Exemption Certificates

​Exemption certificates may be given by local government or state government (as assessment managers) in special circumstances. Exemption certificates release the owner of the premises from the need to get planning approval for certain assessable development. The certificates are not intended for large-scale or complex developments or to rectify development that was undertaken without a permit. It is noted that the applicant is obliged to comply with all other relevant requirements, e.g. obtain building and plumbing approvals.

An exemption certificate attaches to the premises and benefits the owner, subsequent owner/s and any occupiers of the premises. There is no provision for a person to appeal a decision to give or not to give an exemption certificate.

When exemption certificates may be given

Section 46(3)(b) of the Planning Act 2016 prescribes three (3) circumstances in which an exemption certificate may be given. At least one circumstance must apply to the development, but more than one may apply.


The effects of the development would be minor or inconsequential, considering the circumstances under which the development was categorised as assessable development. In this circumstance, 'minor or inconsequential' should be read in the ordinary meaning of these terms.


A residential shed is proposed on part of the property which is mapped as an Area of Moderate Ecological Significance under the Biodiversity Overlay. However, no clearing is required or proposed to accommodate the shed.


The development was categorised as assessable development only because of particular circumstances that no longer apply. Under this provision, an exemption certificate cannot be given on the basis of general 'changed circumstances', but only if the sole ground upon which the development was assessable in the first place no longer exists.


An area is mapped as being in the Flood Investigation Area of the Temporary Local Planning Instrument for Flood Regulation. A recent subdivision was completed in this area. As a result of the works the site conditions have changed and the new individual lots are no longer subject to potential flooding.


The development was categorised as assessable development because of an error. Under this provision, there must be a clear in the categorising instrument such as a local planning scheme in relation to the assessable development.


A property was mapped as Steep and Unstable Land with slopes of 15% or greater. A Registered Engineer Professional Queensland has certified that the slope of the property is less than 15%.

Currency period of an exemption certificate

An exemption certificate has effect for two (2) years or a later period as stated in the certificate, and the development must be completed within this time.

An assessment manager may give a further exemption certificate for the same development before or after the expiry of an exemption certificate for the same development.

Application Process

To request an Exemption Certificate, please lodge an application with Council using the Application for Exemption Certificate form, and all other relevant information as specified in the application form. This application is free of charge.

The application can be lodged:

  • Electronically by emailing to mailbox@lvrc.qld.gov.au; or
  • By post to Lockyer Valley Regional Council, PO Box 82, GATTON QLD 4343; or
  • In person at one of the reception counters of Lockyer Valley Regional Council:-
  • Gatton Administration Building, 26 Railway Street, GATTON QLD 4343; or
  • Laidley Library & Customer Service, 9 Spicer Street, LAIDLEY QLD 4341

Tracking an Application

Online s​ervices are available for tracking the status of an application currently under assessment or applications having been decided in recent years. Exemption certificates, if given, will be available for inspection on the Lockyer Valley Regional Council website.

Page reviewed: 26 Aug 2020 5:03pm