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After an application is lodged with the assessment manager, it may be necessary to refer the application to any other parties which also have an interest in the proposed development. The State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) can be the assessment manager or referral agency for development applications where the state has a jurisdiction. Where SARA is a referral agency for a development application, it provides a referral agency response that the assessment manager must accord with in making a decision.

Applicants are encouraged to lodge development applications for referral to SARA through the online MyDAS system. The SARA team also accepts lodgement by post or email, or in hard copy delivered to your local regional office. However, note that it may take up to five business days to process applications lodged via these means.

Applicants are also encouraged to hold a pre-lodgement meeting via the pre-lodgement form (Word icon 113 KB) with SARA to better identify the key issues of interest to the state.

Please note that there are still a number of entities that exist outside of SARA, and hold jurisdiction for their own referral agency triggers. Please see the SARA FAQs for further information on these.

Sustainable Planning Regulation and referrals

Schedule 7 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 lists the types of development that require an application to be referred to a referral agency. The Regulation is updated frequently to reflect changes in government policy and to rationalise triggers where possible.

Referral agency assessment fees

Referral agencies may charge a fee for assessing a development application requiring referral. Schedule 7A of the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 lists the fees (where required) against the type of development to be assessed.

The State Government's development assessment fees were presented in the Review of Queensland's development assessment fees - Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (Decision RIS) (PDF icon 1.2 MB).

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On 3 July 2017, Queensland started operating under new planning legislation – the Planning Act 2016. Information on this page relates to the previous legislation – the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. Learn more about the new planning system.