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About Economic Development Queensland

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The Economic Development Act 2012 (the Act) came into effect on 1 February 2013 and repeals the Urban Land Development Authority Act 2007 and the Industrial Development Act 1963.

The Act brings together the powers and functions of the Minister for Industrial Development Queensland (delivered through the Property Services Group) and the Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA). It recognises the common goals of the two former entities and provides operational efficiencies.

The Act establishes the Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) who also has responsibility for a new unit within the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning known as Economic Development Queensland (EDQ).

EDQ will identify and drive economic development and development for community purposes in consultation and partnership with local government.

It will provide a greater emphasis on supporting, facilitating and fast-tracking economic development in Queensland by refining and improving existing processes. It supports the government's four pillar economy.

The Act also establishes the Commonwealth Games Infrastructure Authority.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="How will economic development be delivered?"}

Economic development will be delivered through job creation and industry stimulus from development activity. The Act will facilitate private sector activity through development and planning. It also works to extract value from underused or surplus state government land and fast-tracks development which in turn will contribute to economic development locally.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="What is Economic Development Queensland?"}

Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) is a self-funded commercialised business unit within the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, responsible for delivering the objectives of the Act.

EDQ brings together the two Queensland Government bodies that handled urban, residential and industrial development across the state (the former Urban Land Development Authority and Property Services Group). It will continue the current development activities of these bodies and identify new projects, which may include facilitating retail or commercial development outcomes. The new business unit will exercise functions of the Minister for Economic Development Queensland by delegation.

The planning and development powers and activities of the Minister for Economic Development Queensland will help deliver the government's commitment to streamline planning processes, giving local government greater decision-making powers and winding back the powers formerly exercised by the ULDA.

EDQ structure {/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="How will EDQ deliver land developments?"}

EDQ will plan, develop and manage in declared provisional priority development areas (PPDAs) and priority development areas (PDAs).

The declaration of a PPDA or PDA rests with the Minister for Economic Development Queensland. A PPDA or PDA may be declared, to:

  • respond to a gap in the market
  • drive economic development
  • undertake a joint venture with a partner such as a local government
  • facilitate development in complex large sites
  • undertake a special purpose, for example the Commonwealth Games Village.

To further facilitate economic development and development for community purposes, the Minister for Economic Development Queensland could also develop land outside declared areas. Any development outside a declared area will be assessed by the relevant local government under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

As EDQ comprises functions of the former entities of the ULDA and PSG, the residential, urban and industrial projects being undertaken by these groups will continue.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="What happens to the Property Services Group?"}

Under the Act, the industrial development functions previously undertaken by the PSG are being carried out through EDQ.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="What happens to the Urban Land Development Authority?"}

Under the Act, the development and planning functions, including development assessment, previously undertaken by the ULDA are being carried out through EDQ.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="What happens to existing interim land use plans and development schemes?"}

Interim land use plans (ILUPs) and development schemes are still valid for Urban Development Areas (UDAs) previously declared under the ULDA Act and the land use and development requirements still apply. No changes have been made to them since introducing the Economic Development Queensland Act 2012.

References to the ULDA in an ILUP or development scheme are taken to be a reference to the Minister for Economic Development Queensland. References to a UDA are taken to be references to a PDA.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="What happens to the ULDA residential developments?"}

These residential developments will continue under the new entity, EDQ.

However, the policy intent is to progressively transfer development assessment functions for former UDAs to local government. On 30 November 2012, these functions for UDAs within the Brisbane City Council (BCC) area were transferred to BCC from state government and council will assess and decide any development applications lodged from that date.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="What happens to the urban development in Northshore Hamilton?"}

The development of Northshore Hamilton will continue with the new entity, EDQ, becoming the master developer.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="Will the provision of affordable housing still be a focus for the government?"}

While the provision of affordable housing is not prescribed in the Act, the Queensland Government still has an active role in providing affordable housing in its various residential developments throughout the state.

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Minister for Economic Development Queensland

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Currently the Minister for Economic Development Queensland is the Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning.

The Minister has very broad powers including:

  • contracting
  • dealing in land
  • planning for PDAs
  • coordinating the provision of infrastructure
  • appointing agents and attorneys
  • fixing charges
  • declaring PPDAs and PDAs
  • deciding development applications
  • carrying out economic development and development for a community purpose both inside and outside PPDAs and PDAs
  • constructing roads.

Under the Act, the minister has been established as a corporation sole with the ability to deal on a commercial basis.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="Can the minister for Economic Development Queensland compulsorily acquire land?"}

No. The Minister cannot compulsorily acquire land under the Act.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="Who can the Minister delegate its functions to?"}

The Minister for Economic Development Queensland may delegate any of its functions or powers under the Act to any of the following:

  • the CEO of a department
  • the board (EDQ board)
  • a board member
  • the authority (Commonwealth Games Infrastructure Authority)
  • an authority member
  • a local representative committee
  • a committee member
  • a local government
  • an appropriately qualified officer or employee of a department.
{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="What role does the minister play in relation to the Commonwealth Games Village?"}

The Minister for Economic Development Queensland is responsible for the development of the Commonwealth Games Village.

The Act establishes the Commonwealth Games Infrastructure Authority, which will facilitate the planning and development of the Games Village ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Responsibilities for the Commonwealth Games event will continue to reside with the Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games.

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Priority development areas and provisional priority development areas

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A priority development area (PDA) is a site declared by the state government to facilitate the development of land in Queensland for economic development or development for community purposes.

