Coming Soon – Improved Development Planning Application Process

The NSW Government is helping residents to lodge and track development applications online, with the roll out of $50,000 in funding to each council.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said Wingecarribee Shire, Goulburn Mulwaree, Upper Lachlan Shire, Hilltops and Yass Valley Councils will each receive a $50,000 grant, as part of the Regional NSW Planning Portal Grant program, to help them transition to the online ePlanning system.

“The ePlanning program is transforming the way local planning applications are lodged, tracked and processed,” Mrs Tuckerman said. “This online tool is simplifying and speeding up what was once a cumbersome paper-based process. The funding will ensure our councils have everything is in place to transition to the online platform and benefit from an improved service for everyone involved in the planning process.”

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the benefit of the ePlanning platform is that people can access planning services and lodge and track the progress of applications from anywhere, at any time. “We need to help councils update their processes in line with community expectations. Most things are done digitally now – the days of paper-based transactions that can only take place during business hours are behind us,” Mr Stokes said.

Councils will be processing all applications on the NSW Planning Portal by 1 July this year, when it becomes mandatory throughout NSW.

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Brisbane City Council gives derelict Lamb House site permanent protection from development

The planning amendments are designed to prevent any subdivision or development of the 1902 Federation-style six-bedroom mansion’s grounds for apartments or houses.

Lamb House was recently listed for sale by Brisbane City Council over a long dispute in relation to years of rates left unpaid by the property’s owner, Joy Lamb.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner told council the legislation amendments were the “strongest form of protection” they could place over the property to prevent additional development.

“This is about formalising and implementing that protection on a permanent basis in the City Plan,” Cr Schrinner said.

On Tuesday morning, Deputy Mayor Krista Adams told ABC Radio Brisbane the council wanted the property restored back to a family home and the planning provisions would help ensure that.  

“The whole site is unique … it’s keeping the entire gardens around the house, so it really will still stand out on the cliffs as the grand old lady of Brisbane,” Cr Adams said.

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Roe 8 and 9 bypass funded by federal government despite WA seeking to ban wetlands development

A controversial bypass that would have bulldozed sensitive wetlands is still attracting funding from the federal government, despite WA re-introducing legislation that will effectively bury plans to build it forever.

A $1.2 billion provision for the Roe 8 and 9 projects remained in the federal budget, handed down yesterday.

The WA Labor government tried and failed to pass legislation in its first term of government to amend the Metropolitan Region Scheme and rezone the Beeliar Wetlands, to reclassify 34 hectares to a Parks and Recreation reserve.

The plan would stop the former WA Liberal government’s Perth Freight Link Plan from ever being able to go ahead in its current form.

“Rezoning the land through this bill will ensure the Beeliar Wetlands are preserved for the future, for the enjoyment of future generations,” WA Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said as the legislation was re-introduced in Parliament today.

“We have a clear mandate to deliver on this commitment … I believe we need to put an end to the debate of development of this area, once and for all.”

WA Liberals still pushing Roe 8

The WA Liberals are standing by the plan, despite taking the policy to two previous state elections, which they lost.

WA Liberal leader David Honey said his party remained entirely committed to the proposal, while criticising the government’s outer harbour plans for Kwinana.

“This is economic vandalism for the state of Western Australia,” Dr Honey said.

“This is a ridiculous position that the state government’s taken, they should take the $1.2 billion, deal with the traffic chaos in the southern suburbs, and use that money, those billions of dollars they plan to spend on a new harbour, to solve critical problems.”

WA Premier Mark McGowan said the Commonwealth should re-direct the provisional funding to “build a quarantine facility”.

“To meet the needs of the nation, that would be a far better use of that money,” Mr McGowan said.

“Building a highway that isn’t needed through the middle of a wetland isn’t a wise use of public money.”

The bill was defeated by one vote in the Upper House during the last term of government, but is unlikely to face any challenges this term, with the state government holding a majority in both houses of Parliament.

