Property 101: Development laws in Queensland

Property 101: Development laws in Queensland
Property 101: Development laws in Queensland

Associations for property owners

Advice and support is available to you as a property owner from some relevant associations. We have provided a list of those associations most used by property owners. See below to assess which one is right for you.

Local progress associations

Progress associations are local resident associations that meet to discuss local issues. You can find information about your local progress association in local newspapers, on community notice boards, at your local library or council website.

For Property Owners

The Property Owners Association of Queensland (POAQ) represents the interests of rental property owners in Queensland.

For Unit Owners

The Unit Owners Association of Queensland Inc. (UOAQ) is an industry association to advance the interests of unit owners within the community.

For Retirement Village residents

The Association of Residents of Queensland Retirement Villages (ARQRV) represents the interests of retirement village residents from leasehold, loan/licence and freehold retirement villages. 

Association for developers

Get advice and support as a property developer in Queensland by joining the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Qld) (UDIA) which represents the interests of the property development industry in Queensland.

Zoning in Queensland

Find out how planning and zoning works in Queensland, including the steps to making a development application, from the links and information below.

Local council planning and zoning

Your local council will have planning and zoning codes. Visit your council office or website for information relevant to your area.

Development application

Development applications are required if a development is considered an assessable development under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (PDF).

To find out if your development is an assessable development, you will need to look at the following: 

  • the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 
  • your local government’s planning scheme.

Do you need to lodge a development application?

As a general rule, a development application must be lodged if you are: 

  • building any free-standing permanent structure 
  • extending or raising an existing structure 
  • building a retaining wall over one metre high or a fence over two metres high 
  • erecting signs.

You may also be required to lodge a development application if you are: 

  • clearing native vegetation 
  • demolishing an existing building or structure (in part or in full) 
  • changing the use of the land (e.g. a house to a block of units; an office to a retail shop; a wheat farm to a piggery) 
  • altering the exterior of a heritage place 
  • carrying out significant structural changes to an existing building.

No development application needed

Unless the property is heritage listed, you do not need a development application if you are: 

  • painting or redecorating the interior or exterior of a structure 
  • remodelling a kitchen or bathroom 
  • performing minor internal structural changes to an existing structure.

Local, regional and state-wide planning laws and policies

Local government planning schemes

Local council planning considers the economic, social and environmental needs and the visions of the local community. They focus on land use, development, infrastructure and valuable features of the area.

View a list of Queensland local government planning schemes.

Planning reform

The Qld government is reforming the current planning and development system to ensure the state's continued growth and prosperity.

The reforms aim to: 

  • streamline assessment and approval processes 
  • remove unnecessary red tape 
  • allow local governments to plan for their communities.

Reforms include: 

  • the Sustainable Planning and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2012(SPOLA Act) 
  • a single State Planning Policy 
  • changes to the local infrastructure contributions framework.

Planning policies, land and community planning and building codes for managing population growth in Queensland.

Regional development

If you are looking to invest in Queensland or grow a business, industry or regional economy, Regional Services is a network of staff that deliver regional development, planning, business, industry and services on behalf of state government agencies across Queensland.

Brisbane's online planning and development system

Brisbane City Council has developed an online system for planning and development applications and enquiries.

You can: 

  • do a property enquiry 
  • track the progress of a development application 
  • use the interactive mapping tool 
  • view the Brisbane City Plan 
  • lodge a submission.



To read more visit Smart Service Queensland here


Queensland Property Development


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