Queensland parliament has passed the Housing Availability and Affordability (Planning and Other Legislation Amendment) Bill 2023, allowing the faster development of more homes for Queenslanders. 

The bill will support more homes being built faster through a new pathway – the State Facilitated Development team who will fast track the assessment of development applications for infill housing developments that delivers diverse and affordable housing.

Through the new team, once declared by the Queensland Minister for Housing and Planning, applications can be assessed within a minimum of 75 business days.

The new legislation also allows the Minister to condition social and affordable housing on development applications.

This bill removes planning barriers impacting housing and land supply in locations across the state where critical housing supply is needed.

Additionally, the bill addresses critical infrastructure challenges that often stall large-scale residential projects. In situations where shared infrastructure like water, power and roads need to pass through multiple land parcels, the bill empowers the Planning Minister to acquire land or create easements. This is expected to unlock well-located underutilised land for housing.

The bill builds on the existing planning framework to resolve key challenges to the delivery of housing and land supply by:

  • Providing the opportunity for the Planning Minister to acquire land or create easements for planning purposes, to deliver critical infrastructure to support development
  • Cutting planning barriers to support the delivery of diverse and affordable housing
  • Supporting growth by ensuring development is approved in the right areas at the right time where detailed land use and infrastructure planning has occurred

It adds to a number of other initiatives outlined in the Queensland Government’s Homes for Queenslanders plan, including inclusionary planning pilots, Ground Lease trials on government land and the $350 million incentive funding for infill developments.

As a result of the bill’s passing, a number of amendments to the Planning Regulation 2017 (Planning Regulation), Minister’s Guidelines and Rules (MGR) and Development Assessment (DA) Rules are being progressed to guide how the new powers operate.  

Public consultation on the Planning Regulation and the proposed amended instruments will be undertaken from 18 April to 20 May 2024 and the public is encouraged to have their say.

Queensland Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning, Meaghan Scanlon, said that the bill slashes planning barriers, speeds up infrastructure delivery and fuels housing construction, meaning more homes, faster.

“Industry tells us that other states already take too much time to approve housing developments, this bill will allow us to approve projects much quicker,” Minister Scanlon said. 

“We need to plan well and plan ahead by pulling new levers in the planning space and unlocking supply for more homes faster. The passing of this bill allows this to occur.” 

Image credit: ungvar/shutterstock.com

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