Redlands2030 submission on planning bills

Open letter to the Queensland Government

Building in the Redlands 004

Less planning, more development?

The Queensland Government is continuing to legislate changes to the State’s planning and development system. It has just concluded a consultation process for a draft Planning and Development Bill and a draft Planning and Environment Court Bill.

Further information about the Government’s plans to change legislation for planning and development approvals is available here.

Redlands2030 has made a brief submission to the Queensland Government regarding its proposed changes to the State’s planning and development process. A copy of our letter is published below.

If you believe that communities should keep strong rights to appeal inappropriate developments then it is important that you say this to your State MP. Their contact details are provided at the bottom of this post.

Redlands 2030_cv

Planning and Property Group
Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
By email to:;

Dear Sir/Madam,
Draft Planning and Development Bill 2014 (P&D Bill) and Planning and Environment Court Bill 2014 (P&E Court Bill)

Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission on the two Bills.

Redlands2030 is a community network based in Redland City operating various media promoting awareness of and involvement in local government issues.
Redlands2030 believes that the community’s values, as set out in our Redlands 2030 Community Plan , should guide major planning and development decisions within our Redlands. These values include:

  • Widespread community involvement in determining the future of the Redlands
  • Sustainable economic development
  • Respect for our natural environment

We are particularly concerned about the aspects of the proposed legislation which would lead to reduced public notification and appeal.

We are also concerned about more powers being delegated to local government given the ease with which transparency and good governance can be subverted at this level as a consequence of political donations by vested interests such as property developers.

The changes in this proposed legislation to reduce the community’s rights in development matters appear to be part of a general plan to disempower communities. We note the Economic Development Act 2012 introduced by the current Government has resulted in flawed planning and totally inadequate community consultation for priority development areas at Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek.

We support a system which facilitates good development that enhances communities and the environment, in other words development which is ecologically sustainable.

Community participation in planning and development assessment is also critical for a truly transparent and accountable system.

We ask that the following changes be made to the proposed Act:

  1. The current purpose of the planning legislation in Queensland – ecologically sustainable development (ESD) – should remain the object of the new P&D Bill. ESD principles provide clear guidance for decision makers, which is lacking in the new purpose of ‘prosperity’.
  2. The draft P & D Bill needs amending to improve community involvement in decision making, not reduce it. For example:
    • The Bill should require public notification for all merit/impact assessment, or at least for all departures from the planning scheme with no exemptions from notification.
    • Public consultation periods for regional plans, and local planning schemes should be increased from 20 to 40 business days to ensure that local communities have time to adequately consider complex and detailed information.
    • Laws on public consultation on development should be subject to public and Parliamentary scrutiny, not hidden away in rules and regulations.
  3. The legislation must clearly require non-minor changes to development applications to trigger re-notification if the change is likely to attract submissions. Developers should not be able to make major changes to development after public notification, without having to go through a fresh consultation process.
  4. The Government’s statements that there will be no reduction in public access to information are supported but this should be given strength in the legislation, not hidden in rules that can be changed without any Parliamentary or public scrutiny.
  5. The Development Assessment Rules – which will provide requirements for public notification of development, how public submissions are considered, and whether new information from the proponent will trigger re-notification- should be secured in legislation so that changes to them would have a transparent legislative reform process with public and Parliamentary scrutiny.
  6. Retain the existing State Planning Regulatory Provisions, particularly the SEQ Koala Conservation SPRP and the SEQ Regional Plan SPRP, which attempts to limit urban sprawl. The Government’s plan to retain these protections needs to be available for scrutiny before these statutory protections are removed.
  7. For 20 + years, the “no costs” jurisdiction served an important public interest of community involvement in planning decisions which affect everyone as it allowed ordinary Queenslanders to access the Court. The punitive and discretionary costs rules inserted in 2012, which effectively act as a barrier to justice for Queenslanders, should be removed from the P&D Bill.
  8. The P&E Court Bill 2014 must be amended to ensure that eligible submitters can elect to join as a party, i.e. as a co-respondent alongside Council’s decision to refuse a development application.

Chris Walker
Co-founder and spokesperson

26 September 2014

Dr Mark Robinson
Member for Cleveland Redlands MPs Cleveland
Peter Dowling
Member for Redlands Redlands MPs Redlands
Steve Davis
Member for Capalaba MPs Capalaba


Please note: Offensive or off-topic comments will be deleted. If offended by any published comment please email

3 thoughts on “Redlands2030 submission on planning bills

  1. The Redlands 2030 submissions on the Planning Legislation; The unacceptable gap ridden Planning Reform Directions Paper (which will not return us to 2011 standards)and the # draconian LNP Planning Bills( a return to the 1980s) are fascinatingly accurate. However we have had some unconvincing DILGP Planning Roadshows,an unrepresentative Planning Summit(No CD), Minister’s cool response to the EDO’s submission and PDA Reform,an attempted DILGP fast tracking of the Bill in mid September and a very slim UDIA submission.(2 years of consultation we did not know about,fast track, rollback ,new jargon and “no more charges”) which indicate a return to the 1960’s. It appears without a proper whitepaper seen in the past and in NSW and an independent consultation secretariat the reform has been swallowed by the LNP , “the development industry” and COAG. The LNP Bills are coming not in any sense of the public good..

    The UDIA are hosting a Planning Workshop on September 18th on the “Politics of Planning” asking mostly the wrong questions of mostly the wrong people, without topics of; consultation, liveability, environment, ESD,public representation,access, CODE Bombing,best practice, good governance and jargon .
    We have reached a state where virtually” nothing is protected “(in spite of 700 odd species in a gutted Nature Conservation Act and gutted VMAct.) , there is little resolution of;planning accountability, shape shifting jargon, land use abuse,land banking and failed legislation etc, and little environmental monitoring or social surveys(liveability) etc. How can the public comprehend 3,000 pages of legislation regulation and policy , find that their comments have been binned,and then find that they have been sold down the river by industry, 3 levels of government , shapeshifters and planners.
    The mitigation tools, environmental instruments, reform of resuming authorities About 10 greenspace programs 2011,Green Fauna Infrastructure , Social Planners, Offset Reformers and Offset Police are not there.
    The fact that thirty five years of consultation ,millions of dollars worth of research and mapping,and unquantified amounts of human endeavour inside/outside of govts on the total environment and planning will evaporate in October with continued and accelerated legalised destruction of our flora and fauna and lifestyles , is the best kept secret of the decade.
    Ted Fensom
    Brisbane Region Environment Council

  2. Totally agree with Toni’s comments about the Redlands2030 submission on planning bills. Well done to the writers, you are as Toni says, ‘spot on’.
    Keep up the great work.

  3. Great comments and your submission is spot on, the only concern I had was when I got to the bottom of your submission I saw a photo of the three stooges and felt soooo frustrated, if they truly represented the community they would be taking the Community concerns to Parliament, as your submission, I feel confident, would be supported by a majority of Redlands residents

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