Petitions | Brisbane City Council

Requesting increased reporting on Development Applications for transparency and accountability reasons

Principal Petitioner Paul Aldred, Enoggera
Date Closed Wed, 30 May 2018 This epetition has ended
No. of signatures 34 signatures

(View signatures)

Why are we asking for this? Many Development Applications (DAs) are submitted and approved by Councils across Brisbane on the premise of meeting the 188,000 homes estimated to be required by 2041. "Brisbane City Council has received, on average, 4,500 development applications a year since the end of the global financial crisis. It does not keep figures on how many are approved versus how many are rejected". This means that there is no transparency as to how Council's planning teams are meeting this target and also how they are listening to residents' concerns in relation to overdevelopment of sites within their local community that will have a significant impact to their daily lives. We are requesting additional reporting to be performed that clearly shows how DAs are being approved in line with this target and how residents' concerns about DAs are being listened to. Please raise awareness of the lack of reporting and accountability in the planning process by signing this petition and sharing with others. Source: Real Estate - Its war on the home front as Brisbane locals fight suburbia - but big developers are winning - published 20/01/2018.

As a petitioner I am requesting that either the State Department for Planning and/or Brisbane City Council produce a quarterly report that clearly shows the following.

•For DAs where a substantial number of submissions (i.e. 20 or more) are received, these need to be separately reported including what level of concessions/changes have been made to mitigate local residents' concerns with the development. 

•Number of DAs submitted in the quarter by suburb, assessment type and activity.

•Total percentage of DAs approved/rejected by assessment type (i.e. Code or Impact).

•Total number of dwellings approved against the target of 188,000 type (i.e. multi dwelling/childcare centre).

This will allow residents and planners to ensure that development is tracked against the planned number of dwellings and also that community concerns are being listened to.

Council response

A key principle in Brisbane’s Future Blueprint (the Blueprint) is to ‘empower and engage residents’, and this principle features a committed action to ‘give residents better access to development information and history with a new easy to use website’. Work on this project has already commenced in line with the commitment in the Blueprint to begin implementation of the action within three months. Council will consider the petitioners’ requests in undertaking this action.
Dwelling targets are reflected in the Strategic framework and the zones allocated in Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan). The framework supports residential growth in centres, along transport corridors and in selected growth nodes, to maximise the connection between housing and employment, services and transport. Additionally, Council’s award-wining neighbourhood planning process engages directly with and consults local communities about how best to manage dwelling targets within a specific area of Brisbane, while preserving the area’s amenity and other unique assets most valued by local residents.
Council’s Development Services, City Planning and Sustainability, assesses development applications (DAs) against the provisions for specific sites in City Plan (and not directly against the citywide dwelling targets). In addition, Queensland Government legislation requires City Plan to be a performance-based planning scheme, which means that it must be flexible. This flexibility requires that where accepted development standards identified in City Plan’s acceptable outcomes are not met, applicants can propose alternative solutions that achieve an equal or better outcome as described in the performance outcome.
Council’s planning and development online service, PD Online ( provides publicly available comprehensive information about DAs received and processed by Council, including filters that allow searches by suburb, street address or lot/plan description, time period, application type (e.g. material change of use, reconfiguring a lot etc.), development activity (e.g. dwelling house, multiple dwelling etc.) and by current or determined DAs.
Details of DAs that have been the subject of public submissions are recorded on PD Online, including copies of all submissions received, as well as details of the application process and Council’s decision, which includes consideration of each submission. Queensland Government legislation requires that Council’s decision notice for an impact assessment application provides a description of the matters raised in any submission/s as well as stating how Council dealt with those matters in reaching a decision. Similarly, in the case where the development did not comply with any of the assessment benchmarks, Council’s decision notice must state the reasons why the application was approved, despite it not complying with any of the benchmarks. PD Online is the most appropriate format to record these detailed aspects unique to each DA and relevant to specific submitters and interested parties.
The number of dwellings being delivered across Brisbane is best monitored through records of building approvals and building completions (i.e. information given to Council by private building certifiers). While Council does not currently publish the data it receives on these matters, there are a number of publicly accessible sources of housing data including the following.

-The Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, which publishes residential land development activity profiles for local government areas (LGAs) (

-The Australian Bureau of Statistics, which publishes quarterly building approval data for local government areas at Statistical Area Level 2 (

-The ShapingSEQ growth monitoring program annual report by the Queensland Government, which will report on dwelling growth against LGA and regional benchmarks (the first annual report is due to be released in the second half of 2018) (