Development Assessment Process

The planning and development assessment system under the Planning Act 2016 in conjunction with the Development Assessment Rules sets out a standard process to ensure development applications are assessed and decided consistently and transparently, in accordance with community expectations as set out in the local planning scheme.

Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning provides a fact sheet,  to help understand the development assessment process. 

Pre-lodgement (voluntary but advisable)

While pre-lodgement is not part of the formal development assessment process, contacting the assessment manager (and any referral agencies that may be involved) before lodging an application is always a good idea. This will identify any potential issues or additional information requirements that can help the application track through the system smoothly.

The state government, through the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA), offers a free pre-lodgement service. Livingstone Shire Council offers Pre-lodgement Meetings/Development Advice services.  

Lodgement of Application

Councils Planning Officers will review all development applications upon submission and consider if the application material is accepted at lodgement as per the Development Assessment Rules.

Further information regarding what application material is required can be found on Councils website.

All development applications should be submitted using Councils online system.

You can also refer to the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning guide on Development application - Lodgement 


Some development applications are subject to referral to other entities such as Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

For more information on this process refer to Development assessment process - Referrals and the Development Assessment Rules or discuss with your Town Planning Consultant. 

Information Request

During the assessment of a development application, the Assessment Manager may determin that the application material submit is not sufficent for a decision to be made. An information request will be issued to the Applicant as detailed in the DA Form 1 and the response period is as per the Development Assessment Rules.

For more information refer to Development assessment process - Information Request  and the Development Assessment Rules.

Public Notification

Have your say on Development Applications

Some development applications under assessment by Council are ‘impact assessable’. This is for development proposals that are usually more complex and where the local government has identified that the development has the potential for greater impacts. These development applications will always be publicly notified for a set period of time, called the ‘public notification period’ (normally a minimum of 15 business days).

Council makes all development application material available via the Application Enquiry function on our Online Services page. Visit our Applications on Public Notification page for further information on this process and to view a list of the current applications in the public notification stage.

Decision Assessment

Once a decision is made, a decision notice (and infrastructure charges notice - if applicable) will be issued by Council to the Applicant within the timeframes set by the  Development Assessment Rules.

All decision notices and approved plans can be viewed using the Application Enquiry function on our Online Services page.

For more information refer to Development assessment process - Decision.

Development Application Approved, What is next?

After your development application is approved, you may need other approvals before you can start your project.

It is important to read the conditions applied to the development permit as there may be specific requirements and other approvals needed in order to move forward with the approved development. Other permits conditioned may include:

  • Building Permit 
  • Plumbing and Drainage Permit
  • Operational Works 

Penalties apply for unauthorised work and you can also appeal the development approval decision or make changes.

If you are satisfied with the development approval decision, your next steps may include:

  • You must comply with the relevant conditions of approval, including timing requirements
  • Survey Plan endorsement - you are required to engage a Surveyor to commence this process prior to lodgement with Council)
  • Additional approvals for Operational Works, building or plumbing works (no works can commence on site prior to obtaining required approvals)
  • Payment of long service levy (QLeave) - this is relevant to any works valued over $150,000.00 and must be paid prior to issuance of an approval for Operational Works or Building Works
  • Payment of Infrastructure Charges, Rates and any relevant Security Bonds; and
  • Providing evidence of compliance of State referral conditions of approval.

If you're not satisfied with the decision or would like to make changes, you can:

  • Talk to a town planner by contacting the Duty Planner on 07 4913 5000
  • Make change representation during the appeal period, or make a change application if all appeals periods have ended
  • Before a development approval lapses, an applicant may lodge an Extension Application to extend the currency period of a development approval
  • Find more information regarding Appeal a development approval.