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2 December 2021

Is it the Sunshine State’s time to shine?

On 1 December 2021, the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) in partnership with Colin Biggers & Paisley lawyers provided a thorough overview of the regulatory frameworks that govern urban development in Queensland.

As an overview, the session raised the following key points of interest:

  • Due to limited restrictions/lockdowns throughout the pandemic, Queensland experienced an influx of emigrants and investors. Woolloongabba (Brisbane) and Burleigh Heads (Gold Coast) took out the top two spots for suburban investment in Australia.
  • High-density apartment buildings are most common development typology in these areas.
  • There are substantial differences in the Victorian and Queensland systems relating to regulating, selling and transferring property. There’s no equivalent of the Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act for general sales of land so due diligence is key (“caveat emptor”). The Queensland system also differs to Victoria when it comes to the timing for payment of transfer duty.
  • There are differing levels of planning assessment in Queensland, namely ‘impact’ and ‘code’ assessments. ‘Impact’ relates to more significant development applications and allows third parties to object and/or appeal a decision, while ‘code’ assessments exempt certain developments from notification, enabling a more streamlined approval process.  
  • The Queensland equivalent for the Victorian Planning Scheme’s Development Contributions Plan (‘DCP’) are known as infrastructure charges/offsets. These fees are capped at a certain point, limiting the burden on developers.
  • Queensland’s system breaks title/subdivision plans into three types:

    - Standard format plans (traditional subdivision plans common in Vic which show title boundaries, dimensions and area).

    - Building format plans (which include title boundaries in addition to structural elements on-site)

    - Volumetric format plans, which is a key feature of the Qld titling system. This includes a 3D view of title boundaries and built form on-site (image below).

  • The ‘Building Management Statements’ forms a notable component of the Queensland titling and management system. It involves a contract between the affected development lot owners and comprises at least one volumetric format lot and one standard format lot. Within this system, rights take effect as easements but do not appear on title. This system also includes the provision of control to the master developer and regulation of these statements falls outside the jurisdiction of QCAT, reducing the cost of body corporate disputes.

This timely session provided an informative breadth of knowledge relevant to all disciplines within the development industry and further prompted thought around the nuances of interstate regulatory frameworks that differ to those that operate within in Victoria.  

Rhett Oliver deserves a special mention for his informative insights, and we look forward to upcoming sessions from the UDIA.

 Article by Lewis Moore and Simon Martin

sunshine state tiem to shine web 1