A declaration would be suitable for larger, more complex sites with multiple land owners and requires an interim land use plan and a PDA development scheme.

PDAs will generally be undertaken in partnership with local government.

The same plan-making timeframes and process remain in place that formerly guided the creation of UDA development schemes.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="What is a provisional priority development area?"}

Under the Act, the State Government can declare a provisional priority development area (PPDA).

A PPDA applies in circumstances where development can be brought to the market quickly and there is an overriding economic or community need to start the proposed development quickly.

To bring the development to market quickly, a PPDA only requires a provisional land use plan and not a development scheme. However, the land use plan must not compromise the implementation of any relevant planning instrument, such as a planning scheme or regional plan. A PPDA is only in effect for three years.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="Who decides which areas can be declared PPDAs or PDAs?"}

The declaration of a PPDA or PDA rests with the Minister for Economic Development Queensland. Reasons for a declaration might include:

  • responding to a gap in the market
  • driving economic development
  • undertaking a joint venture with a partner such as a local government
  • facilitating development in complex, large sites
  • undertaking a special purpose e.g. developing the Commonwealth Games village.

The minister also has the ability to develop land outside declared areas to further facilitate economic development and development for community purposes. However, any development outside a declared area will be assessed under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="What happens to existing urban development areas?"}

Declared urban development areas (UDAs) still exist and become priority development areas (PDAs), although they may keep their existing name.

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The Minister for Economic Development Queensland can delegate all or some of the planning powers in the Act to local governments. This includes the powers to prepare and make development instruments, land use plans and development schemes, prepare and make amendments to development instruments, assess development applications and make decisions to approve, refuse, or partly refuse these.

The Act provides for increased local government engagement, and decision-making powers may be delegated by the minister to local government representative committees or councils.

The minister can also establish a local representative committee.

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Local Governments

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To provide the local community and local government with more input into the development of a PDA, the Minister for Economic Development Queensland may establish a local representative committee for a PDA to help the minister (or delegate) perform the minister's functions in the area.

A committee consists of persons appointed by the minister including:

  • an EDQ board member
  • no more than four other persons who the minister considers can appropriately represent the interests of entities affected by development in the PDA (for example a local government CEO).

Functions of a committee will include advising and making recommendations to the minister regarding the impact of proposed development in the area and reporting to the minister about the committee's performance of its functions under this Act.

A committee established for an area would also perform any functions or exercise any powers delegated to it by the minister.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="Can the community still have a say about development in a PPDA and PDA without a local representative committee?"}

Yes. Under the Act, community engagement is a requirement during the planning process. Following declaration, a development scheme is prepared which requires a public notification period of at least 30 business days during which time anyone can make a submission and have their say.

Significant development applications for land within PDAs will also be publicly notified.

In a PPDA, in recognition of the fact that no development scheme is required, all development applications within a PPDA must be publicly notified.

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Development assessment

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All existing development approvals made by the Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA) for urban development areas (UDA) under the repealed ULDA Act, remain unaffected and approved developments can continue.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="What happens with development applications being assessed by the ULDA at the time the new legislation came into effect?"}

Existing development applications lodged with the ULDA, and made under the repealed ULDA Act, that were properly made but not decided before the Economic Development Act commenced, are taken to be PDA applications under the new Act and will be assessed and decided under the Act.

However, the main purposes of the ULDA Act must be taken into consideration in deciding the applications, not the main purposes of the new Act.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="How do I lodge a new development application for a transitioned UDA or new PPDAs or PDAs?"}

To lodge a development application for declared areas, excluding those within Brisbane City Council, either:

  • By hand: phone 07 3452 7437 to arrange an appointment:
    Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Development Assessment, Level 6, 63 George Street, Brisbane

  • Post: Economic Development Queensland, Development Assessment, PO Box 15009, City East QLD 4002
{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="Will the self certification process apply to applications lodged under the new Act?"}

Yes

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="Who will administer the self certification process?"}

The self certification process will be administered by the relevant development assessment entity. In the case of DAs lodged with EDQ, it will be EDQ.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="Who will assess compliance and undertake plan sealing for existing UDA development approvals (such as endorsement of conditions of approval)?"}

For transitioned UDAs, where development assessment functions are not being transferred to a local government, compliance assessment and plan sealing will be the responsibility of EDQ.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="Are there changes to the way development applications are assessed under the new legislation?"}

The process for assessing development applications is similar to the way they were assessed under the ULDA Act.

The timeframes relating to information requests, public notification and decision periods are the same and there is no general right of appeal on the merits against a refusal to grant, or the imposition of conditions on a PDA development approval.

Some major differences are:

  • the purpose of the Act must be taken into consideration when deciding an application, rather than the five purposes under the ULDA Act
  • the Minister does not have call-in powers as the power to decide development applications now rests with the Minister under the Act
  • any development application within a PPDA must be publicly notified.
{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="Is the delegation of development assessment powers to local governments still continuing?"}

Development assessment functions have been delegated to Ipswich City Council for the Ripley Valley PDA, the City of Gold Coast for the Southport PDA and Townsville City Council for the Townsville City Waterfront PDA.

{/arijaccordionitem} {/arijaccordion} {arijaccordion alwaysOpen="false" active="false" animated="bounceslide" autoHeight="false" width="550" className="acord"} {arijaccordionitem title="Can the Minister for Economic Development Queensland still call-in a development?"}

No. The Minister can assess and decide development applications under the Act, so the ability to call-in a development assessed under this legislation is no longer required.

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