ULDA transfers powers back to local councils

The Honourable Campbell Newman

ULDA transfers powers back to local councils

The Newman Government today announced it had starting transferring planning powers back to 17 local governments from the Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA).

Premier Campbell Newman said the Urban Land Development Authority, or ULDA Board, will delegate its development assessment functions to councils.

“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

“This is about empowering local governments to make local planning decisions.

“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 Hamilto n, 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 Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning will work closely with the ULDA and local governments to ensure this transition is achieved smoothly and as quickly as possible”.

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.

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.

“Using the delegation clause in the Act means newly elected mayors and councils can get on with the job of planning their local communities – which is what they were just elected to do.

“However, councils will need to perform to the same standards and timeframes that ULDA has to ensure the delegations continue.”

The State Government continues to deliver on its promise to empower local governments to better plan for their communities, which is part of the Government’s 100 day plan.