Assessment Stage 2: Referrals

Brisbane City Council may request further information from the applicant or require them to seek further external agency advice, approvals or permits.

External referrals

Under the Planning Act 2016, a development application may trigger a requirement for an application to be referred to a referral agency. 

Referral agencies are generally Queensland Government departments and authorities. Departments such as Transport and Main Roads and Environment and Heritage Protection that:

  • have specific state interests, and
  • require assessment to determine the potential impact of the proposal on these interests. 

The Planning Regulation 2017 identifies the development triggers for an application for referral (e.g. a state transport corridor). There are three types of referral agencies:

  1. Concurrence agencies - assess the proposal and may impose conditions of development. Concurrence agencies may also direct Council to approve an application with or without conditions, issue a preliminary approval only or refuse an application.
  2. Advice agencies - assess the proposal but can only give advice, such as recommending conditions and/or determination of development.
  3. Third party advice agencies - may have an interest in an application (e.g. the Brisbane Airport Corporation has an interest in buildings greater than 100m in height).

Where an application is sent to a referral agency, the assessment manager will issue a confirmation notice. This notice identifies that the application requires referral. In the majority of cases, a copy of the application and confirmation notice should be forwarded to the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA).

Any referral aspects are assessed by SARA against the State Development Assessment Provisions 2017 (SDAP). When making an application, include assessment against the relevant SDAP provisions. 

Council must receive referral agency requirements or conditions before a decision is made on an application.

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