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The Regional Planning Interests Act 2014 (RPI Act) identifies and protects:

  • Priority Agricultural Areas (PAAs)
  • Priority Living Areas (PLAs)
  • Strategic Environmental Areas (SEAs)
  • Strategic Cropping Areas (SCAs, formerly Strategic Cropping Land).

Maps of all areas of regional interest are available in a searchable spatial format.

Maps of the areas of regional interest that are identified in the Cape York, Central Queensland and Darling Downs Regional Plans can also be accessed in a printable PDF format.

Maps of areas of regional interest that are prescribed in the Regional Planning Interests Regulation are available in a printable PDF format:

More detailed information on SCAs can be found through the Department of Natural Resources and Mines website.

Priority Agricultural Areas (PAAs)

PAAs are areas of regionally significant agricultural production that are identified in a regional plan. Identifying PAAs ensures that resource activities that seek to operate in these areas do not unreasonably constrain, restrict or prevent on-going agricultural operation. The assessment criteria for PAAs allow for compatible resource activities to co-exist with high value agricultural land uses. However, the activity must not result in a material impact on a priority agricultural land use. The assessment criteria in the RPI Regulation provide prescribed solutions for managing impact.

Priority Living Areas (PLAs)

PLAs have been established to safeguard areas required for the growth of towns from incompatible resource activities. This provides communities with a say about whether a resource activity is appropriate to operate within proximity of their towns. The local government will be an assessing agency for any application made for a resource activity in a PLA. The RPI Act provides greater autonomy to local government to ensure that communities have a real say in their future.

Strategic Environmental Areas (SEAs)

SEAs have been identified as containing regionally significant environmental attributes (for example bio-diversity, water catchments and ecological function). Within these areas, protection of ecological integrity is the priority land use; however, this does not preclude development from occurring in these areas. Development will be facilitated where it can be demonstrated that the ecological integrity of SEAs is not jeopardised.

Strategic Cropping Area (SCA)

The RPI Act repeals the Strategic Cropping Land Act 2011. However, the policies have been migrated into the new legislation through the declaration of the strategic cropping area as an area of regional interest. Existing strategic cropping land applications and decisions will be transitioned under the RPI Act.

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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.