 to coincide with the commencement of the Planning Act and other associated legislation. This amendment was prepared in accordance with the Minister’s Alignment amendment rules, Version 01, 25 November 2016 [PDF 400KB].

The purpose of this amendment was to align the planning scheme with the new legislative framework including the Planning Act 2016 [PDF 1.3MB] and the Planning Regulation 2017 [PDF 1.8KB].

The alignment does not include changes to council policy position or levels of assessment. Key changes include:


Terms used within the planning scheme have been amended to reflect those used in the Act and the Regulation. This will ensure transitioning to the new planning framework is as clear as possible. Examples of terminology changes are listed below.

Tables of assessment

  • 'Exempt' - now referred to as 'Accepted development'
  • 'Self-assessment' - now referred to as 'Accepted development subject to requirements'.
  • Compliance assessment - the Act has removed 'Compliance Assessment'. Therefore all development previously requiring Compliance assessment will now be 'Assessable development - Code assessment'.
  • Code assessment and Impact assessment - remain as categories of assessable development.
  • No change to levels of assessment or triggers for levels of assessment for a particular use or activity.

Zone codes

  • 'Self-assessable Acceptable Outcomes' (SAO's) - now referred to as 'Requirements for Accepted Development' (RAD).
  • 'Acceptable Outcomes' (AO's) - now referred to as 'Examples that achieve aspects of the Performance Outcomes' (E's).
  • No changes to policy position, intent or the wording of assessment criteria/benchmarks.

Bounded code assessment

Code assessable applications under the Act are now subject to a bounded assessment. This means that code assessable applications are required to be assessed against the assessment benchmarks identified in the Tables of assessment and these benchmarks cannot include the strategic framework.


Only minor changes to the definitions have been made to ensure they comply with Queensland Planning Provisions V4.0.

For details on the Alignment amendment refer to Adopted amendments.

Terminology changes

Current term Replaced by

Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA)

Planning Act 2016 (the Act)

Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009

Planning Regulation 2017 (the Regulation)

Priority Infrastructure Plan (PIP)

Local Government Infrastructure Plan (LGIP)

Assessment criteria

Assessment benchmarks for assessable development and requirements for accepted development


Accepted development

Self-assessable / Self-assessment

Accepted development subject to requirements

Self-assessable Acceptable Outcome (SAO)

Requirement for Accepted Development (RAD)

Acceptable Outcome (AO)

Example that achieves aspects of the Performance Outcome (E)

Assessment levels / Level of assessment

Categories of development and assessment

Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS)

Development Assessment

Changes to Development Assessment

Council is updating its development assessment systems and process to be ready for the new legislation commencing on 3 July 2017.

These changes include:

  • Amended forms;
  • Amended fees (2 additional fees due to the Act);
  • Timeframe tracking and 'Stop-the-clock' tracking functionality.

More information

On the new Planning Framework

The Department of Infrastructure Local Government and Planning (the Department) has prepared a suit of information to help all users understand the new planning system, plan making, development assessment and dispute resolution. The 'Learning hub' includes:

  • Overviews;
  • Fact sheets;
  • Videos;
  • Flow charts; and
  • Online training.

This can be viewed on the Department's planning reform website - Learning Hub.

On the Planning Scheme

A PDF version of the amended planning scheme can be viewed below. The aligned version of the planning scheme will commence on 3 July 2017. Upon commencement, the planning scheme will be available in eScheme format.

Coming soon

  • Training Modules - Council have prepared training modules for staff. These will be publicly available shortly.
  • Updated planning scheme code templates.

Frequently asked questions

Why wasn’t I consulted on these changes to the MBRC Planning Scheme?

The Alignment amendment to the planning scheme was prepared in accordance with the Alignment Amendment Rules. Similar to a minor or administrative amendment to a Planning Scheme under Statutory Guideline 01/16 public notification of the amendment is not required.

Further, Schedule 1 outlines the Scope of amendments made under these rules. For example an alignment amendment under these rules does not include:

  1. A change to a matter of State interest;
  2. A substantial change to a policy position as currently expressed in the instrument;
  3. A substantial change to a category of development or category of assessment for a particular use or activity;
  4. A change, other than a change that is in the opinion of the local government minor or inconsequential, to a person’s or entity’s development rights under the instrument; or
  5. A change which, in the opinion of the local government, would be likely to result in widespread public interest in the local government area and / or in multiple public submissions.

How long am I able to lodge an application under SPA?

The deadline for lodging applications under the Sustainable Planning Act (SPA) is midnight, Friday 30 June 2017.

Applications to be processed under SPA are still able to be lodged with Council via email up until midnight on Friday 30 June 2017 by emailing mbrc@moretonbay.qld.gov.au.

Applications emailed after midnight, Friday 30 June 2017 will be deemed to be lodged under the Planning Act 2016

Applicants intending to have their applications processed under SPA are encouraged to lodge them as soon as possible prior to the cut-off.

The Electronic Development Application Lodgement and Fee Payment Portal will be unavailable from 5.00pm on 30 June 2017. It will be available again from Monday 3 July 2017.

What happens to the pre ‘Alignment amendment’ version of the planning scheme?

It becomes a Superseded planning scheme.

Can I lodge an application under the Superseded planning scheme?

Yes applications under superseded planning schemes can be made within the first 12 months of them becoming a superseded planning scheme. However, requests for applications to be made and assessed under the repealed Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) cannot. Given the amendments to the Planning scheme relate to terminology being consist with the Act, there would be little to no benefit in lodging an application of this nature.

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