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Economic Development Act 2012: Amendments proposed


Thursday, 7 January 2016

Economic Development Act 2012: Amendments proposed

Amendments proposed

As part of the Queen's Wharf Brisbane Bill 2015, amendments have been proposed to the Economic Development Act 2012.  

Of most relevance to councils, the proposed amendments to the Economic Development Act 2012 will provide a process for certain development located outside a Priority Development Area (PDA), for example infrastructure, to be identified as being associated with the PDA (PDA-associated development). This effectively broadens the powers of the Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) to assess and decide development proposed outside a PDA. The proposed provision appears to further diminish local governments’ role in land-use planning and decision-making.  

Section 40C of the Bill states: 

(2)  A declaration (of PDA-associated development) may be made only if MEDQ is satisfied—

(a) the Sustainable Planning Act may have an adverse effect on the delivery of the proposed development if that Act were to apply to it; and
(b) the proposed development—

(i) mitigates impacts of any development in the priority development area; or
(ii) provides infrastructure for the priority development area; or
(iii) promotes the proper and orderly planning, development and management of the priority development area in accordance with the relevant development instrument for the area; or
(iv) satisfies another requirement prescribed by regulation.

Action requested

The LGAQ welcomes all local government feedback on the proposed Bill, but particularly related to the Economic Development Act 2012, by COB Friday 5 February 2016. Please provide any comments to Tracy Haynes, Principal Advisor – Planning & Development 1300 542 700.

Explanatory Notes

The rationale in the Bill's Explanatory Notes is unclear in regard to why a new power for the MEDQ is necessary for all PDAs state-wide.

The Explanatory Notes state:

Rather than a project-specific provision for QWB, the preferred approach is for a broader amendment to the Economic Development Act to separately define development carried out for a PDA located outside the PDA as ‘PDA-associated development’ and then allow MEDQ to declare what is PDA-associated development. MEDQ would also determine the level of assessment and assess and decide a development application. This would include the ability to exercise enforcement and compliance powers MEDQ has under the Economic Development Act in respect of development, including infrastructure. The declaration of the PDA-associated development will be made only in accordance with stated criteria and the information required to identify the development will also be stated in the Act. This approach will manage the QWB bridge scenario and similar situations where proposed infrastructure or land uses traverse the boundaries of a PDA and have complications around approval and conditioning powers. (p.4)


On 3 December 2015, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills, Hon Yvette D’Ath MP, introduced the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Bill 2015 (Bill) into Parliament. The Bill was referred to the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Parliamentary Committee for examination. The objectives of the Bill are stated to:

  • facilitate the redevelopment of the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane (QWB) precinct by excluding the application of certain property and planning legislative provisions which are not intended to apply to large scale developments
  • provide a process for the ratification of a proposed QWB Casino Agreement
  • maintain the integrity of casino operations and those involved or associated with the conduct of casino operations
  • give effect to a range of casino regulatory matters.

Submissions to the Parliamentary Committee close 4:00pm on Thursday 11 February 2016. A copy of the Bill and the Explanatory Notes are available online.

Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006


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