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Self-assessable development

Self-assessable development is identified by an assessment manager as not needing a development permit. Self-assessable developments must comply with any applicable code/s under relevant legislation or planning schemes.

Please note disclaimer at bottom of page.

Additional information

Development near a wetland Photo by Niall Connolly

Quick facts

protection areas are shown on the map of referable wetlands and include a wetland surrounded by a 100 metre trigger area within urban areas and a 500m trigger area within rural areas.

impact assessable State development assessment environmental approvals

Self-assessable CodeWetland Protection Areas
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 State Planning Policy (SPP) includes a self-assessable code for government supported transport infrastructure or electricity infrastructure projects involving high impact earth works in a Wetland Protection Area (GBR catchments). The code has criteria that are similar to the State Development Assessment Provisions code for development in Wetland Protection Areas. The main difference is that it recognises that in some cases it may not be possible to avoid locating linear infrastructure in or near the wetland. The code allows for that development to be undertaken if no feasible alternative exists.


Self-assessable CodesFisheries development
A fish habitat area (FHA) declared under the Fisheries Act 1994 is an area protected against physical disturbance from coastal development. Queensland´s FHA network ensures fishing for the future by protecting all inshore and estuarine fish habitats (e.g. vegetation, sand bars and rocky headlands) contained within declared FHAs which play the key role of sustaining local and regional fisheries.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland values

Certain low risk activities can be undertaken in or near fish habitat areas if it complies with the requirements of a self-assessable code. Pre-works notification is required. Activities that don’t meet the codes’ criteria require approval.


Self-assessable CodesNative Vegetation Clearing
The Vegetation Management Act 1999 (VM Act) regulates the clearing of native vegetation in Queensland. The purpose of this Act is to regulate the clearing of vegetation in a way that among other things, conserves remnant vegetation, prevents the loss of biodiversity and maintains ecological processes.

Mechanism and recognition of wetland and terrestrial biodiversity values

Certain clearing activities including for fodder harvesting, thinning and managing weeds and encroachment, can be undertaken if it complies with the requirements of a self-assessable code. These codes specify the acceptable clearing practices within and adjacent to wetlands and watercourses, for example, no-machinery zones and erosion management zones. Under the codes, wetland means an area of land that supports plants or is associated with plants that are adapted to and dependent on living in wet conditions for at least part of their life cycle, and are shown on the vegetation management wetlands map.


  • Vegetation Management Wetlands Map data
    The Vegetation Management Wetland Map is based on the Queensland Wetlands Mapping and Aquatic Conservation Assessments. The mapping is supported by the Wetland Delineation and Mapping Guideline, a method for verifying the on-ground wetland extent.

Self-assessable CodesWater Resources

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

Works for taking overland flow water for certain purposes are self-assessable if specified in a water resource plan or the Water Regulation. Self-assessable codes include works using limited capacity works and works for the taking of water for stock or domestic purposes. Pre-works notification may be required.


Disclaimer: While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, the Queensland and Australian Governments make no representations or warranties about its 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:

Self-assessable development, WetlandInfo 2014, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Queensland, viewed 4 July 2017, <>.

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Heritage Protection