Expert body submissions to Planning Act inquiry

Two significant expert bodies have looked at the Bills put forward by the LNP and by Labor for consideration by the Parliamentary Committee of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources and made submissions. Links to these are included at the end of this post.
One is by the Crime and Corruption Commission and points out the probable failure of both Bills to bring about good governance in Queensland.  Briefly, it criticises the Bills for making it easier for the regulating bodies to administer planning applications, but expresses the opinion that  the discretion allowed under the Bills could promote corruption.  The CCC then puts forward recommendations as to how the Bills could be improved and thus decrease the potential for corruption.
The second is by the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand and recommends that the focus of the Bills be changed from one of regulating  development to “one of implementing the land use and development outcomes sought by an informed community.”  This  emphasis on considering the legitimate and informed wishes of the community certainly resonates with Brisbane Residents United and its view that the most serious shortcomings of the proposed legislation are the failure to consult the community.
It requires only a little bit of work to look at these submissions, consider them, and do your bit to help.
Those of us who have been appalled by the inappropriate outcome of the present Planning Act and by the failure of the proposed Bills to correct this will recognise that the Parliamentary Committee of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources is composed of politicians and that politicians will take notice of the voters’ opinions.  If you want to do something, contact your local politicians and/or the Parliamentary Committee and recommend that they insist that the Bills be changed in the ways that the submissions recommend.
If you also wish to write to the chairperson, Mr Jim Pearse, you can email  him at   A short email could be along the lines of
Dear Mr Pearse, I am aware of the Submission of the Crime and Corruption Commission and of the Submission of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, and support the concerns and proposals they propose.  They are submissions numbers 72 and 73 respectively.   I support them because they address the concerns of those of us who are unhappy that the proposed Bills do  not support the community consultation that is necessary for optimum development in Queensland.

The direct links to the submissions we mention are
and you can peruse all the information on the inquiry at the Inquiry Overview page.
Thank you for your interest, and please consider letting your voice be heard.

Planning Reform Bill, submissions close 18 January

We have significant concerns about the new Planning Bill that has been proposed as it fails to deliver a clearly written document that will improve the certainty for the people of queensland with regards to planning. We have requested to present to the Parliamentary Committee.
Submissions to the Planning Reform Bill close 18 January. Here is our submission which you are free to use.
You can email your submission to and see all the information from the Government at 

Acting on the Key Issues of the Planning Act

Queensland has a balanced Parliament, with a few people having the balance of power. Queensland is to have new Planning Acts in the New Year.   At present, Bills introduced by both the ALP and the LNP have been introduced into Parliament and are at the committee stage and will be voted on by February next year. There will be Local Government elections about March 2016.

Thus there is a once-in-a-century chance for the votes of a few politicians to make a big difference to the result. We know that there is a wide-spread opinion among ordinary Queenslanders that a lot of development recently has been inappropriate.   If we can get this dissatisfaction directed into measures that impress politicians that power should be restored to the people, we could persuade the politicians to pass measures in line with our wishes.

We have been working for months, getting expert opinion as to what changes should be made to the projected Bills so that the final Act will produce better development in the future.   To get our voice heard, we need thousands of emails, letters and other messages delivered to politicians to make planning an important electoral issue and to tell them what is needed.

The communication can be in your own words, but the following suggestions for what should be in the Act are endorsed by Brisbane Residents United and experts whom we consulted.

  1. All development applications that are not in line with the Building Code must be advertised by a notice on the site when the Plan is finalised or when preliminary discussions between the developer and the local authority take place, whichever is the earlier. Time for submission must be adequate and submissions should be given weight when a decision is made on the outcome.
  2. All applications for development that decrease open space will be rejected and any new development must include open space of a type and size in line with the applicable regulations.
  3. If any measurement on a development application deviates from the relevant code by more than 10%, the application will be denied. If the deviation is less than 10%, the assessor may allow it, if there are sufficient countervailing advantages e.g. a slight increase in height can be balanced by a larger setback.
  4. If any development will result in increased traffic and/or increased need for public transport and/or more educational facilities, the developer will pay the amount that the State Government and the local authority assesses will be needed to pay for the changes needed to cope with the increase. These funds must be dedicated to making such changes to public transport etc. as will remedy the problems that have been caused.
  5. Community consultation about any large scale projects e.g. any changes to Community Infrastructure Designations must be early, open and documented and the opinion of the local community must be an important factor in deciding whether the project is approved.

We intend to have a continuing campaign until at least next March and look for continuing public involvement.

To succeed, we need all interested people to contact

Jackie Trad
Executive Building Level 12, 100 George Street
Brisbane Qld 4000

Tim Nicholls
PO Box 281
Clayfield Qld 4011

Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee
Parliament House, George St Brisbane 4000

and, preferably, your local member.

If everyone who reads this contacts 10 or so other people and persuades them to be involved, we can get the thousands of contacts needed.

