Planning and development

Seqwater strives to embed water management in urban and rural land use planning through positive improvements in land use planning and land management processes to protect water assets, enhance water quality and water productivity from drinking water catchments

Land use planning

Seqwater works collaboratively with state and local government, individual land holders, agencies and the community to implement planning processes and outcomes that recognise the importance of a safe, secure and reliable drinking water supply.

The Planning Act 2016 sets the framework for planning in Queensland.  The State Planning Policy (SPP) is the pre-eminent state planning instrument, and identifies the State’s interests in land use planning. Seqwater holds interests in water quality, energy and water supply, infrastructure integration and natural hazards, risks and resilience – flood. The SEQ Regional Plan, also known as Shaping SEQ, advances the SPP over the SEQ region providing a framework to manage growth, land use change and development, and include protections of drinking water catchments in SEQ.

Local government is responsible for integrating the SPP and Shaping SEQ into local planning schemes.  Seqwater is involved in the state interest review process through the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DSDILGP), which includes the review of planning schemes to ensure the protection of Seqwater’s state interests.

As part of the preparation of a planning scheme, Seqwater encourages early consultation, supporting a collaborative approach with local government. 

For further information, please contact [email protected].

Additional Resources

Development in catchments

Protecting drinking water catchments from adverse impacts of development is essential for the delivery of a high quality and affordable water supply.  Unlike many other water authorities in Australia, much of South East Queensland’s (SEQ) catchments are open catchments, which contain a variety of land uses including rural and urban development. Adverse impacts of development can compromise the treatment process, increase treatment costs and threaten public health.  In the longer term, it can require infrastructure upgrades to provide effective treatment and on-going costs associated with increased levels of treatment (e.g. energy, chemical usage and waste disposal). 

Development must be appropriately sited, designed and managed to prevent adverse impacts to catchment water quality.

Local and State government may refer development applications to Seqwater for Third Party Advice (or as a Referral Entity for State Development Areas), to assist in determining whether an application has met the intent of the SPP, Shaping SEQ and local planning schemes.

The SPP Interactive Mapping System contains the mapping layers to determine what matters of state interest may apply to a development. 

Seqwater has developed a Land Use Risk Tool (LURT) for on-site sewage facilities. This interactive web-based tool is available for applicants or designers of on-site waste water treatment systems to ensure their proposal has an acceptable risk to the drinking water catchment and complies with the relevant Seqwater development guidelines.

For development in drinking water catchments, the mapping layers include:

State Interest topic

Mapping layer referred to in the SPP Interactive Mapping System

Assessment benchmarks

Water quality

Water supply buffer areas

Water resource catchments

Local Planning Scheme and Seqwater Development Guidelines for Water Quality Management in Drinking Water Catchments 2017 (Seqwater Development Guidelines).

To seek third party advice or for more information, please contact [email protected]