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Accepted development

Accepted development, is development defined by the Planning Act 2016, Planning Regulation 2017 or planning scheme as not requiring a development approval.

Accepted development is generally simple, low risk and compatible with the planning intentions for an area — which is why a development approval is not required.

Please note disclaimer at bottom of page.

Further information

Development near a wetland Photo by Niall Connolly

Quick facts

Wetland
protection areas are shown on the Map of Great Barrier Reef wetland protection areas and includes wetlands surrounded by a 100 metre trigger area within urban areas and a 500m trigger area within rural areas.

 

 

Schedule 7 of the Planning Regulation 2017 outlines certain types of accepted development including for building work, material change of use and operational work. In certain circumstances the proposed development must meet requirements or provisions set by another Act or local government, to be considered accepted development. If the development does not comply with the requirements for accepted development, a development application may be required.

The following types of accepted development address wetland values and functions:

  • Accepted development for high impact earthwork in a wetland protection area
  • Accepted development for fisheries development
  • Accepted development for vegetation clearing (codes)
  • Accepted development for water-related operational work
  • Accepted development for tidal work, or work within a coastal management district (codes)

For example, in relation to accepted development for vegetation clearing to manage weeds, this activity can be undertaken using the Managing weeds code under the Vegetation Management Act 1999. This code is an “accepted development vegetation clearing code”. This code states the required outcomes for clearing vegetation to control weeds, the practices that must be complied with and guidance on how to comply with each practice.

Accepted Development - Operational work in a Great Barrier Reef wetland protection area

The aim of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act) is to protect Queensland's environment while allowing for development that improves the total quality of life, now and in the future, in a way that maintains the ecological processes on which life depends. This approach is termed 'ecologically sustainable development'. The Environmental Protection Regulation 2019 outlines the State’s interests for wetlands and provides for Great Barrier Reef Wetland Protection Areas (GBRWPA) to be shown on the Map of Great Barrier Reef wetland protection areas.

Certain operational works in a GBRWPA are considered accepted development under schedule 7, part 3, section 9 of the Planning Regulation 2017, provided that compliance with requirements under schedule 14.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

Wetland protection areas are located in GBR catchments and comprise the wetland and an area around the wetland.

Operational work can be undertaken in a GBR wetland protection area where the work complies with accepted development requirements prescribed in the Planning Regulation 2017.

In a GBR wetland protection area, accepted development is operational work that:

  • is high impact earthwork; and
  • is carried out for electricity operation or government supported infrastructure; and
  • complies with schedule 14 of the Planning Regulation 2017

Schedule 10 Part 20 of the Planning Regulation 2017 outlines when operational work in a wetland protection area is prohibited development and when it is assessable development.

Resources

Accepted Development - Fisheries requirements

The accepted development requirements are prescribed by the Planning Regulation 2017 and the Fisheries Act 1994 (Fisheries Act). The Fisheries Act outlines the State’s interest for fisheries.

To protect or give effect to the State’s interests for fisheries, accepted development must comply with the relevant accepted development requirements of the Planning Regulation 2017 or other relevant documents (e.g. accepted development requirements for operational work).

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

Operational work in a declared fish habitat area (FHA) requires application for a resource allocation authority under the Fisheries Act and a development approval under the Planning Act 2016, unless the work complies with accepted development requirements. For accepted development, a pre-work notification is required. Under schedule 7 of the Planning Regulation 2017operational work in a declared fish habitat area is accepted development if requirements for work are prescribed under the Fisheries Act section 32  and the work complies with the requirements. The accepted development requirements document: Accepted development requirements for operational work that is completely or partly within a declared fish habitat area specifies the requirements for operational work that is completely or partly within a declared FHA.

The following accepted development requirements document is used to address work involving the construction or raising of waterway barriers: Accepted development requirements for operational work that is constructing or raising waterway barrier work.

The following accepted development requirements document is used to address work involving the removal, destruction or damage of marine plants: Accepted development requirements for operational work that is the removal, destruction or damage of marine plants.

If development does not comply with requirements, it is assessable development and a development application must be lodged with the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA).