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Tasmania’s Latrobe Council in costly blunder over Wesley Vale accommodation development

Ratepayers in Tasmania’s north-west will have to pay potentially “tens of thousands of dollars” in legal fees after the local council failed to properly reject a development application and lost an appeal before the state’s planning tribunal.

A decision handed down by the Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal (RMPAT) said Latrobe Council intended to reject a 2019 seasonal worker accommodation development, but did not pass a motion doing so, meaning their decision was not legally valid.

Under the Tasmanian Land Use and Approvals Act, projects requiring council approval are automatically given the green light 42 days after the council receives them if they are not formally addressed earlier.

“The result of the vote on the motion to approve the application, in the negative, did not constitute a determination to refuse the application. As the Council failed to determine the application within the time required … it was deemed to have granted a permit on conditions to be determined by the Tribunal,” the decision said.

Latrobe Mayor Peter Freshney.(

ABC News: Tim Morgan


The tribunal ultimately came to the same conclusion as the council, deciding the permit to build the 106-person accommodation facility on Beer Street in Wesley Vale should not be granted, but that the council must pay the costs for all parties involved.

That includes the proponents, Devonport-based Starbox Architects, and Beer Street resident PJ Hodgkinson, who was part of the proceedings as a joined party.

Latrobe Mayor Peter Freshney said the council’s appeal against the awarding of costs failed.

“It’s difficult to stomach, to some degree, particularly when we’re having to pay ratepayers’ money out, but at the end of the day we do have to justify our decisions and, quite rightly, get the process right,” he said.

Mr Freshney said it could be months before the council knew exactly how much it owed.

“It’s a lesson learned, but obviously at quite some cost.”

Development opposed by residents

The 2019 development was recommended for approval with conditions by council officers, but councillors decided against it, something Mr Freshney said was “rare”.

According to the minutes from the meeting, it was knocked back because of a lack of access to enough quality water for the amount of people likely to be living there, and because the wastewater could adversely affect surrounding properties.

A birds eye view of a mocked up cabin development on a property surrounded by trees.
Objections to the project cited concerns about traffic impacts, water and stormwater infrastructure.(

Supplied: Starbox Architecture


Seven members of the public made representations against the plan, expressing concerns about traffic impacts, water and stormwater infrastructure and potential damage to livestock.

Beer Street resident David Miller was one of those to object, and has called the council’s handling of the matter “disgusting”.

“The council should know how to put things through meetings,” he said.

“I could never see how it got through planning, it should have stopped there, and yet it’s dragged on for two years.”

The site of the development application made headlines last year as one of two in the municipality under investigation for being inappropriate accommodation for berry pickers, with the other site, a five-bedroom house in Shearwater, found to have up to 70 workers living there in what unions called “slum-like conditions”.

Planning a ‘difficult field in which to work’

The challenges of having local governments act as planning authorities have been much discussed in the past few years, with councillors across the state citing the difficulty of taking public opinion into account when acting under specific laws.

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It has prompted the state government to introduce controversial Major Projects Legislation, which would allow the government to declare large and complex developments as requiring special attention and have them assessed by a specially convened panel rather than a local council.

Mr Freshney said the council had rejected a different proposal in the same way in 2018, but in between the two decisions, a new legal precedent had been set by a Supreme Court ruling against the Launceston City Council — a legal move the council didn’t know about when considering the Beer Street application.

“Planning is a difficult field in which to work, always has been and always will be,” he said.

“We are everyday people after all, we aren’t perfect and without fault, and occasionally there will unfortunately be the odd error around protocols.”

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Bruntwood SciTech secures £44.4m funding deal to support development of Birmingham campuses

A major new funding deal has been agreed to support the development of two business parks in Birmingham.

OakNorth Bank has provided a £44.4 million loan to Bruntwood SciTech to support the expansion of the city centre Innovation Birmingham tech campus and the Health Innovation Campus in Selly Oak.

The next planned phase of work at Innovation Birmingham is a £30 million 120,000 sq ft building called Enterprise Wharf which was approved last year and will contain new offices, collaboration space, cycle storage, changing facilities and a roof garden.

Phase one of the £210 million Health Innovation Campus won the green light from the city council earlier this month.

