Environmental Law Australia

Development offences in Queensland lecture 2015

This is the third of three lectures on the planning system in Queensland, Australia.

This lecture looks at condition-making powers and development offences under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld) using a series of case studies of development offences.

The handout referred to in the lecture is available at the following link:

In summary, the take-home messages from the lecture are:

  1. Conditions are a common tool used to impose standards and constraints on development approvals granted under SPA (and other legislation). There are important tests for the validity of conditions (relevant & reasonable, etc).
  2. SPA provides a range of development offences, of which the two most important in practice are carrying out assessable development without a development permit (section 578) and contravening conditions (section 580).
  3. Environmental regulators (including local governments) typically have a range of enforcement options allowing them to choose an appropriate response to offences.
  4. Commercial benefit is a principal reason for development offences and removing this benefit is a principal focus of prosecutions and court sentences.