Draft Whitsunday regional council Planning Scheme

Council is developing a new planning scheme to manage the development of the Whitsundays. This will create a single planning scheme for the entire Whitsunday region. Currently, the Whitsundays has two planning schemes to manage the development associated with this growth:

• The planning scheme for the former Bowen Shire 
• The planning scheme for the former Whitsunday Shire 
The State Government regulate the way Local Government prepare their planning schemes, and the process the Local Government must follow in order to have their planning scheme approved by the Minister. This process includes some basic guarantees (such as public notification) to ensure that the residents of the Whitsunday Region understand the changes in the draft plan and have the opportunity to have their say.

Making or amending a planning scheme involves the following stages: 

1. Planning and preparation stage - the preparation of various studies, reports, and explanatory statements to inform the planning scheme as well as drafting the new planning scheme;
2. State interest review stage - an assessment by the Queensland Government for impacts on State Interests such as compliance with the State Planning Policy and Queensland Planning Provisions;
3. Notification stage - the public notification of the new planning scheme, including engagement with the community and key stakeholders, as well as analysis of the submissions to inform the planning scheme
4. Adoption stage - assessment by the Queensland Government for impacts on State Interests and approval by the Council 
Typically, the development of planning scheme or planning scheme amendment can take 12 months for small-scale amendments to more than 3 years for a new planning scheme.


Council has now undertaken two rounds of public consultation on the draft Planning Scheme and are now confident that the proposed Planning Scheme accurately represents the interests of the region.  On the 7th December 2016, Council resolved to send Version 3.2 of the draft Planning Scheme to the Minister for the final State Interest Review.  It is hoped that Council will receive approval from the Minister to adopt the draft Planning Scheme by mid 2017.

Council’s submission report from the first round of consultation can be accessed here [PDF 1.8 MB].  Council received 693 submissions during this consultation period between August and October 2015 and in result, several amendments to the draft Planning Scheme were made, including:

- Reduced building heights in Airlie Beach;
- Building heights measured in metres rather than storeys;
- Removal of the Airlie Beach Local Plan for further investigation;
- Several zoning changes in Bowen, Whitsunday Airport and Whitsunday Shores; and
- Minor wording changes to align with new State legislation and Planning Policies.

Council’s submission analysis report from the second round of consultation can be accessed here [PDF 1MB].  Council received 128 submissions during this consultation period between August and October 2016.  Several minor zoning amendments were made in response to a submission from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines and Council have notified these land owners.  No other changes arose from this consultation period, however, several investigations have been triggered as a result of submissions, including:

- Reduced red tape for renewable energy facilities;
- Increasing flexibility for tourism development;
- Rural residential minimum lot size impacts;
- Bed and breakfast policy investigation;
- Bowen Local Planning Investigation;
- Airlie Beach Local Planning Investigation; and
- Several re-zoning requests.

The outcomes of these investigations may be included in future amendments to the draft Planning Scheme anticipated to occur in 2018. 
 PS Process Flow Chart


To view the Draft Planning Scheme and the associated maps, please click on the links below: 

Title and Contents Page PDF 253 KB
Part 1 - About the Planning Scheme PDF 340 KB
Part 2 - State Planning Provisions B PDF 202 KB
Part 3 - Strategic Framework PDF 216 KB
Part 4 - Local Government Infrastructure Plan PDF 9.77 KB
Part 5 - Tables of Assessment  PDF 1.2 MB
Part 6 - Zone Codes  PDF 546 KB
Part 7 - Local Plan Codes  PDF 256 KB
Part 8 - Overlay Codes  PDF 859 KB 
Part 9 - Development Codes  PDF 1.7 MB 
Part 10 - Other Plans PDF 10.2 KB
Schedule 1 - Definitions  PDF 165 KB
Schedule 2 - Mapping  PDF 19.7 KB 
*See table below for maps associated with the draft planning scheme*  
Schedule 3 - LGIP Mapping and Supporting Material PDF 10 KB
Schedule 4 - Notations required under SPA PDF 33.2 KB
Schedule 5 - Land Designated for Community Infrastructure PDF 17.5 KB
Schedule 6 - Planning Scheme Policies PDF 272 KB
Appendix 1 - Glossary of Abbreviations & Acronyms PDF 16.8 KB
Appendix 2 - Table of Amendments PDF 10.8 KB


Below are the maps associated with the Draft Planning Scheme:

Map Number

Map Title


Overview Map
 SFM - 01:05 Local Government Planning Scheme Area and Content PDF  1.6 MB
Strategic Framework Maps
 SFM - 01:05 Strategic Framework Map PDF 7.7 MB
Zone Maps
ZM - 01:29 Zoning Map PDF 88.7 MB
Local Plan Maps
HILP - 01 Hamilton Island Local Plan: Heights Plan PDF 693 KB
Overlay Maps
ASS - 01:14A Acid Sulphate Soil Overlay PDF 77 MB
AL - 01:29 Agriculture Land Overlay PDF 44.1 MB
AE - 01:02 Airport Environs Overlay PDF 1.5 MB
BH - 01:29 Bushfire Hazard Overlay PDF 45.5 MB
CP1 - 01:14 Coastal Protection Overlay: Storm Tide  Inundation PDF 22.3 MB
CP2 - 01:14 Coastal Protection Overlay: Erosion Prone Areas and Permanent Inundation  PDF 19.7 MB
ES - 01:29 Environmental Significance Overlay PDF 124.6 MB
ER - 01:29 Extractive Resources Overlay PDF 13.8 MB
FH - 01:29 Flood Hazard Overlay PDF 13.9 MB
HER - 01:29 Heritage Overlay PDF 44.4 MB 
INF1 - 01:29  Infrastructure Overlay: Transport Infrastructure PDF 35.5 MB
INF2 - 01:29 Infrastructure Overlay: Utility Infrastructure PDF 33.4 MB
LH - 01:29 Landslide Hazard Overlay PDF 132.5 MB
WW1 - 01:29 Waterways and Wetlands Overlay PDF 93 MB
WW2 - 01  Waterways and Wetlands Overlay: Climatic Region PDF 1.6 MB

In order for Council to make informed decisions about the planning scheme, a number of studies have been completed over the past 5 years which are used to inform and underpin the decisions that influence the preparation of the scheme.

Some of these important studies include:

• The 2013 Norling Population and Growth Study
• The 2014 Urban Growth Study
Whitsunday Coast Airport International Export Hub Master Plan and Feasibility Study

There are also several ancillary documents that support the planning scheme, and these include:

• The Whitsunday Shire Development Manual 2008
Climate Change Adaption Policy
• Climate Adaptation Strategy 2016-2020
• The Adopted Infrastructure Charges Notice
Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI)


  1. P  07 4945 0200
    Email  info@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au

    67 Herbert Street, Bowen
    Cnr. Stanley and Conway Streets, Collinsville
    83-85 Main Street, Proserpine
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