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Development assessment process & infrastructure charges

Development assessment process (Planning Act 2016)

Disclaimer: This infographic is indicative of the benefits that can be achieved from talking to your local planning team early and taking their feedback on board. Unfortunately from time to time circumstances change and a streamlined process may not always be achieved.

  • 1. Pre-lodgement

    Meet a planner

    The Development Assessment Team is happy to offer an informal meeting where you can discuss potential applications or town planning enquires. A prepared application is not required however it is important that you provide us with some basic information to allow us to provide more specific advice around what is required. To request a Meet-a-Planner meeting please complete the Meet-a-Planner – request form.

    Pre-lodgement meeting

    The Development Assessment Team is happy to offer a pre-lodgement meeting service. This meeting does require you to have a prepared/ all but finalized application. To request a pre-lodgement meeting please complete the Pre-lodgement meeting request form.

    Lodge the completed form by email ( and we will book a meeting at the earliest available time.


    Local governments are the assessment managers for most applications. Some applications will require additional assessment by a referral agency. The Planning Regulation 2017 establishes what matters need to be assessed by a referral agency.

    When preparing an application, it’s your responsibility as the applicant to identify whether there are any referrals associated with your application.

    Council recommend attending pre-lodgement meetings with the necessary referral agencies to identify any potential issues or additional information requirements that can help the application track through the system smoothly.

  • 2. Application

    Preparing an application

    Information on how to prepare a development application can be found on this link.

    The Development Assessment (DA) Forms are the approved forms under the Planning Act 2016 and must be used for applications lodged under this Act (all applications lodged from 3 July 2017).

    Company owners and individual owner’s consent must be submitted with all development applications. Templates for owner’s and company declarations are available here.

    View council’s current list of fees and charges for application costs.

    Relevant plans must also be submitted when making an application. The following link to the DA Forms Guide: Relevant Plans outlines what plans are required for each type of applications and the requirements of information provided on the plans.

    Blackwater PDA and Blackwater East PDA

    Development located on premises within the Blackwater or Blackwater East priority development areas (PDA) are assessed under the Economic Development Act 2012. The approved forms which must be used under the Economic Development Act 2012 are different to those required under the Planning Act 2016.

    Lodging by email

    The preferred method of lodging a development application is via email.

    Files will need to be prepared in accordance with the accepted format:

      • PDF format;
      • Unzipped;
      • Plans/ images flattened;
      • Unlocked with no password protection and created by a software program; and
      • Files cannot be created via scanning. When submitting DA forms, all forms must be combined into a single PDF document and named appropriately. Email your files to
      • When submitting the planning report and any appendices, if the total file size is 10Mb or less it is appropriate to submit these as a single file, however if the planning report and appendices exceed 10Mb in size it is required that these are broken down and submitted separately.
      • We can accept emails up to 50Mb at one time and if you choose to lodge your application via email, you must be able to receive emails that are a minimum of 50Mb in size. File names must be the name of the type of document (for example ‘DA forms’ or ‘Assessment Report’).

    Confirmation/ Action Notice

    Depending on whether your application is properly made or not, council will issue either an Action Notice or a Confirmation Notice within 10 days of the application being received. If the application is properly made and you receive a Confirmation Notice, the assessment process will begin.

  • 3. Referral

    If applicable, the applicant must refer the application and confirmation notice to relevant referral agencies within 10 days of receiving the Confirmation Notice. This time frame may be extended if agreed upon by the assessment manager and applicant. The applicant has five days to notify the assessment manager that referral has been made.

  • 4. Information request

    During the assessment process, there’s a formal opportunity for the assessment manager and any referral agency to ask the applicant for more information. This will only occur if it is regarded as helpful to assessing the application. Applicants who are confident that they have included all the necessary information to manage their application may inform the assessment manager via the DA form that they don’t wish to receive an information request.

  • 5. Public notification

    Public notification needs to be undertaken for impact-assessable applications and those that include a variation request.

    Public notification of an application can start once the applicant has responded to any information requests (if relevant). The applicant is required (at a minimum) to place a notice in a local newspaper and signage on the property, and to notify adjoining landowners.

    The DA Rules outline mandatory signage requirements to help the community better understand development proposals in their local area.

    During the public notification period, the community can make submissions about a development application to the assessment manager, who will consider these when making their decision. The submissions must be ‘properly made’, which means they must be in writing, on topic, signed and submitted by the due date. For details on how to make a submission please go to the Planning and Development Information page

    If a properly made submission is received the application will go to a general council meeting for the decision to be made.

    The time frames for public notification are set out in the Planning Act 2016.

  • 6. Decision

    The DA rules establish how long an assessment manager has to make the decision. Any referral agency response will also inform the assessment manager’s decision. The decision may be to:

    • approve
    • approve in part
    • approve with conditions
    • refuse the development application.

