Planning Development and Environment Planning Development and Environment

The LGAQ estimates councils already subsidise developers more than 30 per cent of the actual cost of infrastructure, representing a funding gap of about $309 million a year.

The LGAQ’s ongoing advocacy means local government will have access to an estimated $26 million per year in additional charges for councils to fund essential community infrastructure.

The LGAQ estimates, in real terms, infrastructure charges have already dropped in value by over 10 per cent since 2011, which represents approximately $122 million in potential revenue foregone to local government.

The $12 million funding commitment, over three years, is a State Government election pledge in direct response to the LGAQ’s advocacy and is unprecedented by either the State or Federal governments in terms of financial support to local governments for coastal hazard adaptation planning.

Major milestones

The Planning Act 2016: New planning legislation passed on 12 May 2016 included a number of improvements advocated for by the LGAQ on behalf of councils, such as the introduction of automatic indexation of maximum adopted charges and an increase in maximum penalties, for numerous offences. However, the LGAQ was disappointed that the State Government did not address several priority issues of local government. Under the State Government’s capped infrastructure charges regime, the LGAQ estimates councils already subsidise developers more than 30 per cent of the actual cost of infrastructure, representing a funding gap of about $309 million a year.

Development Assessment Monitoring: The LGAQ and the Council of Mayors (SEQ), with funding assistance from the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, are continuing the implementation of the Development Assessment (DA) Monitoring Project, establishing an electronic reporting tool for development assessment processes for higher growth, participating local governments.

Queens’ Wharf Brisbane Act 2016: The LGAQ has outlined serious concerns associated with the proposed legislation, particularly related to the broadening of the Minister for Economic Development Queensland’s (MEDQ) powers to assess and decide development outside of all Priority Development Areas (PDA).

Coastal Hazard Adaptation Program (QCoast2100): On 2 June 2016, the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, the Honourable Dr Steven Miles MP and former LGAQ President, Margaret de Wit, officially launched QCoast2100. The $12 million funding commitment, over three years, is a State Government election commitment in direct response to LGAQ’s advocacy and is unprecedented by either the State or Federal governments in terms of financial support to local governments for coastal hazard adaptation planning.

Smoking Bans: The Tobacco and Other Smoking Products (Smoke-free Places) Amendment Bill 2015 (the Bill) was passed on 23 February 2016. In direct response to the LGAQ’s advocacy, the State Government is providing $1 million in one-off grants to help 14 metropolitan and regional councils to assist in the relocation or removal of smoking related infrastructure.

Asbestos Management: The LGAQ has successfully advocated for indemnity provisions to assist local governments with their responsibility for administering and enforcing domestic asbestos matters, as well as ongoing funding of up to $400,000 per annum for Queensland councils to assist with asbestos related clean-up costs where responsible persons cannot be identified.

Flying-fox Management: The LGAQ has achieved an agreement to work with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to review all State materials, processes and activities, contribute to current monitoring, identify gaps, provide access to information and to improve communication materials.

Biosecurity Act 2014 Resources and Invasive Plants and Animals Co-investment Model Implementation: As part of implementing the Invasive Plants and Animals Co-investment Model, Biosecurity Queensland has funded the LGAQ to facilitate the establishment of local government Regional Pest Management Sub-committee to provide input to and oversight of the On-ground and Research Services Component of the Land Protection Fund, which is a local government investment of approximately $2.2 million per annum. In addition, the LGAQ secured State Government funding to develop local government specific information to support local governments with the effective and efficient commencement of the Biosecurity Act 2014 on 1 July 2016.

Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy and Queensland Climate Resilient Councils program: In response to the broad impacts climate change will have on local government business, the LGAQ has negotiated a three-year funding program (valued at $905,000) for the establishment of the Queensland Climate Resilient Councils program (QCRC).

Reef 2050 Plan Implementation: The LGAQ sits on the Reef Advisory Committee, one of two governance groups established to provide oversight to the implementation of the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan, which includes 38 actions directly related to local government.