Guide

Relevant authorities

In this guide


A relevant authority makes the decision to grant or refuse approval to a development.

The authority who will assess your development is determined by the development’s assessment pathway.

Which relevant authorities apply

Relevant authorities are set out by the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 and are either:

  • Assessment Manager
  • Assessment Panel
  • State Planning Commission
  • Accredited Professional
  • Council
  • Minister for Planning and Local Government.

Relevant authorities

These relevant authorities are responsible for assessment of a planning consent, building consent, land division consent or development approval under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016.

Under the new planning system, councils are no longer a relevant authority in their own right for planning consent or land division consent. They must appoint an Assessment Manager to perform the assessment functions on their behalf.

Assessment Managers are planners that are accredited under the Accredited Professionals Scheme as a Planning Level 1. They may be a senior planner from the local council or a private consultant who has been engaged by council.

Every assessment panel must have an appointed Assessment Manager.

Planning consent

Assessment Managers can grant or refuse planning consent to:

  • deemed-to-satisfy development
  • performance assessed development that isn’t publicly notified.

Land division consent

Assessment Managers can grant or refuse land division consent to:

  • all development, except where the State Planning Commission or Minister for Planning and Local Government is the authority.

The State Planning Commission provides ‘Statement of Requirements’, including consultation with the relevant council where new public roads/reserves are proposed.

Under the new planning system, councils are no longer a relevant authority in their own right for planning consent and land division consent. They must appoint an Assessment Panel to perform the assessment functions.

Each panel must include a minimum of three members and a maximum of five members. Each member must be accredited under the Accredited Professionals Scheme as Planning Level 2. One member of the panel may be an Elected Member who does not require any accreditation.

All panels must appoint an accredited Assessment Manager to manage the staff and operations of the panel as well as providing expert advice to panel members. This Assessment Manager cannot also be a member of the Panel and are a relevant authority in their own right.

There are several types of Assessment Panel:

Assessment Panel

How Established

Council Assessment Panel (CAP)

Appointed by a council and replace existing council’s Development Assessment Panel (DAP) under the Development Act 1993.

Joint Planning Board Assessment Panel

Appointed by a Joint Planning Board.

Combined Assessment Panel

Established by the Minister to be involved in applications across different legislation (for example, planning and mining or liquor licensing).

Regional Assessment Panel (RAP)

Established by the Minister and comprises parts or all of the areas of two or more councils.

RAPs can also be established by a Joint Planning Board.

Local Assessment Panel

Constituted by the Minister upon recommendation of the Commission following an inquiry into an existing Council Assessment Panel.

Planning consent

Assessment Panels can grant or refuse planning consent to:

  • performance assessed development that is publicly notified

Assessment Panels are the relevant authority for Planning Consent that requires public notification or Building Consent.

Building consent

Assessment Panels can grant or refuse building consent to:

  • all development but they must seek the advice of an accredited building professional before issuing a decision. They may also refer the application to a building certifier or relevant council under s99(1).

The State Planning Commission is relevant authority for certain types of development applications.

The Commission delegate their decision-making powers to the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) and the Department's administration.

Planning or land division consent

The Commission can grant or refuse planning or land division consent to development that is:

  • impact assessed - Restricted
  • Code assessed - Performance assessed
  • called-in by the Minister for Planning and Local Government
  • located in outback areas where there is no local council.

Building consent

The Commission can grant or refuse building consent to all development, provided they must seek the advice of an accredited building professional before issuing a decision. They may also refer the application to a building certifier or relevant council under s99(1).

Development approval

The Commission can issue full development approval to development in outback areas where there is no local council.

Accredited planning professionals

Accredited planning professionals are accredited under the Accredited Professionals Scheme as a Planning Level 3 or 4.

They make decisions on planning consent for developments which have the least complexity which includes:

  • Code assessed - deemed-to-satisfy development.

Accredited building professional

Accredited building professionals are accredited under the Accredited Professionals Scheme as a Building Level 1, 2, 3 or 4.

They make decisions on building consent as per their accreditation level.

In rural areas, councils are responsible for issuing final approval for a development in their local area.

Building officers at council can also assess a development for building consent if they are accredited.

The Minister for Planning and Local Government is the authority for the most complex developments in the state, as well as developments of state interest.

Planning consent or land division consent

The Minister for Planning and Local Government can grant or refuse a planning consent or land division consent for:

  • impact assessed development that has been declared as major
  • crown development proposed by a state government agency
  • essential infrastructure.

Crown development approval

The Minister for Planning and Local Government grants final development approval to crown development.