To help reduce risks to the public, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland advises planning authorities on where hazardous chemical facilities and other significant chemical stores can be located.
Land use planning requires an understanding of the hazards and risks to the surrounding land uses, which are posed by a potentially hazardous development.
Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) have a duty to eliminate or reduce, so far as is reasonably practicable, risk to public safety from hazardous chemicals. Appropriately locating and designing a facility can significantly reduce the risks to community.
Role of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) advises planning authorities on the appropriate location of hazardous chemical facilities and other significant chemical stores to help reduce risk to the public. WHSQ is a technical referral agency under the Planning Act 2016 for hazardous chemical facilities (HCF), and advises planning authorities on appropriate conditions (if any), and acts to enforce those conditions.
Development applications for possible major hazard facilities
A HCF is the use of a premises for a facility at which a prescribed hazardous chemical is present or likely to be present in a quantity that exceeds 10 per cent of the chemical's threshold quantity under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011, Schedule 15. This is the same criteria used to determine a major hazard facility, under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
WHSQ's approach to the development of HCFs is to ensure:
- risks are identified and treated in the design phase of the development so that the residual risk is appropriate (proportionate) to the sensitivity of the surrounding land use and zones
- the design and siting of the hazardous chemical facility provides adequate protection from external hazards (e.g. flooding, landslide and threats posed by other facilities).
The development will be assessed against the criteria in the Planning guideline State code 21 (PDF, 0.33 MB) . Applicants should refer to the Planning guideline State code 21 and seek a pre-lodgement meeting.
State planning policy and hazardous chemicals
The state sets out the state and regional planning matters to be preserved and protected in each council area planning scheme.
The two tools used to achieve this outcome are the State Planning Policy (SPP) and regional plans.
Each council translates the state interests into their local context when preparing their planning schemes.
The State Planning Policy in part E: Planning for safety and resilience to hazards outlines the interests of the state that must be considered in every planning scheme in Queensland.