Skip links and keyboard navigation

Development application process

Further information

Identify if a development approval is required

The State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) planning reform came into effect on 1 July 2013. This reform has resulted in the establishment of a State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) and means that the chief executive of the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning (DILGP) will become either the assessment manager or referral agency for all development applications where there is a state interest, other than in a Port area.

Exclusions are:

  • some aspects of building work assessed against the provisions of the Building Act 1975 or the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990
  • development applications assessed by government-owned corporations such as Energex, Ergon, ports corporations or airports

Further information on the SARA reform and contact details for regional DILGP offices can be found on the DILGP website.

SARA questions can be emailed to  

The process for assessing development applications required under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 is known as the Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS). To determine if your proposed development requires approval, please review the following planning instruments:

The Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA) does not apply to certain developments, including:

  • development in state development areas under the Economic Development Act 2012
  • projects declared to be of state significance.

Please note: additional EHP approvals may be required where SPA does not relate to your proposed activity.

If you are unsure if your proposed activity will require a development approval, you can contact the relevant local government and your local DILGP office (or the relevant Port Authority for development on Port land). For contact details of DILGP regional centres throughout the state, please go to the DILGP website.

Prepare your development application

The IDAS checklists will help you find the specific information that needs to be included with your application.

Click here for the latest electronic versions of the IDAS Forms.

If you are proposing to conduct a prescribed ERA that will also require a development approval (concurrence activity) your application for a development approval must include IDAS form 8. IDAS Form 8 includes the application requirements for an environmental authority.

Lodging your development application

Once your application is complete, it will need to be submitted to the relevant state or local government authority responsible for assessing your application. This authority is called the assessment manager. The IDAS checklist assists in determining who your assessment manager will be. For further information about determining the assessment manager, see Schedule 6 of the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 (PDF).

All applications must be accompanied by:

  • the relevant application fee
  • all mandatory supporting information for your application—this will be specified in the relevant form
  • the owner’s consent if it is required under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009
  • evidence of resource entitlement if the development includes a state resource and where this is required by the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

If the assessment manager is a local government, applications can be lodged online using the Smart eDA portal if the relevant council is a Smart eDA participant. When preparing your application using Smart eDA you will be advised which forms you will need to submit. Smart eDA also provides access to relevant maps which will help you determine if your application complies with state and regional plans. You will need to download and complete the IDAS forms relevant to your application type. If the local government is not a Smart eDA participant, then hardcopies of the IDAS forms can be lodged directly with the relevant council in person or by post.

If the assessment manager is the State, the preferred method of lodgement is online through the DILGP MyDAS portal. MyDAS is available through the DILGP website. Hardcopy applications can still be lodged directly with the relevant DILGP regional office in person or by post.  Contact details for each regional office including relevant local government areas can be found on the DILGP website.

Referring your application

After your application has been lodged with the assessment manager, you may be issued with an acknowledgement notice advising you to forward your application to other state or local government authorities. These are known as referral agencies.

Your application must be forwarded to the referral agencies within 20 business days of receiving the acknowledgement notice.

There are two different types of referral agencies:

  • concurrence agencies
  • advice agencies.

Concurrence agencies can direct the assessment manager to refuse your application or impose conditions upon the development approval.

Advice agencies can only provide advice to the assessment manager regarding your application. The assessment manager can, acting on this advice, impose restrictions on any development approval or request modifications to your application.

Once your application is lodged and if you receive an acknowledgment notice advising that there are referral agencies, you must send a copy of the application to each referral agency.

A referred application must be accompanied by the following:

  • a complete copy of your application, as it was submitted to the assessment manager
  • a copy of your acknowledgement notice
  • payment for any applicable fees.

Identify if public notification is required

Public notification is required for certain applications to ensure that the community and relevant stakeholders are aware of the development and there is an opportunity to make submissions about:

  • objections—which must be taken into account before the application is decided
  • appealing to the court regarding the assessment manager’s decision.

A public notification is required if your application is for:

  • a development that requires impact assessment
  • a preliminary approval that affects a planning scheme.

To satisfy the requirements of the legislation, public notification must include:

  • a notice published in a newspaper circulating in the locality of the subject land. It is recommended that the newspaper selected is relevant to the application in terms of its distribution and target audience
  • a notice placed on the subject land
  • a notice given to the owners of all land adjoining the subject land.

Further information

Further information is available on the Development application - Public notification webpage.

Assessing your application

The assessment manager must assess your development application against the following criteria:

  • Any applicable codes (for an application requiring code assessment). For example, this may include any codes in the local government’s planning scheme.
  • Any relevant state planning instruments, such as the State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP).

The assessment manager must also consider any submissions received during the public notification period. Once the assessment manager has assessed your application, they must approve (in whole, in part or with conditions) or refuse your application.

After making a decision about your application, the assessment manager must give you and any referral agencies, a decision notice about your application. Copies of the decision notice will be provided to all relevant parties involved.

Making changes to your application

Changes can be made to your development application after it has been lodged. For example, changes can be made in response to:

  • public submissions
  • advice received from a concurrence or advice agency.

For further information regarding permissible changes, please refer to section 367 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (PDF).

If the change is minor, the IDAS process does not cease and the notification stage (if applicable) is not repeated. For the definition of minor change, see section 350 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.

If the change relates to matters raised in a public notice submission or information request, the IDAS process does not cease. However, re-notification may be required.

For all other changes, the IDAS process and timeframes are restarted in line with the new acknowledgement notice.

Last updated
19 April 2016