    Once a decision is made, council will issues a Decision Notice to the applicant as well as advising all relevant referral agencies and submitters of the decision. The Planning Act 2016 also states that the assessment manager must issue a Statement of Reasons with the Decision Notice.

  • 7. Appeal

    Under the Planning Act 2016, the applicant and all properly made submitters have the right to appeal against a decision about a development application. Appeals are handled by the Planning and Environment Court or, for low-risk, technical matters, to the Development Tribunal.

For more information on the development assessment process:

Infrastructure charges

Council levies infrastructure charges as part of the development assessment process. These charges apply when a subdivision (reconfiguring a lot), material change of use or building work generates additional demand on trunk infrastructure networks.


Find detailed information about infrastructure charges below or download and print the information in a paper copy factsheet here.

  • What are infrastructure charges?

    Infrastructure charges are fees that council usually collects as part of the development assessment process.

    The fees contribute towards capital works of expanding, maintaining or replacing public trunk infrastructure. Hence, they are a means to offset a development’s additional demands on the infrastructure.

    The charges are a requirement under Queensland planning legislation and any development may be subject to them.

    Council has adopted Infrastructure Charges Resolutions in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act 2016.

    Charges Resolution 12.2 (2017) applies to all applications lodged under the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016.

  • What is trunk infrastructure?

    Trunk infrastructure, also known as highorder infrastructure, services multiple users and the public. It is classified into five categories;

    • water supply
    • sewerage
    • transport
    • stormwater
    • public parks and community land.

    It is identified in the Local Government Infrastructure Plan Part 4 of the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016.

  • When do infrastructure charges apply?

    Infrastructure charges apply to developments that create additional demands on trunk infrastructure networks. Usually this includes reconfiguring a lot (subdivisions), material change of use or building work.

    There are some exceptions such as

    • boundary realignments
    • temporary developments
    • developments that do not create additional demand on trunk infrastructure, where the existing use of the site is lawful
    • developments with prior payments. For example, construction of a dwelling house on a vacant lot where the developer of the estate has already paid infrastructure charges when it was subdivided

    Infrastructure charges may also apply to developments that do not require council approval (accepted developments). In this case, council will issue an infrastructure charges notice after a building approval has been issued. Whilst this is uncommon, developers should contact council to discuss their proposal.

  • How are infrastructure charges calculated?

    Infrastructure charges are usually calculated during the development approval process and are based on the development’s additional demand on trunk infrastructure.

    The calculation considers the following attributes of the development:

    Location and site, for example residential or non-residential zoning and what charge areas apply.

    Development type and land use, for example subdivision, dwelling house, motel, commercial office, industry, essential services.

    Development size and scale, for example the number of units in an accommodation facility or the gross floor area of a warehouse.

    Charges for residential development vary according to the additional number of dwellings, units, suites and bedrooms.

    Charges for non-residential development consider and depend on the additional gross floor area and the impervious area of the development site once complete

    The impervious area includes sealed and covered areas (asphalt or concrete) that generate run-off to stormwater drains.

  • When are infrastructure charges due?

    The due date of infrastructure charges is outlined in each individual payment notice, and depends on the type of development.

    The Queensland planning legislation outlines the due dates as follows, unless otherwise stated in the payment notice.

    Type of development Infrastructure charges due
    Reconfiguring a lot (subdivision) Before endorsement of the survey plan
    Material change of use Whichever occurs first:

    Before compliance certificate is issued, or before the change of use commences.

    Building work Before final inspection or building classification certificates are issued.
  • Who pays infrastructure charges?

    Infrastructure charges and development approvals attach to the land and are binding on the land and its owner’s successors in title. Hence, even if someone did not own the property at the time the charges were levied, new owners are responsible to pay any outstanding infrastructure charges.

  • Infrastructure charges recovery

    From time to time, council undertakes an audit of infrastructure charges to determine those applications where infrastructure charges have not been paid.

    This includes determining the currency period of each approval, and whether there is any evidence which would suggest that the development has commenced.

    When unable to confirm if an approval has commenced, a site inspection is required to further determine which approvals have lapsed, commenced or remain current.

    Thereafter, council will carry out a charges recovery project whereby it will issue correspondence to land owners to pay the charges.

    First notice

    For approvals that council identifies as commenced, it will issue a notice advising the original applicant and/ or land owner of their outstanding levied infrastructure charges payable to council. The notice will include the development approval and charges notice.

    It may provide a time frame to arrange payment or details on entering an infrastructure payment agreement.

    Second notice

    If the matter has not been resolved, council will issue a second notice advising the original applicant and/ or land owner of their outstanding charges.

    If full payment is not made within the time frame set out in the correspondence, the unpaid infrastructure charges may be transferred to the property owner’s rates account.


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