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Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016

The Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016 is a living and evolving document that guides the way land, buildings and structures are used and developed in the Central Highlands to make sure the right development happens in the right locations. It also helps plan for infrastructure to support growth and create a more diversified economy while continuing to protect our regions values and way of life.

The Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016 supersedes the four Planning Schemes and associated planning scheme policies of the former Emerald, Duaringa, Bauhinia and Peak Downs Shires.

It is advised that Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) have the ability to declare Priority Development Areas (PDA’s). There are presently two (2) declared Priority Development Areas within the Central Highlands Region, being Blackwater and Blackwater East.

The Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) has agreed to a request from Central Highlands Regional Council (CHRC) to delegate development assessment within the PDA to CHRC. From 4 July 2016, CHRC is responsible for assessing any development applications on behalf of the MEDQ. All development applications will continue to be assessed against the Blackwater PDA Development Scheme and the Blackwater East PDA Development Scheme under the Economic Development Act 2012 (ED Act). For more information on these areas please follow the link to Economic Development Queensland’s website.

Please follow the link to view any of the superseded planning schemes. Please note that the superseded planning schemes are no longer applicable for strategic planning and development assessment purposes and have been replaced by the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016 as hosted on this webpage.

Navigating the Planning Scheme- Fact Sheet

  • Planning scheme
  • Amendments
  • Improve the plan
  • Background
  • FAQ's
  • TLPI
  • Planning scheme
  • Amendments

Planning scheme amendments are required from time to time to keep the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016 up to date and operating effectively.

Each time an amendment is adopted a superseded planning scheme is created.

  • Proposed and adopted planning scheme amendments

    The Central Highlands Regional Council has commenced undertaking/completed the following amendments in accordance with the applicable statutory instrument.

    Amendment Number Nature of Amendment Proposed changes Stage
    1 Administrative Correcting mapping errors which are in conflict with the Ministerial approval of the planning scheme. Completed. Amendment commenced 23 September 2016.

    Queensland Gazette 23/09/2016

    2 Alignment Amend the Planning Scheme to align with the Planning Act 2016. Completed. Amendment commenced 3 July 2017

    Queensland Gazette 30/06/2017

    3 LGIP Incorporate the compliant Local Government Infrastructure Plan. Review of submissions. Public notification occurred between 20 June 2016 and 2 August 2016.
    4 Major Zone and level of assessment amendments as identified in the public consultation phase of the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016. On public consultation between 24 March 2017 and 12 May 2017. Refer to Draft amendments on public notification for more information.
    5 Major Inclusion of the Blackwater and Blackwater East Priority Development Areas, pursuant to these being revoked by Economic Development Queensland. Conception.
  • Draft amendments on public notification


    There are currently no amendments on public notification.

  • Improve the plan

The Central Highlands Regional Council is committed to continual improvement of the Planning Scheme. We encourage you to get involved by suggesting improvements for consideration for future updates and amendments.

All suggestions will be considered as part of the ongoing program of amendments. Any changes resulting from your suggestion will be scheduled into the applicable (administrative, minor or major) update packaged. Please note these packages can take up to 18 months to implement in line with the statutory guideline for Making and amending local planning instruments (MALPI).

You will be advised of the outcome of your suggestions.

Please send all suggestions to with “Attention: Strategic Planning – CHRC Planning Scheme Improvement Suggestion” as a subject line.

  • Background

An extensive amount of work has gone into getting the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016 to completion. This not only includes work undertaken by Council, but also from the community who have provided input into Council’s strategies and policies which have fed into the drafting of the Planning Scheme.

The process Council used to develop the Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme 2016 is regulated by the statutory guideline for making or amending a local planning instrument prescribed by the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.  Drafting the new Planning Scheme included the following steps:

Phase Activity Timing
 Stage 1

(Proposal for new Planning Scheme)

 Resolution to prepare a new Planning Scheme 18 January 2010
Stage 1

(Preparation of Planning Scheme)

Preparation of background studies and Priority Infrastructure Plans February 2010 to March 2014
·         (Preparation of Strategic Framework Element) Drafting February to June 2012
Public consultation August to September 2012
Adoption of Central Highlands Strategic Framework 2031 31 October 2012
·         (Drafting of Planning Scheme) drafting of Planning Scheme July 2013 –  March 2014
Stage 2

(First State Interest Review)

Council resolved to send draft Planning Scheme to State for review to ensure compliance with State Interests. 23 April 2014

·      State formally responded 4 November 2014

Stage 3

(Public Consultation)

Formal public consultation of draft Planning Scheme January to March 2015
Council considered the submissions received during the public consultation and amended the draft planning scheme accordingly. March to August 2015
Stage 3

(Ministerial Review)

Council resolved to send draft Planning Scheme to State for review by Minister for final check to ensure compliance with State Interests. 9 September 2015

·      State formally responded 8 February 2016

Stage 4


Council resolved to adopt the Planning Scheme to commence on 4 March 2016. 26 February 2016
  • FAQ's

What is a planning scheme?

A planning scheme helps us to manage growth and change within the region by setting direction and reflecting community aspirations.

What are the planning scheme objectives?

  • To produce a single, integrated planning scheme that regulates development across the whole Central Highlands region
  • To produce a planning scheme that is simple and easy to use and administer.
  • To comprehensively address the expectations of the community.
  • To achieve compliance with the Planning Act 2016, the State Planning Policy and the Central Queensland Regional Plan.

How will the planning scheme affect me?

We had been operating under four planning schemes from the former shire council areas that dealt with development differently and have different provisions. It’s important to have one planning scheme that reflects the needs and aspirations of the whole region.

Why did we need a new planning scheme?

If you own a property or business in the Central Highlands region or live, work or holiday here, the planning scheme may affect you as it directs what can happen with property development.

  • TLPI

A temporary local planning instrument (TLPI) is a statutory instrument created under the provisions of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, which may suspend or otherwise affect the operation of a planning scheme for a period of up to one (1) year from its commencement date.

Generally a TLPI is an interim response that:

  • is put in place quickly to protect a specific local government area from adverse impacts
  • prevails over the Planning Scheme when an inconsistency arises
  • enables longer term planning provisions to be shaped while it is in effect (usually a change to the Planning Scheme takes 12 months)

Current TLPIs in effect


TLPI 01/2017 Material Change of Use – Renewable Energy Facilities in Irrigation Areas

TLPI 01/2017 is to protect the finite resource of high value irrigation areas within water supply schemes in the local government area of the Central Highlands and ensuring these areas are developed in line with community expectations. It provides for the assessment of the development of renewable energy facilities in these areas to consider the strategic land use objectives.

Queensland Gazette – 23 February 2018

TLPI 01/2018 Operational Work – Within a Flood Hazard Area

TLPI 01/2018 is intended to address the significant risk of unmanaged filing and excavating in areas affect by flooding from resulting in adverse impacts as a result of a reduction in flood storage and changes to flows, velocities or levels for flood events.

Queensland Gazette – 17 August 2018

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