Queensland's ULDA transfers powers back to local councils

THE Queensland Government last week announced the Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA) has started transferring planning powers back to 17 local governments.

Premier Campbell Newman said the Urban Land Development Authority, or ULDA Board, will delegate its development assessment functions to councils to enable local governments to make local planning decisions."

The LNP Government believes it is important to shift power back to local government and where appropriate, give this tier of government the autonomy to make decisions for their communities," Mr Newman said.

"It is important councils have stronger input in planning decisions because they know their local communities best and they will make more effective decisions with these powers."

Mr Newman said the delegation process will be progressively rolled out to all 17 Urban Development Areas (UDAs) in Queensland. The Brisbane UDAs of Fitzgibbon, Northshore Hamilton, Bowen Hills and Woolloongabba will be the first to transfer.

"While in the longer term, the transfer of powers may become broader and require legislative amendment, this is a good and quick first step, and key to the state government's agenda to create a more efficient planning and development assessment system," Mr Newman said.

The Premier said the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning will work closely with the ULDA and local governments to ensure the transition is achieved smoothly and quickly.

The delegations will apply to new development applications to avoid disruption to existing development applicants and land owners.

"I would like to assure property owners within existing UDAs that they will not be adversely affected by this decision; it is business as usual", Mr Newman said.

Section 136 of the ULDA Act allows the ULDA to delegate its functions to the Chief Executive Officer or an appropriately qualified officer of a local government.

"However, councils will need to perform to the same standards and timeframes that ULDA has to ensure the delegations continue," Mr Newman said.

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