Image Source: Brisbane City Council

Are you adapting or innovating your business to respond to COVID-19 and you are concerned it will contravene planning approval requirements, but you have no time to address this?

Don’t stress, the Qld State government has introduced temporary use licences so you can continue to improvise, adapt and overcome with no risk of compliance issues.

A temporary use licence allows you to make planning related changes to your business during the COVID-19 event without requiring planning approvals or changes to planning approvals.

Instead, a very simple application is made to the State requesting a temporary use licence. The application requires the completion of a form and there is no application fee.  Importantly the application needs to include the reason why the temporary use licence is required in the context of the COVID-19 event.

A temporary use licence will last for the declared period of the event which for COVID-19 is currently 20 June 2020.

Specifically, a temporary use licence will apply to:

  • Changes to condition/s of a development approval for a material change of use is in effect for the premises
  • Changes the existing lawful use of the premises, including for example, increasing the intensity or scale of the existing lawful use, adding a new use or replacing the existing lawful use with a new use
  • Changes to the requirements for an infrastructure designated premise

Examples of changes that could be covered by a temporary use licence include:

  • Increasing production volumes to meet demand
  • Changing hours of operation not already covered by the declaration made by the State allowing 24 hour, 7 days a week operation for shops, warehouses and transport depots for the period of the event
  • Manufacturing products not normally produced at that location, for example the distillation of ethanol for production of hand sanitiser
  • Allowing completely different and alternative uses to temporarily occur, for example, alternative use of short term and student accommodation
  • Increasing the amount of storage space on a site
  • Using carparks for other uses such as storage, click and collect, takeaway collection, etc

The temporary use licence provisions will be a permanent inclusion of the Planning Act and can be used for other declared events in the future.

It is easy to apply for the temporary use licence using the form in this link: download the application form and email to

If you require assistance completing the form or have any other queries about how this provision can be used, feel free to contact head office on 07 5631 8000 and you will be directed to one of our local planners at our Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast or Ipswich offices.

Image Source: The Spirits Business