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New planning Regulation public notification

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Did you know that the ability for people to meet requirements under Queensland’s planning framework is being impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency?

This includes the Planning Act, Planning Regulation 2017 and supporting statutory instruments (including the Development Assessment Rules) which regulate planning and development in Queensland. As a result, a new Planning Regulation has been made which applies until 31 December 2020 regarding public notification of development applications.

The regulation amends the operation of s53 of the Planning Act and 17.1 of the DA Rules (newspaper requirements) for publicly notifying development applications given the closure of many newspapers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulation, made under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020, modifies requirements under the Planning Act for public notification of development applications and change applications to ensure communities can continue to be adequately informed of development proposals, despite social distancing measures and many local and regional newspapers closing or becoming digital only.

The regulation provides new arrangements which are responsive to localised circumstances and will replace the existing newspaper notice requirements for the notification of development applications.

These new arrangements will require, in the first instance, that notice be published in a hard copy local newspaper where one exists. Where there is no hard copy local newspaper circulating, the notice must be published in a digital local newspaper. Where there is neither a hard copy or digital local newspaper, notice must be given by either publishing a notice in a newspaper with a state-wide distribution; giving additional notices to the occupiers of properties in the vicinity of the subject land; or publishing a notice on Council’s website.

The regulation also modifies associated requirements about keeping development application associated documents physically available for inspection and purchase or inspection only by local governments. These changes are in recognition of the health and safety issues associated with the physical handling of documents.

Similar modifications have been made to the requirements for notification of applications in priority development areas, as well as changes to improve flexibility in accessing associated hard copy documents under the Economic Development Act 2012. These modifications have been enabled via the Economic Development (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020.

For further information regarding the Economic Development (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 click here.

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