COVID-19 Response Investment Incentive Policy
Council has adopted the COVID-19 Response Investment Incentive Policy - effective 12 August 2020 until 30 June 2022.
The Policy aims to support small scale development, such as those being considered by “mum and dad” investors, where infrastructure charges may be a barrier. In doing so, it will provide an economic stimulus for the Cairns development and construction industries and local employment across the region.
Read more and check your eligibility for the COVID-19 investment incentive.
Reconfiguring A Lot
Creating lots by subdividing another lot, amalgamating two or more lots, rearranging boundaries, creating an easement to give access from a road, dividing land into parts by agreement.
Material Change Of Use
Start of a new use, re-establishment of a use that was abandoned, or a material increase in the intensity or scale of the use of the premises.
Material change of use applications will need to identify the proposed use. Use definitions can be found in Schedule 1.1 of the CairnsPlan 2016(CairnsPlan 2016).
Covers a range of different activities, such as:
Building, repairing, altering, underpinning (vertical or lateral support), moving or demolishing a building or other structure.
Plumbing Or Drainage Work
Domestic and commercial plumbing and drainage works, including on-site sewerage facilities.
Levels of assessment
The Planning Act 2016 defines levels of assessment for development. The table below provides an explanation of whether or not approval (via the lodgement of a development application) is required for the different levels of assessment.
Level of Assessment
Council Approval Required
All development other than assessable or prohibited development or identified as such in a planning scheme.
No, if the proposed development complies with all of the Acceptable Outcomes from the applicable codes under CairnsPlan 2016.
If accepted development does not comply with one or more of the identified Acceptable Outcomes of the applicable code(s), it becomes code assessable.
Yes, development permit
Will be either:
No, application/request cannot be made for prohibited development (listed under Schedule 10 of the Planning Regulation 2017).
Applicable zoning and overlays
To determine whether approval is required for a proposed development, the parts of CairnsPlan 2016 which apply to the site / property need to be identified.
1. Determine the property's zone
CairnsPlan 2016 divides the city into 'zones' to indicate areas of preferred land use (e.g. community facilities, industry, rural residential, conservation). There are also Local Plans applicable in some areas which cater for specific needs in localised areas.
2. Determine if any overlays apply on the property
Overlays may apply on all or part of the property. Overlays indicate areas where provisions exist to manage natural hazards (e.g. bushfires, flooding), preserve values (e.g. heritage, environmental/biodiversity) and manage the built environment (e.g. infrastructure, airports, transport).