Operational work and Council compliance assessment

After you receive your development approval, the approval conditions may require you to lodge an application for either operational work (under the Planning Act 2016) or Council (Brisbane City Council) compliance assessment. These approvals will allow you to proceed with your development and commence works. 

It is very important that you read the wording of the approval conditions carefully as some may be 'minor' or 'self-certified' conditions and will not require subsequent lodgement of an application before undertaking those works.

Operational work or Council compliance assessment applications may be required for one or more of the following specialist areas:

  • engineering and construction management
  • architecture
  • environmental management
  • landscape
  • ecology

What is operational work?

Operational work is defined under the Planning Act 2016 as ‘work, other than building work or plumbing or drainage work, in, on, over or under premises that materially affects premises or the use of a premises.’

Operational work may include filling and excavation, road works, stormwater drainage (not house drainage), vegetation management and/or rehabilitation, footpath works and other infrastructure. The development may also require water and sewer reticulation, electricity and telecommunication supply permits. These works require approvals from the relevant service authorities.

Operational work is a type of Development Permit. Therefore it must be assessed in accordance with legislative time frames prescribed under Development Assessment Rules within the Planning Act 2016.

What is Council compliance assessment?

Council compliance assessment is a type of application to comply with conditions of a development approval for a Material Change of Use (MCU) or Building Work (BW). A Council compliance assessment is not subject to the processes or timeframes of the Planning Act 2016 like other applications, i.e., Operational Work.

Which application do I need?

Operational work approval is usually required for any works conditioned under a Reconfiguring a Lot (RaL) approval. These works are often referred to as post approval operational work.

The other type of operational work is “stand-alone” operational work, such as filling or excavation works that may not relate to an RaL. The assessment triggers are listed in Part 5 of the Brisbane City Plan 2014.

If you are proposing to carry out filling or excavation on your property and do not have a development approval, you can speak to Council’s Planning Information Officers to confirm whether a stand-alone operational work application is required.

Council compliance assessment approval may be required to comply with conditions of a development approval (MCU or BW), when subsequent assessment and approval such as a building management statement, construction management plan, fauna management plan or a flood emergency management plan are required.

Well-made engineering applications

Before lodging an application, you must ensure:

  • the development approval is current and not subject to an appeal that will prevent you from lodging
  • any other applications required to be lodged under the development approval, i.e. vegetation management, have been lodged concurrently and in accordance with the timings stated in the approval conditions.

A well-made application will help with timely assessment of an application and reduce the need for Council officers to issue requests for further information. Lodgement requirements differ slightly for operational work approval and Council compliance assessment.

The following lists identify the documentation that needs to be submitted (as a minimum) with your application for it to be considered well made.

Operational work application

  • Completed DA Form 1
  • Completed Operational Work/Compliance Assessment Form
  • Receipt for payment of Portable Long Service Leave levy - for works with construction value greater than $150,000
  • Proposed plans:
    • each page of all engineering plans must be certified by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ)
    • except for stormwater designs for sites no greater than 2000 square metres or that have an upslope catchment of no greater than four residential lots, which must be submitted by either a Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) licensed hydraulic designer or an RPEQ.
  • Any additional documentation requirements as identified either on the Operational Work/Compliance Assessment Form or within the development approval.
  • Stand-alone operational work application for filling or excavation that are assessable against the Brisbane City Plan 2014:
    • application must address all applicable overlays and development codes identified Part 5 of the Brisbane City Plan 2014
    • on sites where the Erosion Hazard has been identified as high risk, any erosion and sediment control plans must be certified by a Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC).

Council compliance assessment application

  • Completed Operational Work/Compliance Assessment Form.
  • Proposed plans:
    • each page of all engineering plans must be certified by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ)
    • except for stormwater designs for sites no greater than 2000 square metres or that have an upslope catchment of no greater than four residential lots, which must be submitted by either a Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) licensed hydraulic designer or an RPEQ
  • On-site detention must be designed and certified by an RPEQ
  • Pump well systems may be designed by either a QBCC licensed hydraulic designer or an RPEQ, but must be certified by an RPEQ.
  • Any additional documentation requirements as identified either on the Operational Work/Compliance Assessment Form or within the development approval.

Engineering drawing checklist

The following engineering drawing checklists will also assist with the preparation of a well-made application. They provide a guide as to what Council officers will assess during detailed assessment of your application:

Application checklist

Applications are often delayed because they are incomplete or do not contain the required information. To ensure your application will be assessed as quickly as possible and save yourself time and money, it is recommended you also check the following prior to submission:

  • Have you checked all development approval conditions to determine what operational work/Council compliance assessment applications are required?
  • Does the application provided comply with the development approval condition(s) and approved plans, and include all required plans and/or reports?
  • Have you ensured the application that is being lodged does not contravene another development approval condition or approved plan?
  • Have all required forms been completed?
  • Have you double-checked the address and lot parcel details, ensuring that information on all forms is consistent?
  • If providing a Council development approval reference number (A00 number), have you checked that it is correct?
  • Have you obtained and attached written consent to a lawful point of discharge from the relevant adjoining landowners?
  • Have you obtained and attached written approvals and clearances from all relevant authority and/or public utilities, such as Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, Energex, Urban Utilities?
  • Are you providing attachments that meet the correct file format requirements?
  • If a state referral is required (as identified on DA Form 1), have you engaged a professional town planning consultant to assist you with the referral and application process? This is highly recommended as an application or approval that is processed without state referrals, can result in an invalid approval.

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, the processing of your application will likely be delayed while Council officers request any missing or incomplete information from the applicant.

How to apply

You can lodge your application by using Council’s Operational Work/Compliance Assessment Form.  

You must submit all the relevant forms and information required with your application.

Fees and charges

Current fees for these applications may be found within the ‘Operational work and Council Compliance Assessment fees’ section of the Development Services Assessment and Compliance Fees brochure.

If using the Operational Work/Compliance Assessment Form, and you wish to pay using either Master Card or Visa Card, a fee quote will be automatically generated, enabling payment as part of the lodgement process.

Otherwise, you will receive a fee quote within two business days of submitting the Operational Work/Compliance Assessment Form with alternative payment options available including BPAY.

More information

For further help with your application or to find out more information, phone Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263). 

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