Development Tribunals

Development Tribunals provide an accessible, affordable and timely service for people who are not satisfied with building, plumbing and planning decisions made by local government and private certifiers.

You may, for example, be able to appeal to the Development Tribunals if:

  • your local council has recommended refusing a building development application,
  • you have a decision notice from a private building certifier refusing the application in line with the council’s recommendation
  • you’re the owner of the property involved in the application.

How tribunals work

  • Tribunals are established as needed from a pool of appointed referees.
  • The department’s minister or chief executive appoints referees for a term of no more than 3 years.
  • Tribunals have 1–5 referees with appropriate qualifications and experience.
  • Parties to appeals are not allowed legal representation at tribunal hearings.
  • Hearings are informal and all tribunal decisions are delivered in plain English.

Matters a tribunal may hear

Tribunals can hear appeals about:

  • siting requirements
  • building work over or near relevant infrastructure (sewers, water mains, stormwater drains or combined sanitary drains)
  • inspections of building work
  • swimming pool fencing
  • fire safety
  • plumbing and drainage
  • enforcement notices
  • development approvals
  • limited material change of use applications
  • matters related to an infrastructure charges notice and water and sewerage connections under the South-East Queensland Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) Act 2009 (SEQ Water Act).

Read more about what you can appeal.

You can also request a declaration for matters relating to:

  • properly made applications
  • a minor change to a development approval for the material change of use of a classified building if the responsible entity for the change application isn’t the Planning and Environment Court.

A tribunal may decide certain matters under the following Acts and related regulations:

  • Planning Act 2016
  • Building Act 1975 (unless it may or must be decided by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission)
  • Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018
  • Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002
  • South-East Queensland Water (Distribution and Retail Restructuring) Act 2009.

See the Planning Act 2016 (schedule 1) for more details about appeal rights to the tribunals.