If you wish to ask any questions about this, please contact

David F Pincus
PO Box 6151
St Lucia  Qld 4067


What you can do

We’ve put together a document listing a number of things that you can do to help work towards our goal for Planning for People. We invite you to have a read, and do what you can!

Future Actions

Press Release: Brisbane Residents Unite to Call on Better Planning for People

Brisbane Residents Unite to Call on Better Planning for People

Brisbane Residents United are running a campaign to “Know More” and are launching with a Rally Sunday 15 November starting at 10 am at Reddacliff Place walking to City Botanic Gardens for speeches and entertainment.

“We have had responses from all over Brisbane as well as Redlands, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast of residents groups as well as groups advocating better heritage, transport and environment who will be attending the event,” said Elizabeth Handley spokesperson and founding President of Brisbane Residents United.

“We have struck a nerve as people are fed up of government saying they are listening and to the people and not delivering” Ms Handley said.

Brisbane Residents United was formed 4 years ago due to concerns about planning and development of our city. We are seeing many of the excesses and issues that we warned of.

This is a critical time for the future of our city, as the State government planning reform is proceeding and with Council campaigning in full swing.

Brisbane Residents United’s KNOW MORE campaign:

  • KNOW MORE about planning in your city and how to get more involved.
  • Governments should KNOW MORE about what people want and need.
  • Tell them ‘NO MORE ignoring our voices, these are our places & spaces’.Planning issues impacts everybody and this is a rally for all to come out and voice what they want for their communities. Families, friends, pets and picnic blankets are welcome.

People are encouraged to find out more at and a Facebook event has been created at

Media contacts:

Elizabeth Handley 0404 833 057

Erin Evans 0448 848 016

20151113 MEDIA RELEASE Brisbane Residents United Rally

Press Release: Brisbane Residents United is bringing community groups together on Sunday 15 November

Brisbane Residents United is bringing community groups together on Sunday 15 November to send a clear message to state and local governments that people count when it comes to planning for their communities.

“This Sunday starting 10am at Reddacliff Place in the Brisbane CBD, we will be walking as one to highlight just how dissatisfied people are with planning and development decisions” said Elizabeth Handley, founding President of Brisbane Residents United.

“City and Neighbourhood Plans are supposed to offer some degree of certainty, but as with the decision with the proposed towers at the ABC site at Toowong, people are left scratching their heads and wondering how on earth something could have been approved”. This is a pattern being repeated all over the Brisbane and surrounding areas.

There has been growing concern across Brisbane and other Queensland cities about over development, with inappropriate heights and densities being approved without supporting infrastructure, green space or public transport options.

Brisbane Residents United is calling on a planning system for today and the future that is built on fairness, equality and sustainability.

“We want to make it very clear that we are not anti development – we are calling for quality development in the right places and protection for the things that matter, from open spaces and bushland to our suburbs and much-loved historic houses and places.” Ms Handley said.

“The draft bill is currently under consideration by the State government, making this is an opportune time to let our state MPs know that the planning matters for the people. We want planning to deliver better outcomes for the people” said Ms Handley.

“People are beginning to realise that developer donations and influence have been behind Labor and LNP decisions for too long, and with an election looming for Brisbane City Council next March they will have plenty to say at the ballot box”.

Brisbane Residents United say that this event will help show both levels of government that people expect a greater say in what happens to our city and suburbs. It will also show them that we want to protect our unique parks, heritage and lifestyle. We have been shut out of the decision-making process for too long and it’s time we were brought back in. This is all about people standing up for better city planning.

The event will finish with some short speeches and family entertainment at the City Botanic Gardens. Families, friends, pets and picnic blankets are welcome.

People are encouraged to find out more at and a Facebook event has been created at

Brisbane Residents United’s KNOW MORE campaign:

  • KNOW MORE about planning in your city and how to get more involved.
  • Governments should KNOW MORE about what people want and need.
  • Tell them ‘NO MORE ignoring our voices, these are our places & spaces’.

Media contact: Elizabeth Handley 0404 833 057

20151109 Brisbane Residents United MEDIA RELEASE-final

Public Rally – Calling on Planning for People

Know More!
Unit blocks keep growing
Parklands keep shrinking
Know More!

To have a greater say in what happens in your city and suburb, to help preserve our unique heritage and lifestyle, to be more in the know.

Join us

Brisbane Residents United Rally Sunday 15 November 2015
Arrive by 9.45 for 10am Rally at Reddacliff Place, 266 George St – between the Casino and BCC Library
End by 11am at City Botanic Gardens

Bring family and friends. Show your support by colour printing our campaign banner and bringing it along with you to show the media that you stand for KnoMore!

This is a family friendly event – all are welcome. Planning decisions impact everybody. Come out and voice what you want for your city.

For more information, see the Facebook Event