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Offences and enforcement

Unauthorised development or breaching a development approval attracts penalties.

Offences include:

  • carrying out development without a development permit
  • failure to comply with a development approval
  • carrying out prohibited development.

The Planning Act 2016 outlines maximum penalties for each offence.

Exemptions may be provided to carry out emergency development to prevent danger to life or to make sure a building is structurally adequate.

Enforcement methods

A show cause notice may be given where an assessing authority reasonably believes a person has committed or is committing a development offence.

An enforcement notice tells a person to stop committing an offence or to remedy the commission of an offence, with fines for failing to comply.

Anyone may bring enforcement proceedings in a Magistrates Court to prosecute another person for an offence. There is a one-year timeframe for beginning such proceedings.

Anyone may bring enforcement proceedings in the Planning and Environment Court to stop an offence being committed.

The Planning Act also gives certain entities (including the State Assessment and Referral Agency) entry and investigation powers.

Last updated: Thursday, Aug 5, 2021