Since 1997 the Queensland Government has been implementing, tweaking, refining and revising the Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS) which seeks to incorporate State and Local Government assessment of development proposals.
In 2009 the State revised the principal legislation with the introduction of the new Sustainable Planning Act 2009 with changes to the previous regime that applied under the Integrated Planning Act 1997. While there have been attempts to refine and simplify the law as it relates to planning and development, it appears that the reverse has occurred in Queensland as more complicated issues are ‘rolled-in’ to the IDAS and are required to be considered during development assessment. The various rules relating to preliminary approvals, code v impact assessable developments and use rights/amenity protections under local government planning schemes can be confusing. We can assist with the understanding of how these laws affect you.
As well as the 2009 revision of the assessment legislation, the IDAS is regularly ‘adjusted’ by government – a recent example is the introduction of an assessment trigger for development proposals that may affect the “Great Barrier Reef wetlands protection area” (which are now required to be referred the Department of Environment and Resource Management). Larger and more significant or politically expedient projects may trigger assessment processes under the State Development & Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (or EISs for mineral and some other projects under the Environmental Protection Act 1994).
Recently Stuart acted for clients’ with interests adversely impacted by City Pacific’s 2008 vision for its Townsville cruise-ship terminal and canal estate proposal – compiling submissions for the EIS process under the State Development & Public Works Organisation Act 1971, as well as writing to decision-making authorities to protect clients’ common law rights.
These days Commonwealth environmental legislation can also apply to the seemingly smallest of development proposals – such as we have seen in relation to small land owners seeking to build sheds in the suburb of Oak Valley in Townsville triggering assessment under the National Environmental Significance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Stuart commenced practising at the time of the inception of the EPBC Act and is very familiar with its operation having provided advice for an array of clients including the consideration of whether or not proposals are ‘controlled actions’ and assessment options.
Stuart first practised in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court in Brisbane as an articled clerk in 1999 gaining considerable experience by working in the planning and development sphere since that time. Stuart specialises in providing pragmatic advice about project proposals and assessment processes for clients.
Where necessary we provide clients with the ability to escalate to appeals and applications to the Planning and Environment Court, if the situation so merits. We provide advice for both developers ranging from owners of single lots to large corporate interests, as well as advice to development proposal neighbours and community objectors.
Please contact us to find out more or to discuss with us what steps need to be taken to get your matter underway.