Changes to Queensland’s planning laws will allow job-creating infrastructure projects to keep progressing across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new amendments create flexibility for public notice requirements by allowing the use of digital or other online media to advertise development applications.
Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said supporting traditional industries like construction is a key priority for the government as it implements its plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs.
“Coronavirus isn’t going away. Global case numbers continue to rise. But we need to ensure projects keep progressing, that workers have jobs, and that Queenslanders can still have their say on planning and development proposals,” Mr Dick said.
“Informing communities of development applications through a public notice in the local newspaper has long been a legal requirement, but with many regional papers ceasing print runs because of the pandemic we’ve had to amend our planning laws.
“Now, if a newspaper has gone digital, public notices can be placed online, and if there’s no longer a local paper at all these notices can be run in a statewide or national newspaper, can be delivered directly to those properties near a proposed development, or can be made available via state government or council websites.
“Streamlining DA notification processes in Queensland is a small but crucial change that will mean big projects can keep moving forwards as we maintain our fight against the impacts of COVID-19.”
Temporary amendments have also been made to statutory requirements around the public availability of development application documents during notification periods.
Given health concerns around document handling councils now have the flexibility to make documents available online or via direct delivery to interested parties.
“This enables more flexible measures for the public to view documents in a way that is responsive to COVID-19 health and safety concerns,” Mr Dick said.
“The changes will be in effect until 31 December 2020, with the potential to be extended further through legislative amendments following community consultation.”
Learn more about the Queensland Government’s planning legislation amendments in response to COVID-19.