Queensland planning law changes may support smoother ECEC builds
Changes to Queensland’s planning laws will allow certain infrastructure projects to keep progressing across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, and may impact on the development of early childhood education and care (ECEC) facilities in the state.
The new amendments create flexibility for public notice requirements by allowing the use of digital or other online media to advertise development applications, with Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick saying supporting traditional industries like construction is a key priority for the government as it implements its Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs plan.
“Informing communities of development applications through a public notice in the local newspaper has long been a legal requirement, but with many regional papers ceasing print runs because of the pandemic we’ve had to amend our planning laws,” Mr Dick said.
“In the event that a newspaper is now exclusively digital, public notices can be placed online, and if there’s no longer a local paper at all, these notices can be run in a statewide or national newspaper, can be delivered directly to those properties near a proposed development, or can be made available via state government or council websites,” he added.
Mr Dick said the streamlining of DA notification processes is “a small but crucial change” that will mean big projects can keep moving forwards as we maintain our fight against the impacts of COVID-19.
Temporary amendments have also been made to statutory requirements around the public availability of development application documents during notification periods, with councils now having the flexibility to make documents available online or via direct delivery to interested parties, ensuring more flexible measures for the public to view documents in a way that is responsive to COVID-19 health and safety concerns.
The changes will be in effect until 31 December 2020, with the potential to be extended further through legislative amendments following community consultation.
Further information about the amendments is available here.