It will comprise a 130,000 sq ft lab and office building as part of an overall plan to build up to 657,000 sq ft of lab, office and incubation space on the former Battery Park site in Selly Oak.

The Greater Birmingham Apprenticeship Awards are back for 2021 and now open for entries here.

The event will be held at Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham on Thursday November 11 and will celebrate apprentices, employers and training providers across 12 categories including our overall Apprentice of the Year.

The deadline to enter the awards is Friday September 17 and sponsorship opportunities are also now available.

Please email for details and follow the hashtag #GBAA21 for updates on social media. For more information about our Apprenticeship Awards and other events please visit

Bruntwood SciTech is working in partnership with the University of Birmingham on the health campus scheme.

Chief executive Kate Lawlor said: “2020 was an unprecedented year, none more so than for our science and tech sector.

“We witnessed first-hand the importance of UK businesses working at the forefront of life sciences and tech and the impact they had on the country as they pivoted at pace and at scale in the fight against the pandemic.

“As the UK looks to retain its place on the global stage, it is vital that we have the infrastructure, facilities, skills and support that businesses in the sector need, helping the UK to build back better economically and sustainably.

“This is why we’re hugely grateful to have OakNorth Bank’s support to develop our two Birmingham campuses.”

Chris Swarbrick, senior debt finance director at OakNorth Bank, added: “We’re delighted to be supporting a business that’s championing the UK’s science and technology sector by providing them with the specialist, high-quality workspaces and wraparound support they need.

“With the Government’s Industrial Strategy and levelling up agenda focusing heavily on the transformative capabilities of the UK science and technology sector, we expect space, particularly in Birmingham to be in high demand.”

Bruntwood SciTech is a joint venture between Manchester-based commercial property firm Bruntwood and finance group Legal & General and has a portfolio valued at around £525 million.

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Who’s Who 2021 Commercial Development & Real Estate – Long Island Business News

Who’s Who 2021 Commercial Development & Real Estate (Special Publication)

special publication

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Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan to set strong vision

More growth, jobs and investment in our state’s coal, minerals and gas industries will be a key focus of an industry-wide blueprint being developed by the Palaszczuk Government as Queensland continues to deliver its plan for economic recovery.

Speaking at the launch of the Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan (QRIDP) today, Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the strategy was about working with industry, the regions and communities to set a shared vision for the future of the sector.

“Supporting the resources sector was a key part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic,” the Minister said.

“Under this plan, there will be a key focus on removing barriers to growth and identifying immediate actions to help regional communities recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

“It will also focus on setting targets for industry growth and deliver actions to responsibly unlock resources into the future.

“Since 2015, $21 billion has been invested in or committed to resources projects in Queensland creating 8000 jobs.

“There are great opportunities for the resources sector to grow in the future, particularly as the world looks to new age minerals like scandium, cobalt and vanadium for its growing needs and Queensland can be at the forefront of this.

“So there is always work to do as we embrace and plan for the challenges and opportunities that we will experience over coming years to ensure a strong, resilient sector.”

Mr Stewart said growth, clean energy, exploration, investment and adding more value to our resources through local industry were all on the table to shape the future of Queensland’s coal, minerals and gas industries.

“We will soon be engaging communities, mining and resources companies, workers, local councils and businesses reliant on the sector to drill down on the details and shape our future.

“The findings will form the basis of a draft plan that we will be releasing later this year.”

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the QRIDP was a critical step to attract new investment and create new jobs for Queensland.

“This is an important step to begin consultation with all stakeholders including companies, communities and the workers who want to see the resources sector continue to thrive,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The future is bright for our sector, from coal, gas and metals to the renewables, critical minerals and hydrogen technology that will help keep our economy strong in a low-emissions future.”

Acting Queensland Director of APPEA Matt Paull said the QRIDP represents an opportunity for our state to tap into all that natural gas has to offer.

“A recent EY report found the with the right policy settings our industry could create $350 billion in economic value and more than 220,000 jobs over the next two decades with a lot of these in Queensland,” Mr Paull said.

