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Land use planning should be an ongoing process that reflects the governing principles of the planning
framework for Queensland. It should achieve ecologically sustainable development through a
coordinated and integrated planning and management process that addresses the effects of that
development on the environment.
Site selection assists the Queensland public sector to identify land use requirements that satisfy
community service needs. The process ensures that the decision making process is efficient,
accountable and coordinated.

The objective of State Government involvement in both land use planning and the application of
location selection criteria, is to ensure that non-residential government building infrastructure is:
taken into account during the preparation of forward planning and implementation programs

aligned with the regional objectives of an area

allocated to specific sites where it conforms with agency strategies or service delivery
considerate to environmental conditions or environmentally sensitive areas

compatible with any performance criteria or uses in or near an agency’s site; and
accounted for in the designation process, and in the decision-making processes of implementing
planning schemes

Benefits and risks

Agency participation in the site selection process:
assists the implementation of government and service delivery programs;
clarifies short, medium and long term infrastructure requirements;
protects committed or preferred sites for agency infrastructure development;
encourages agencies to plan activities that coincide with the desired environmental outcomes of
a local government area;
establishes an efficient benchmark for agency infrastructure development;
establishes and reinforces linkages between asset planning and community development;
provides the basis for annual Physical Asset Strategic Planning;
avoids unnecessary data duplication and acquisition;

ensures compliance with statutory land use requirements; and
produces economic benefits that result from timely land acquisition and service provision.

By not participating in site selection within land use planning process, the risks include:
inappropriate development or the sequencing of development that conflicts with agency
infrastructure provision and operation;
criticism from community or other government agencies for failing to support planned community
unplanned or unsequenced agency infrastructure that may result in the need to purchase
alternative sites and bear additional costs;
the introduction of unacceptable noise, light, traffic levels and their impact on an established
failure to meet legislative requirements and exposure to legal challenge or political criticism; and
increased purchase, construction and ongoing operational costs imposed by poor site selection.

Process of selecting a site

Land use planning and site selection processes are integral to the success of the Strategic Asset
Management cycle. These processes provide for certainty and timely provision of infrastructure within
agreed performance criteria. To achieve this, agencies need to undertake several procedural phases:

Identify agency land use requirements
Before an agency can identify appropriate sites, it needs to develop a clear vision of its asset
strategies, current asset provisions, co-location criteria and anticipated service demand.
Relevant plans and requirements to consider:
State Strategic plans;
Corporate plans;
Business plans;
Service delivery requirements;
Demand implications and management forecasts; and
Future trends.

Strategic planning implications

The purpose of development control in Queensland is clearly established in The Integrated Planning
Act 1997 (IPA) as seeking to achieve ecological sustainability through integrated planning and
development management.
The Government’s commitment to integration through the IPA requires State Government agencies to
understand and comply with various processes as outlined below. State Government agencies
involved in the development (location, building and construction) of community infrastructure need to

understand the IPA and its requirements.
Agencies should refer to current publications by the Department of Communication and Information,
Local Government and Planning.
State agencies are bound to comply to the legislation as set out in Section 1.5. of the IPA. This
includes but is not limited to:
being involved in the preparation of planning schemes;

to carry out designations;

being aware of the implications of Benchmark Development Sequences;

what self assessable development requires; and

what the Integrated development Assessment System (IDAS) is and how they might be involved
in the process as a construction entity.

Planning Schemes
The Integrated Planning Act 1997, makes local planning schemes the primary instruments for
integrating State, regional and local planning and development assessments. Under the Act, the State
may make policies and establish assessment criteria, including State Planning Policies and codes.
Local Governments on the other hand are responsible for the local planning scheme documents.
State agencies get involved in the local planning scheme preparation process. This is detailed in the
Department of Communication and Information, Local Government and Planning’s whole of
Government Review process for Planning Scheme Preparation.
State agencies involvement from an asset management perspective can involve identifying future
community infrastructure requirements as they relate to agencies future asset management
programs. This could include for example advising Brisbane City Council that a Police Station will be
disposed of within 3 years however there will be a need for another facility in another part of Brisbane.

Benchmark Development Sequence

An important mechanism, progressively being introduced into planning schemes that will affect
agencies forward plans and site selection, is the benchmark development sequence. This establishes
the preferred areas for residential development (including rural residential development).
Agencies most affected by urban growth patterns (Education, Main Roads, Transport, Police,
Ambulance and Fire and Rescue) may be identified as referral agencies for cost impact assessment.
This will allow these agencies to recover any additional costs caused by a development which is
brought forward and is outside the preferred areas. Agencies will have to participate in preparing and
agreeing to the benchmark development sequence that is put into the planning scheme before they
will be eligible to become referral agencies.
The benchmark development sequence will become an essential consideration for agencies when
they are considering sites for future services as it will become a common basis for forward planning.
Agencies should refer to Guidelines on Benchmark Development Sequencing and State Social Cost
Impact Assessment produced by the Department of Communication and Information, Local
Government and Planning.

