State development areas (SDAs) are clearly defined areas of land established by the Coordinator-General to promote economic development in Queensland.
They typically take the form of one of the following:
- industrial hubs for development requiring larger footprints strategically located close to ports or major rail and road networks, e.g. LNG and mining industry in Gladstone, and freight and logistics in Bromelton, Cairns South and Townsville
- infrastructure corridors for the co-location of infrastructure, e.g. rail lines, water and gas pipelines, and electricity transmission lines
- major development sites, including tourism industry in Cairns and public works, e.g. the Queensland Children's Hospital.
- Abbot Point
- Cairns South
- Callide Infrastructure Corridor
- Galilee Basin
- Queensland Children's Hospital
- Stanwell-Gladstone Infrastructure Corridor
- Surat Basin Infrastructure Corridor
- Tropical North
Benefits of SDAs
The benefits of SDAs include:
- proximity to railways, ports and major road networks
- greater planning and development certainty for project proponents
- efficient processing of applications and requests
- best practice land-use planning and management - ensuring land and infrastructure assets in SDAs are, and remain, attractive to existing occupants and potential investors
- more efficient use of land, most notably through the creation of multi-user infrastructure corridors
- process for compulsorily acquiring land within an SDA if necessary, including on behalf of proponents
- concentration of industrial development in selected areas, thereby minimising or avoiding:
- environmental impacts
- loss of amenity
- infrastructure duplications
- transport conflicts.
The Coordinator-General is responsible for the planning, establishment and ongoing management of SDAs throughout Queensland.
In an SDA, the Coordinator-General:
- controls land-use, infrastructure, economic and environmental planning
- implements a development scheme for each SDA
- assesses and decides all SDA applications and requests that can be made under the development scheme
- has compulsory land acquisition powers.
Development schemes, applications and requests
Each SDA is subject to a development scheme, a regulatory document that controls planning and development in an SDA.
The development scheme contains a development assessment framework for making, assessing and deciding applications and requests. The most common of these is an SDA application for a material change of use. Depending on the nature of the development, the SDA application may be required to undergo public consultation.
The declaration of an SDA does not change the ownership of the land within the area. However, the Coordinator-General may compulsorily acquire land or easements within an SDA.
If land is compulsorily acquired, the owner of the land is compensated in accordance with the process in the Acquisition of Land Act 1967.
State development areas are created under section 77 of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971.
The SDAs are listed in the State Development and Public Works Organisation (State Development Areas) Regulation 2019, which identifies the regulatory maps for each SDA.
When an SDA has achieved its objectives, the Coordinator-General has the option of revoking the declaration of the SDA and repealing its development scheme.
Responsibility for planning and development within the revoked SDA is handed back to the relevant local council.
In May 2013 the Coordinator-General revoked the declaration of the Bundamba to Swanbank SDA and repealed its development scheme.