Fisheries development approvals and accepted development

Before you begin

Contact the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) to discuss your proposal and the approvals required.

Under the Planning Act 2016 and the Fisheries Act 1994 (Qld), you must have the correct authorisation prior to undertaking fisheries-related development. Failure to comply could lead to prosecution under this legislation.

Operational works

  • Removal, destruction or damage of marine plants —trimming, pruning, burning, removing or damaging any marine plants
  • Constructing or raising a waterway barrier—temporary and permanent waterway barriers, including weirs, dams, culverts and causeways
  • Works in a declared fish habitat area (FHA)—any works completely or partly within an FHA.

Material change of use

  • Aquaculture of all sizes, in tidal, marine or freshwater
  • Non-fisheries activities involving the removal, destruction or damage of marine plants.

Accepted development requirements

Certain works do not require development approval if they can meet the accepted development requirements for:

Apply for development approval

If your proposed development doesn’t meet the accepted development requirements, it is an assessable development.

You must apply for development approval through SARA.

You can request a pre-lodgement meeting or advice through SARA to discuss your application and understand what you need to do.

Your development must comply with the codes under the State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP).

State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP) guidelines

The SDAP guidelines outline how:

  • your proposed development is assessed
  • to prepare your development application.


Change a development approval

If you are an aquaculture farmer and your property changes ownership or is leased, you need to update your development approval. Complete the change contact details for aquaculture development approval form.

For any other changes to your development approval, contact SARA.