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Regulatory planning

In addition to land use planing there are a range of statutory planning mechanisms that contribute to the protection of wetland ecosystems and wetland dependant species.

Please note disclaimer at bottom of page.

Additional information

Cleared area Photo by Niall Connolly

Quick facts

The State

Planning Policy Protecting Wetlands of High Ecological Significance in Great Barrier Reef catchments seeks to ensure that development in or adjacent to wetlands of high ecological significance is planned, designed, constructed and operated to prevent the loss or degradation of wetlands and their environmental values.

impact assessable State development assessment self-assessable Environmental approvals

 

Planning instruments
The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 establishes the legal framework for land use planning and development assessment in Queensland.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland and terrestrial biodiversity values

The State Planning Policy (SPP) sets out the State’s interests to be addressed through regional plans and local government planning schemes. Protection of wetland and terrestrial biodiversity values are mainly addressed through the State interests in biodiversity, coastal protection and water quality. The State interest in biodiversity is to be reflected in schemes through planning policies and mechanisms that would protect matters of environmental significance and maintain or enhance biodiversity resilience to support ecological integrity. Matters of environmental significance include matters of national, state and local environmental significance. The SPP is supported by mapping of matters of state environmental significance (MSES) including wetlands of high ecological significance and species habitat. Regional plans are used to further the state's interests identified in the SPP by focussing on issues that require a regionally-specific policy direction.

Resources

  • SPP and SPP State Interest Guidelines. State Planning Policy
  • The SPP mapping system on-line includes MSES mapping available to assist in spatially representing biodiversity and other state interests.
  • MSES mapping is linked to other statutory mapping for wetlands including the Map of Referable Wetlands.
  • The Biodiversity State Interest Guideline includes references to a range of wetlands tools including WetlandMaps and the Queensland Wetland Buffer Planning Guideline (2011).
Scheduled EVs/WQOs & Healthy Waters Management Plan
The aim of the Environmental Protection Act 1994 is to protect Queensland's environment while allowing for development that improves the total quality of life, now and in the future, in a way that maintains ecological processes on which life depends. This approach is termed 'ecologically sustainable development'.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

The Environmental Protection Policy (Water) 2009 (EPP) establishes a framework for identifying environmental values for waters and water quality objectives (WQO) for receiving waters. Environmental values (EVs) are the qualities that make water suitable for supporting aquatic ecosystems and human use. WQOs apply to receiving waters including freshwater, estuarine and marine wetlands. For the aquatic ecosystem EVs, the EPP identifies four levels of protection according to the current condition of waters including high ecological value. Each level of protection is assigned a specific management intent. WQOs and EVs have been developed for particular catchments and are listed in the EPP, Schedule 1. In areas where this has not been completed, there are guidelines for WQOs for all indicators aimed at protecting all EVs. The EPP also provides for the development of Healthy Waters Management Plans (HWMPs). Under a previous program, Water Quality Improvement Plans (WQIPs) have been established for a number of Great Barrier Reef catchments and the WQIPs are a forerunner of HWMPs. 

Resources

Water Resource Plan
The Water Act 2000 provides a legislative basis for the sustainable planning and management of the State’s water resources.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

Water resource plans (WRP) provide the management framework for water resources, outlining outcomes, objectives and strategies for achieving a sustainable balance between water users and the environment. The WRP address ecological outcomes associated with the allocation and use of water in the plan area including consideration of wetlands and watercourses and, if necessary, underground water and overland flow. Technical and scientific assessments as well as community consultation are critical inputs to the planning process. A Water Resource Plan may also specify criteria for deciding an application about taking overland flow water under the Water Act 2000 or the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. This includes for example, whether granting the application is likely to adversely affect natural aquatic ecosystems, including wetlands.

Resources

  • Information on the water resource planning process and links to water planning in catchment areas.
  • Wetland tools including mapping and conceptual models contribute to the process of developing ecological outcomes under the WRP. WetlandInfo has a range of information on water management including information that contributes to water resource planning and related assessment and monitoring programs.
Pest Management
The Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 provides a framework and powers for improved management of pest animals and plants and the stock route network.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland and terrestrial biodiversity values

The impacts of pest animals and plants are major threats to biodiversity and wetland values. Pest management planning occurs at all levels - national, state, regional, local and property. At the local level, councils must regularly review and update the government area pest management plan (LGAPMP). The LGAPMP identifies declared pest animal and plant species in the area and prioritises their management. Priority actions in plans include the removal of invasive species to improve environmental values such as wildlife habitat.

Resources

Protected Area Management
The object of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 is the conservation of nature to be achieved through an integrated and comprehensive conservation strategy for the whole of the State that involves among other things, the declaration and management of protected areas and the protection of native wildlife and its habitat.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland and terrestrial biodiversity values

A management plan or a management statement for a national park and other types of protected areas sets out the values to be protected and information on managing those values consistent with management principles under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. A management statement is a simple expression of management intent for an area. Management plans include strategies, actions and guidelines for achieving stated outcomes such as maintaining or enhancing wetland and terrestrial biodiversity values. For example, the removal of pest species, maintaining water quality and managing recreational uses in the area.

Resources

State Marine Park Zoning Plan
The main purpose of the Marine Parks Act 2004 (MPA) is to provide for the conservation of the marine environment.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

There are three State marine parks established under the MPA—Moreton Bay Marine Park, Great Sandy Strait Marine Park and the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park. Each multi-use marine park is established to protect and manage the unique natural features within the park. The marine park zoning plan is a management tool that identifies different zones and the activities that are allowed in each zone depending on the management objectives for the zone. The plan also specifies whether a permit is required to enter or use the zone for an activity. The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area includes the Commonwealth Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the State Great Barrier Reef Coastal Marine Park. In this area, zoning is complementary, with matching requirements for both the State and Commonwealth marine parks.

Resources

Species Recovery Plan/Conservation Plan

The aim of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NC Act) is the conservation of nature to be achieved through an integrated and comprehensive conservation strategy for the whole of the State and that involves among other things, the declaration and management of protected areas and the protection of native wildlife and its habitat. 

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s central piece of environmental legislation. It provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places—defined in the EPBC Act as matters of national environmental significance (MNES).

Mechanism and recognition of wetland and terrestrial biodiversity values

The Nature Conservation Regulation 2006 lists species that are classed as threatened or near threatened in Queensland and the EPBC Act lists species that are threatened nationally. Listed threatened species may include migratory species that are also the subject of international conventions such as the Bonn Convention and migratory bird agreements. Habitat removal and degradation are among the many threats that impact on species and contribute to their extinction. Recovery plans have been developed under the EPBC Act. Each plan states the research and management actions necessary to stop the decline, support the recovery and enhance the chance of long-term survival in the wild, of a protected species or community. Recovery plans include actions for identifying, protecting and managing species habitat including wetlands. Conservation plans prepared under the NC Act allow for the ecologically sustainable take and use of protected wildlife from the wild for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Resources

Information on recovery/conservation plans.

Disclaimer: While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this product, the Queensland Government and Australian Government make no representations or warranties about it's accuracy, reliability, completeness or suitability for any particular purpose and disclaim all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages (including indirect or consequential damage) and costs which might be incurred as a consequence of reliance on the product, or as a result of the product being inaccurate or incomplete in any way and for any reason.


Last updated: 12 March 2015

This page should be cited as:

Regulatory planning, WetlandInfo 2014, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland, viewed 4 July 2017, <https://wetlandinfo.ehp.qld.gov.au/wetlands/management/policy-legislation/plan-approval/reg-planning.html>.

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Heritage Protection