Making a Public Submission for a Planning Application


Information about the public notification process for an application, and lodging a submission regarding an application.

What is public notification?

Public notification is a part of the development assessment process that is only applicable to Impact Assessable Applications, an Application for a Variation Request and a Change Application (for an Other Change).

The purpose of public notification is for the community and relevant stakeholders to be informed of the proposal and to provide an opportunity for the public to make submissions that must be taken into account by Council before the development application is decided.

The Planning Act 2016 also establishes the minimum period public notification must be carried out.  During the notification period the public is able to make a submission regarding the application.  The DA Rules (Part 4) sets out the ways in which public notification must be conducted by the applicant.

Public notification is a part of the development assessment process that must be undertaken by the applicant, not Council.  However, Council's Planning Department will provide you with the necessary guidance to ensure that you have all the required information and materials to undertake public notification in accordance with the DA Rules and Planning Act 2016.

For further information on the requirements of public notification, please refer to the Public Notification of Development Applications and Change Applications Fact Sheet which can be accessed on the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning website via the link below: 

Public Notification of Development Applications and Change Applications Fact Sheet  

Making a submission

A submission is a written comment made by a member of the public to Council about a development application that has been submitted to Council for assessment.  A submission can be in support of or in objection to all or part of the development application. 

Council assesses a development application against the Western Downs Planning Scheme 2017 incorporating Amendment 1 and it is important that the grounds of submission focus on planning issues, such as, but not limited to hours of operation sought by the development, potential traffic impacts of the development or number of car parking spaces proposed. 

When can I lodge a submission?

Development applications subject to public notification have a Comment Period in which properly made submissions can be lodged for the application.  A submission lodged before or after the Comment Period of the public notification will not have appeal rights.  

To start the Public Notification Period, the applicant is required to:

  • place an advertisement once in the local newspaper in the locality that the development is located;
  • send a letter to all adjoining land owners for the property subject to the application;  and
  • place a sign or signs on the property.    

The dates for the Comment Period of the public notification will be printed on the public notification sign which will be placed on the property for the duration of the public notification Comment Period.  The Comment Period dates will also be provided in the letter sent to the adjoining land owner/s and also in the newspaper advertisement.

The Comment Period for the public notification for an application will be either 15 business days or 30 business days depending on the type of application. 

How do I find out about a development application?

Before lodging your submission, you need to ensure that you are informed about the development to ensure that the grounds included within your submission are both relevant and accurate.

Development applications submitted to Council can be accessed by using Council's Development.i tool which allows you to electronically access copies of the application lodged with Council. 

Development. i can be accessed via the link below:

Development i

Alternatively, if you do not have access to a computer, you may request a copy of the application from the Planning Department via email or visit a Council Office

How do I make a submission?

The Assessment Manager is able to consider all submissions received before the application is decided.  However, submitters of "properly made" submissions only, can appeal against Council's decision through the Planning and Environment Court once the application has been decided.

In order for a submission to be a "properly made" submission under the Planning Act 2016, the submission must:

  • be lodged with Council as the Assessment Manager, or Responsible Entity (ie  for a Change Application);
  • be received before the end of the last day of the Comment Period for an application;
  • be made electronically via email or in writing, and signed by each person making the submission;
  • state the name and residential address of the person or persons lodging the submission;  and
  • state the grounds, facts and circumstances relied on to support the grounds of the submission.

Council requests that you also reference the Application Number, which is displayed on the public notification material, within your submission, to ensure that the submission quickly reaches the relevant Planning Officer assessing the application. Submissions can be lodged with Council by:

Post:   Western Downs Regional Council

             PO Box 551

            DALBY  QLD  4405


For additional guidance regarding lodging a submission, please refer to the Having Your Say On A Development Application Fact Sheet which can be accessed on the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Local Government and Planning via the link below: 

Having Your Say On A Development Approval  

Confidentiality of your submission

Under the Planning Act 2016, submissions are not  confidential and are available for the public to view, including the names, contact details and addresses of submitters.  All submissions received by Council will be published on Council's Development.i Tool which can be accessed through Council's website. 

What happens once Council decides the application?

Submitters (for Properly Made and Not Properly Made submissions) for a development application, will receive a copy of Council's Decision Notice once the applicant's appeal period has concluded.

If the submission is a properly made submission and Council has approved the application, the submitter will have the right to appeal Council's decision in the Planning and Environment Court.  If Council has decided to refuse the application, submitters will be notified of Council's decision after the decision has been made and will receive a copy of the Decision Notice refusing the application.