“Natural gas’ role in helping lower emissions and supporting the growth of renewables will be vital over the years to come.

”The Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan represents an opportunity for our state to tap into all that natural gas has to offer.”

Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) Chief Executive Warren Pearce said he was looking forward to seeing a clear plan around infrastructure and emerging projects.

“A strong and productive resource sector is supported by strong environmental governance, and AMEC hopes the QRIDP will bring these two elements together to deliver improved development and environmental outcomes for new and existing projects,” Mr Pearce said.

“The plan will also help build broader understanding of the resources industry in the wider community by highlighting the benefits and opportunities for all.”

Mr Stewart said every Queenslander benefited from the state’s strong resources sector and the jobs that flow.

“Queensland’s 71,000 resource workers continued to mobilise in the thick of COVID-19, helping the resources sector to bring in almost $2.5 billion in royalties that pay for our schools, hospitals,  roads and frontline services such as police, teachers, doctors and nurses,” Mr Stewart said.

“Our resources sector will continue to be the backbone of the Queensland economy, and ultimately, help pave the path to economic recovery from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“We are continuing to back our industries and together we have a huge opportunity to shape the future of Queensland for 2021 and beyond.”

For more information, visit


CONTACT: CHRIS LEES, 0434 859 940

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Yeppoon wave pool tourism development would turn Surf Lakes site into ‘the ultimate surf getaway’

Perfect waves year-round, scuba diving and luxury accommodation; it is a local man’s vison for Yeppoon that he hopes will transform central Queensland’s surfing culture.

Aaron Trevis’s Surf Lakes site has already attracted attention from the likes of Mark Occhilupo for its wave-making technology.

The company’s latest development application expands that vision to transform the site with boutique accommodation, a scuba pool, an aquapark and campgrounds to create “the ultimate surf getaway”.

Economic predictions have claimed the finished product will bring $39.4 million to the region each year.

Local tourism and development group Capricorn Enterprise said the development would fill a gap in the regional market.

Under the development application, 52 cabins, 100 caravan or camp sites, a 75-bed boutique hotel and a cafe would be added to the existing wave pool.

A scuba pool, skate park, mountain bike pump track as well as an overflow lake, a village green and a solar farm would also form part of the site.

Surf Lake’s proposal splits the development into two stages with the first focussing on the commercial opening of the wave pool, providing short-term accommodation and establishing the solar fam.

Camp sites and accommodation would be added progressively with the hotel, aqua park, the village green and other major developments forming part of stage two.

A keen surfer, born and bred in Yeppoon, Mr Trevis said he learned to surf at Farnborough Beach in Yeppoon but reached a stage in his life where local breaks just did not cut it.

“There’s plenty of waves there but they’re just not very aggressive waves so they’re easy to learn on,” he said.

“It’s typically wind affect and a bit smaller than Agnes (Waters) and further south.”

Mr Trevis said the region had a big existing surf community that he was hoping to tap into.

“A good day at Farnborough Beach you’ll have 200 four-wheel drives parked up the beach,” he said.

“It’d be amazingly satisfying to build on the surf culture.

Surf Lakes wave pool creates five levels of waves ranging from beginner to professional.

Seq Q Boardriders president and local surfer Mark Korotcoff said the group was excited about the proposal.

“We always like to surf in the ocean but as we know the ocean doesn’t always cooperate,” he said.

“Having a wave pool and being able to access that on a regular basis definitely is going to help young surfers improve and keep everyone else happy when there’s no waves in the ocean.”

Mr Trevis said Surf Lakes also had eyes on an international market and was packaging travel deals for surfers who go overseas.

“You could bring the family up as well … everyone gets waves of their ability,” he said.

“It means you can have a genuine family surfing holiday where everyone wins.

Economic modelling suggests that stage one would generate $22.4 million each year by 2026.

Stage two is expected to increase that output to $39.4 million and support 229 jobs by 2031.

The chief executive of regional tourism and development organisation Capricorn Enterprise, Mary Carroll, said if approved the development could attract a new group of tourists to the Capricorn Coast.

“Wave pools all around the world have attracted a new clientele or visitor market,” she said.