The IPA provides for "designation" of land for community infrastructure. Designation is a new initiative
and key mechanism to achieve integration of land use planning and the supply of infrastructure.
State agencies should refer to Section 2 Part 6 of the Integrated Planning Act 1997 to identify the
Designation process.
Agencies should note that future development sites will need to be designated in order to trigger self
assessable provisions for code assessment this means achieving Building Act compliance. If sites are
not designated then a State agency will need to seek planning approval to carry out development

through the relevant Local Government.
In some instances, agencies may have the opportunity to consider joint venture arrangements,
especially in developing greenfield sites. Numerous shared objectives such as crime and safety can
be incorporated into the site location, layout and building design. These should already be considered
as part of the pre-planning designation process.

Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS)

The IPA establishes an Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS) as a single integrated
assessment tool for State and Local Government development approvals that improves the speed
and quality of decisions. State legislation containing development assessment processes is being
progressively repealed or amended for inclusion into the IDAS framework.
Agencies should refer to Guidelines on Integrated Development Assessment System produced by the
Department of Communication and Information, Local Government and Planning. The Guidelines are
available on the Department’s website.

Site Specific Considerations

An agency needs to appreciate the existing and emerging opportunities and constraints of an area
that result from development decisions beyond the agencies jurisdiction.
Many of the matters outlined in 6.3 should be identified or addressed in the local planning schemes
and related policies.
Matters that should be considered generally at this stage include but are not limited to:

Physical Elements
Elements of a site require assessment to establish their existence, relevance and probable impact.
Some elements will be more critical than others depending on the characteristics of the site and the
nature of the proposed land use and include:

soil type;


site orientation;

land stability and slippage; and

flood prone lands.

Environmental Elements
Each site development will potentially affect or be affected by environmental criteria such as:
protected or significant areas and corridors of flora and fauna;

regional and local air shed;

noise generation;

natural and introduced site contamination;

erosion prone areas; and

bush fire prone areas.

The ability of the proposed infrastructure to suit such environmental conditions needs to be
determined in consultation with appropriate government and community sectors to avoid costly delays
later in the project.

Services Availability
The ability to supply acceptable and standard service infrastructure will determine the suitability of a
site for each development.
When assessing service availability, asset managers need to be aware of the overall infrastructure
networks to a site including:

transport corridors including vehicle, non-vehicle, rail, freight and water routes;

water supply;




gas; and


Consideration should be given to future infrastructure planning and development proposals.

Social Elements
Agency service delivery depends upon the ability to provide a particular service to an identified target
group. It will also have an impact on certain non-target groups who may need to be consulted in the
initial phase of site selection.
Matters to consider should include:
demographic breakdown and trends;

access to target groups;

public and private transport opportunities and constraints;

heritage and cultural issues;

level of public interest in the site or proposed infrastructure;

adjoining land uses (existing and proposed);

needs, demands and trends of the community; and

service delivery strategies and implementation criteria.

Consultation should be undertaken to inform targeted groups and communities of any serious
proposal and to establish dispute resolution processes to encase efficient achievement or amendment
of an agency’s program.

Economic Elements
Critical to the successful selection of a site, are the economic criteria related to that particular site.
Economic elements to be considered include:
raw land costs;

construction costs including access to materials;

cost of necessary infrastructure provision and augmentation;

maintenance of an existing or proposed asset;

abatement measures required to overcome site constraints and emissions;

site decontamination costs;

holding charges related to purchase, construction and related stages; and

costs of refurbishment and disposal.

Statutory Considerations
There will be a range of statutory and non-statutory matters that must be taken into account including:

international agreements ie., Greenhouse issues, Ecologically Sustainable development (ESD);

federal Government requirements;

State policies for planning, environmental protection, etc;

State strategic plans;

regional framework strategies;

planning schemes;

local planning policies; and


Performance Measurement
Performance measures and indicators can either apply to public sector organisations or to an agency
planning process.
These could include:

corporate plans;
asset plans;

investment / reinvestment plans;

maintenance plans;

disposal plans; and

discussion tools and methodologies.

Performance indicators should reflect:

effectiveness - the extent to which inputs and process are accepted;

efficiency - inputs related to outputs;

appropriateness - the need for criteria and how criteria is used;

time, costs and quantity of a process; and

acquisition costs, compliance with the predicted budget allocation and attainment of bringing
forward costs for ‘out of sequence’ developments impacting upon infrastructure delivery.

Reference Material

All Queensland Government Legislation

Australian Heritage Commission Act

Building Division

Department of Public Works

Environmental Protection Act

Glossary of Terms

Handbook of Land Planning Guidelines

Integrated Regional Transport plans

Integrated Planning Act 1997

Nature Conservation Management plans

Project Evaluation Guidelines (Queensland Treasury )

Regional Coastal Management Plans

Regional Land Use Plans

Queensland Treasury

State Development and Public Works Organisation Act

The National Strategy for Ecological Sustainable Development

World Heritage Properties Conservation Act