Why is council amending the planning scheme?

The Central Highlands Planning Scheme 2016 is envisaged as a ‘living document’ that supports growth and maintains the region’s unique characteristics. Council has been working on the proposed amendments to the scheme to ensure it remains relevant to the changing needs of the Central Highlands community and responds to the challenges of potential conflicting land uses. The proposed changes generally aim to improve the planning scheme functionality and address implementation issues which have been identified since the planning scheme first came into effect.

What is the purpose of Amendment 5 Planning Scheme (Major 2) Amendment - Renewable Energy Facility?

The purpose of the proposed amendment is to protect rich agricultural land from indiscriminate land use approvals by allowing the strategic outcomes of the planning scheme and the benchmarks in the Agriculture Overlay Code to be considered during the assessment of applications. The agriculture sector is a major economic driver for the region and maintaining the viability of this sector is therefore a high priority.

The proposed amendment will address the following aims:

  • Ensure that renewable energy facilities undergo impact assessment against the whole planning scheme where located on irrigated land
  • Increase consideration of strategic outcomes of the planning scheme and benchmarks in the Agriculture Overlay Code during the assessment of applications
  • Improve coordination and integration of Natural Resource outcomes stated in the Strategic Framework and other related measures in the scheme
  • Improve articulation of the policy intention of the planning scheme
  • Include appropriate implementation mechanisms
  • Protect the value of existing irrigation infrastructure, particularly for the Emerald irrigation scheme

What will happen if the proposed amendment is adopted?

If adopted, the measure will raise the category of assessment from "code" to "impact" in the Overlay Table of Assessment applicable to the Agriculture Overlay. The development will become assessable against the Agriculture Overlay Code and the rest of the planning scheme as it applies to such development.

Will this be the first amendment to the Central Highlands Planning Scheme 2016?

Since its commencement, there have been three planning scheme amendments prior to this proposed amendment. You can find more information about these amendments on the council webpage - see Appendix 2. 

If adopted, when will the amendment commence?

The Queensland Government Chief Executive Notice issued under section 18(3) of the Planning Act 2016 outlines the process council must follow to make the new proposed amendment.

Following consultation, council is required to undertake the following steps:

  • Consider the state interest review response
  • Consider all properly made submissions
  • Notify submitters about the submissions and consideration process
  • Prepare a consultation report
  • Seek approval from the Minister to adopt the proposed planning scheme
  • If a notice is received from the Minister advising that council may proceed with the new proposed amendment, council will consider the response from the Minister and decide whether to adopt the new proposed amendment.

These steps will take a number of months to complete. However, council is committed to having the new proposed amendment commence as early as possible.

How can I make a "properly made" submission?

In accordance with the Planning Act 2016, for a submission to be properly made it must:

  • be in writing (including by electronic means)
  • include the full name and residential or business address of each person making the submission
  • state a postal or electronic address for service of a response to the submission
  • be signed by each person making the submission (unless made electronically)
  • state the grounds of the submission and the facts and circumstances relied on in support of the grounds
  • be made to Central Highlands Regional Council
  • be received by council on or before the advertised closing date
  • be made via mail addressed to PO  Box 21, EMERALD QLD 4720, or email to tplanning@chrc.qld.gov.au
Submissions will be accepted, when applicable, via the Have Your Say, Central Highlands website. 

Where can I make a submission?

During the public consultation period, submissions can be made at any Central Highlands Regional Council office, where a copy of the public notice will be displayed in the foyer:

  • Emerald - corner of Egerton and  Borilla Streets,  Emerald
  • Blackwater - 10 Mackenzie Street,  Blackwater
  • Capella - 4 Conran Street, Capella
  • Duaringa - 12 William  Street,  Duaringa
  • Springsure - 29 Eclipse Street, Springsure
  • Rolleston Transaction Centre - Warrijo Street,  Rolleston
  • Tieri Transaction  Centre - Cnr Grasstree and Anncrouve Street, Tieri
Submissions also be submitted at the front desk of any Central Highlands Regional Council Library Branch.
Click here to view branch locations and opening hours.

What will happen to my submission?

Once the ‘public consultation period’ has ended, council will consider every properly made submission to the proposed amendment. Council may make changes to the proposed amendment in response to this feedback. Once council has considered all submissions, it will advise all submitters of how council has dealt with their submission. This information will be published on the council website.