“This is absolutely what would happen in this destination, whereby this wave pool would attract visitors not just domestically but internationally.

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Gold Coast residents claim ‘blood red’ canal caused by dewatering at Palm Beach development

Palm Beach residents living along the Mallawa canal believe dewatering at a nearby development site has turned their canal ‘blood red’ after recent heavy rains.

Kim Parker said her husband was walking the family’s dogs on April 19 when he noticed a dewatering system had been set up on a development site at Seventh Avenue.

“It was shocking — never seen anything like it.

“There was a slime and stuff floating on it … we contacted council straightaway.”

Ms Parker, who has a science degree, said she noticed a sulphuric smell and council officers were already in the area testing the water after someone else had complained.

Palm Beach resident Kim Parker is worried marine life in Mallawa canal may be affected.(

Supplied: Kim Parker


“They didn’t really know anything about the dewatering and couldn’t really link that,” she said.

“All of the hallmarks of an acid sulphate soil problem were there — that sulphuric-smelling, terrible iron-staining, oily-looking water.”

Dewatering is the removal of groundwater or surface water from a construction site.

It is normally done by using a pump to reduce the water table before the excavation for footings.

Ms Parker said she was worried about the impact on marine life and children who often played in the park at the end of Seventh Avenue.

“I was concerned about kids playing in the park. I’ve got my grandchildren here often.

“The actual slimy red stuff … you can’t help but get it on yourself and it burns when it’s on you.”

Photo of water being pumped into storm water drain.
Removing water from development sites is common in Palm Beach.(

Supplied: Kim Parker


Mallawa canal is surrounded by residential homes and connects to Tallebudgera Creek.

Ms Parker said she was surrounded by homes that had been stained before.

“We’ve had it happen before, we’ve had a similar impact before on the canal, but never this bad,” she said.

“I should imagine that because we’ve had quite a bit of rain there’s more water in the bores perhaps.”

A Gold Coast City Council spokesperson said they were aware of the matter, with early testing indicating the presence of iron in the waterway.

“Development compliance officers will investigate developments within the vicinity and conduct further water sampling of dewatering sites,” they said.

Rocks stained red at Burleigh Beach.
Rocks at Burleigh Beach were stained red after recent heavy rains.(

ABC Gold Coast: Bern Young


Burleigh Beach

Last week, Burleigh Heads residents raised concerns when they identified a strange smell and stained rocks at the outlet of a drain on the popular beach.

The City of Gold Coast released a statement that said they had received a small number of complaints and was investigating the matter.

“There is no discharge currently present and environmental health officers are monitoring the situation,” the council spokesperson said.

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Community development workshop to cover COVID-19 and bushfire response

Professionals working in the community development sector and passionate residents will have the opportunity to gain local insights on the impacts, similarities and differences of supporting the community through disasters like bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the upcoming Community Agents of Sustainability (CAOS) session on Tuesday 13 April, Sharna Whitehand will share her experiences in her role supporting the community though numerous disaster situations as the Municipal Emergency Management Officer at Corangamite Shire Council.

Ms Whitehand’s experiences with recent bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic draw similarities and stark differences, with many lessons to be shared with attendees.

Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan said the CAOS events are a great way for industry professionals to develop their skills.

It’s really important those working in the industry have the opportunity to learn from each other and experts in the sector, which in turn strengthens community development capacity within the region.

Cr Sarah Mansfield, Chair of the Community Health and Aged Care portfolio said participants would benefit from the insights in this session as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The upcoming session is a very timely one, as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt in our community.

I encourage those working in the industry or residents considering a career change or passionate on this topic to consider attending this free event.

CAOS is a community development network that was established in 2004 with the goal of enabling community sector professionals to engage with each other on a regular basis, share insights and improve knowledge within the sector.

The CAOS free professional development workshops will be delivered bi-monthly throughout 2021 and cover a variety of topics through presentations from expert guest speakers.

The free event takes place at 10:00am on Tuesday 13 April at City Hall.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions places are limited and bookings are required. To book to attend this event and find out more visit

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