Local government planning schemes describe a council's plan for the future direction of a particular local government area and can span 20 years or more.
Planning schemes provide a detailed direction for the area focusing on community planning and aspirations, whilst ensuring the needs of the state and the regional community are incorporated. More specifically, planning schemes:
- identify the strategic outcomes for the area
- include measures that facilitate achieving the strategic outcomes
- identify the preferred growth pattern
- coordinate and integrate community, state and regional interests
- include a local government infrastructure plan (LGIP).
Local planning integrates and balances economic, social and environmental needs and aspirations of the local community to provide an orderly approach to land use and change. They focus on land use, development, infrastructure and valuable features of the area.
The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) replaced the Integrated Planning Act 1997 (IPA) and seeks to shift the focus from the planning process to delivering sustainable planning outcomes. The SPA introduced changes to the plan making process, such as:
- preparation of a strategic land use plan
- increased emphasis on community engagement - to ensure all of the community's needs are reflected in the final plan
- greater flexibility - to cater for unexpected changes
- new streamlined ways for local governments to amend their planning scheme to reflect these changed circumstances.
Planning schemes developed under IPA remain valid under SPA and must be reviewed every 10 years to ensure they respond appropriately to changes at a local, regional and state level. They must also be updated to reflect the new Queensland Planning Provisions (QPP) when their review is due. The QPP provides a consistent format and structure for new local government planning schemes being prepared under SPA.
The QPP is a state planning instrument under SPA that provides a consistent form for the drafting of planning schemes across Queensland by providing:
- standard structure and format
- land use and administrative definitions
- zones and overlays
- infrastructure planning provisions
- assessment codes and other administrative matters.
The QPP makes provision for local governments to incorporate local content and variation to reflect the context of the local government area.
Making or amending a planning scheme
The Statutory guideline 01/16 - Making and amending local planning instruments ( 1.1 MB) (MALPI) is a best practice guideline for making or amending a planning scheme, planning scheme policy, and/or making a temporary local planning instrument under SPA.
MALPI sets out the minimum requirements for local governments to follow when making or amending a local planning instrument. A local government may use additional processes beyond MALPI's mandatory requirements to develop their local planning instruments, provided the additional processes do not conflict with the guidance provided in MALPI.
More information about the process that local government must follow for making or amending its planning scheme is available in MALPI and the plan making online training tool.
Alignment amendment rules
To support the new plan making and development assessment system under the Planning Act 2016 (not yet commenced) the Minister has made Alignment amendment rules ( 401 KB). While the transitional provisions of the Planning Act provide for the valid operation of local planning instruments on commencement, local governments may wish to make amendments to their planning instruments to ensure the instruments will operate as effectively as possible when the Planning Act commences. The Alignment Amendment Rules allow for certain non-substantial changes to these instruments including changes to terminology, structure and formatting and improvements to codes or other ‘assessment benchmarks’ to be made by local governments. For more information please see the Alignment amendment rules fact sheet ( 607 KB).
Status of Queensland's existing planning schemes
We are continually monitoring the status of planning scheme preparation by the 77 local governments across the state.
The department has prepared a Schedule of Planning Schemes ( 192 KB).
New planning schemes will also be made electronically accessible, enabling internet based access to information. This will help improve community access to planning schemes and related documents.
Contact the department for more information on the status of the planning schemes.
Note: plans marked with a star (*) are not available online - contact the local council to request a copy.
Note: The department no longer provides the service of providing copies superseded planning schemes and planning scheme amendments. Please contact the relevant council for this information.