Resources

Accepted Development - Vegetation clearing codes

The Vegetation Management Act 1999 (VM Act) regulates the clearing of native vegetation in Queensland. The purpose of this Act is to regulate the clearing of vegetation in a way that among other things, conserves remnant vegetation, prevents the loss of biodiversity and maintains ecological processes. The VM Act outlines the State’s interests for native vegetation management.

The State’s interests for native vegetation are protected under the VM Act, and are given effect through the accepted development vegetation clearing codes.

Note: In addition to this, a permit may be required under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NC Act) for the clearing of native plants.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

Certain clearing activities including for fodder harvesting, managing weeds and encroachment, can be undertaken if they comply with the requirements of an accepted development vegetation clearing code. These codes specify the acceptable clearing practices within and adjacent to wetlands and watercourses, for example, no-machinery zones and erosion management zones. Under the codes, wetland means an area of land that supports plants or is associated with plants that are adapted to and dependent on living in wet conditions for at least part of their life cycle, and are shown on the vegetation management wetlands map.

Resources

The Vegetation Management Wetland Map is based on the Queensland Wetlands Mapping and Aquatic Conservation Assessments. The mapping is supported by the Wetland Delineation and Mapping Guideline, a method for verifying the on-ground wetland extent.

Accepted Development - Water related activities

The Water Act 2000 (Water Act) provides a legislative basis for the sustainable planning and management of the State’s water resources. The Water Act outlines the State’s interests for water.

To protect or give effect to the State’s interests in land use planning, matters relating to water resources are addressed under the Planning Regulation 2017 which sets out accepted development for water-related operational work with and without requirements. The Water Regulation 2016 and catchment water plans can be consulted to determine the level of assessment for work.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

In relation to the Water Act 2000 (Water Act) there are two types of accepted development: 1) accepted development and 2) accepted development with requirements.

Accepted development without requirements, if specified in a water resource plan or the Water Regulation 2016 does not require a development application, but may require an authority to take or interfere with water. Work to take watercourse water where there are no requirements, may include: infrastructure associated with taking water for certain low-risk activities under the Water Act 2000 (Water Act).

Accepted development with requirements (if specified in a water resource plan or the Water Regulation) also does not require a development application (however, assessment against a relevant code is required). The types of works requiring a development application are works taking overland flow water for certain purposes and the construction or modification of levees. Accepted development with requirements includes certain low-impact works related to watercourse and underground water.

Refer to Schedule 7 of the Planning Regulation 2017  for accepted development for water.

Resources

Accepted Development - Operational work for tidal work or work within a coastal management district

The Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995 (CP Act) applies to the coastal zone and outlines the State’s interests for coastal protection and management. One of its objectives is to provide for the protection, conservation, rehabilitation and management of the coastal zone, including its resources and biological diversity.

To protect or give effect to the State’s interests, matters relating to the accepted development in the coastal zone are prescribed under Schedule 7, Part 3 Section 10 of the Planning Regulation 2017 which complies with the requirements for the work as prescribed in the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995 section 167(5) (b).

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

Accepted development prescribed under Schedule 7, Part 3 Section 10 of the Planning Regulation 2017 which complies with the requirements for the work prescribed in the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995 section 167(5) (b) is accepted development – Code for accepted development for tidal work, or work completely or partly in a coastal management district. This accepted development code enables the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Gold Coast Waterways Authority and local governments to undertake certain low risk work on the coast without the need for a development approval. The code sets out requirements for protecting environmental values, such as wetlands and wetland species, and prevention of environmental harm. The code aims to protect coastal processes and avoid coastal erosion impacts.

Resources

Code for accepted development for tidal work, or work completely or partly in a coastal management district.

Disclaimer

While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this product, the Queensland Government and Australian Government make no representations or warranties about accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose and disclaim all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages (including indirect or consequential damage) and costs which might be incurred as a consequence of reliance on the product, or as a result of the product being inaccurate or incomplete in any way and for any reason.


Last updated: 24 June 2019

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2019) Accepted development, WetlandInfo website, accessed 24 September 2020. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/management/legislation-update/self-assessable/

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science