Skip to content

Development assessment

The development assessment system sets out if, and how development may occur. It is one of three main systems which make up Queensland's planning framework. The other systems are plan-making and dispute resolution.

State and local governments share responsibility for the delivery and operation of these systems. The community also plays a role. Find out more about who does what in planning.

What is development assessment?

Generally, each local government carries out development assessment through their own local planning scheme. However, sometimes additional assessment is required. When this occurs, the state becomes involved as the assessment manager or as a referral agency through the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA).

Development assessment process

All development applications go through a standard assessment process to make sure they are assessed equitably. The Development Assessment (DA) Rules explain how development applications in Queensland must be lodged, assessed and decided.

State Assessment and Referral Agency

The state becomes involved in assessing development applications if it affects a state interest.The State Assessment Referral Agency (SARA) is responsible for carrying out this function and uses criteria from the State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP).

Ministerial call-ins

The Planning Minister has the power to call-in and assess and decide, or reassess and re-decide, a development application.

Offences and enforcement

Unauthorised development or breaching a development approval attracts penalties.

Last updated: 25 May 2022