Pontoons and jetties | Brisbane City Council

Pontoons and jetties


Pontoons and jetties are defined as ‘tidal work’ under the Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995. Tidal work is regulated and assessed under the Planning Act 2016 as a type of Operational Work.

Prescribed tidal work is tidal work that is completely or partly within a local government tidal area and may extend onto land above the high water mark. If you want to build a pontoon or jetty in Brisbane’s local government tidal area your development will be considered to be 'prescribed tidal works' and you will need to submit an application to Brisbane City Council and receive consent from the Queensland Government, as the owner of the tidal area.

Brisbane's local government tidal area

Brisbane’s local government tidal area:

  • extends seaward into Moreton Bay within 50 meters of the spring high water mark
  • includes the entire width of the Brisbane River up to the spring high water mark.

Prior to submitting an application to Council

Prior to submitting a development application to Council you may need:

Additionally you may also wish to obtain an early referral agency response about your application from the Queensland Government.

Water allocation area plan

A water allocation area plan may need to be endorsed by the Regional Harbour Master, Maritime Safety Queensland, Department of Transport and Main Roads to ensure:

  • the work does not stop the river from being navigable
  • does not hinder navigable access between adjoining waterfront properties and between adjacent approved structures.

For more information on a water allocation area plan, visit the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

Early referral agency response

Your application may need approval from the Queensland Government. Prior to submitting your application to Council, you can submit your application to the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA), Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, seeking an early referral agency response. Obtaining this early response will enable a quicker assessment of your planning application.

If you do not do this prior to submitting your development application with Council, referral to the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) will be required as part of the development assessment process.

Please note, the concurrence agency response is separate to the owner’s consent from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

Making an application to Council

If you would like to build a pontoon or jetty in the Brisbane River then you will need to submit a code assessable development application to Council including the information listed here:

  • a completed development assessment form (DA Form 1) including owner’s consent
  • a copy of the certificate of title for the land (including tidal land) that would abut or adjoin the proposed works
  • Plans showing:
    • the real property description and boundaries of the land (including tidal land) that would abut or adjoin the proposed works
    • the proposed works (including existing works to be removed) in relation to relevant tidal features (e.g. mean high water springs)
    • the slope angles of the beds and banks of the tidal area and the finished levels of the proposed works
    • if applicable, certification that the design of tidal works is suitable for intended use, signed by a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (or equivalent).
  • a water allocation area plan
  • details of how the proposed work addresses the State Code for prescribed tidal work in the Coastal Protection and Management Regulation 2003, schedule 4A. and the Prescribed tidal works code and any secondary codes in Brisbane City Plan 2014.

What your application will be assessed against

A pontoon or jetty will be assessed against:


Applications for private pontoons, jetties, landing ramps or riverside platforms may be suitable for fast-tracked assessment through RiskSMART.

07 July 2017