Planning Reform

On 3 July 2017, Queensland began operating under a new planning act, called the Planning Act 2016. In order to align with the new Act, council updated the Townsville City Plan and its development assessment processes.

For more information, the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DILGP) have created a website which contains many resources and information sheets on the Planning Act 2016.

Council's involvement with the new Act

Townsville City Council has been working with DILGP and other Queensland councils to ensure our systems are operationally ready for the new Act.

As part of the planning reform preparations, council have also made changes to the Planning and Development pages on the website. This has been done in order to make the pages easier to use. If you have any difficulties navigating the site, please contact council for guidance.

Frequently Asked questions

Key changes in the new Act

The Planning Act 2016 has some key changes that will affect how development applications are processed. For a more comprehensive list of changes, access the DILGP resources page.

  • Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS) is now called the Development Assessment Rules (DA Rules)
  • The number of application forms available at a state level has been reduced from 30 to two. These forms are required to be supplemented by 'templates' for particular development applications
  • Although the general application types remain the same (Material Change of Use, Operational Works, Reconfiguring a Lot), there have been changes to documentation, application forms, application prefixes and timeframes
  • Exemption Certificates have been introduced, which may be applied for when:
    • The effects of a development would be minor or inconsequential, considering the circumstances under which the development was categorized as assessable development
    • The development was categorized as assessable development only because of particular circumstances that no longer apply
    • The development was categorized as assessable development because of an error
  • Development application assessors must now capture and explain their decisions in a written notice, called a Statement of Reasons.

Key term changes

Some of the key terms used in the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 have been amended for the Planning Act 2016, but they represent a similar concept or process. Use the table below to find out the key term changes that now apply.

Sustainable Planning Act 2009Planning Act 2016
Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS)Development Assessment Rules (DA Rules)
Exempt developmentAccepted development
Self-assessable developmentAccepted development subject to requirements
Acknowledgement noticeConfirmation notice