New dams and raising existing dams

For new dams or modifications to existing dams that are regarded as referable dams under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008, these works are considered assessable development under the Planning Act 2016.

Development permit

Under the Planning Act, a development permit is required to construct or modify a dam if:

Before a development application is submitted for approval under the Planning Act 2016, a failure impact assessment must be submitted to the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water.

The dam owner must ensure the failure impact assessment is completed and accepted by the department before they apply for approval to construct.

The State Assessment and Referral Agency provides a single lodgement and assessment point for development applications that are matters of interest to Queensland. The process used to assess and decide developments is set out in the State Development Assessment Provisions.

Guidance on referable dams planning (PDF, 300KB) has been developed to:

  • help in the preparation of development applications for referable dams
  • help meet performance outcomes under State code 20: Referable Dams of the State Development Assessment Provisions.

You may be required to meet additional statutory requirements under the Planning Act 2016 (and other legislation) for further aspects of the development.

Contact us

Email for more information about referable dams.


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General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)