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Projects & Planning


Mornington Shire Council, like other councils throughout the State, is responsible for ensuring development that occurs within the local government area is conducted in a manner that meets community expectations and relevant standards.

Ultimately Council’s responsibility in the planning process is to ensure that the community’s quality of life is maintained and improved where possible. To do this, Council relies upon the planning scheme to identify and communicate what is appropriate development, where this may occur, and the type of application required.

The natural environment is a key element of the community’s lifestyle and identity and is a resource that can contribute to the Shire’s economic development. It is therefore important that the Shire’s natural environment and resources, including its biodiversity, ecological processes, landscape and water are protected from negative impacts that may result from development. The management of the Shire’s environment and resources will be cognisant of traditional knowledge and the local community to ensure the continued sustainability of the Mornington Shire.

Native Title

Council is must also ensure any development is undertaken in accordance with the duty of care as required by the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003. It is also important to consider that in 2008, the Federal Court determined Native Title existed in the area which has consequences for the implementation of the planning scheme, in particular in relation to ‘owner’s consent’ for development.

Native Title is held by the Lardil, Yangkaal, Gangalidda and Kaiadilt people with the Gulf Region Aboriginal Corporation the prescribed body corporate. In any case, applicants will be required to work with Native Title holders to gain landowner consent before any application is lodged.

What is a Planning Scheme?

A planning scheme is a legal document prepared by Council under State planning legislation with a specific purpose of guiding and regulating the development of land. A planning scheme comprises a set of rules and supporting maps and policies that manage and guide the way land, buildings and structures can be used and developed within a local government area.

A planning scheme considers development from a shire wide level down to a town, suburb or individual lot level. It is a plan. It is the document that aims to ensure that there is enough residential, industrial, commercial land and that these uses are located in areas that complement each other and reduce potential for conflicts between neighbouring uses.

A Planning Scheme is a living

The Mornington Shire Council Planning Scheme is the first planning scheme for Mornington Shire. It should be seen as a living document that builds upon the existing knowledge, practices, and responsibilities of caring for the country and the planning work that has already been done. This planning scheme reflects current local and State government policy. The real effect of the planning scheme is when new development occurs. As things change, the planning scheme needs to be reviewed and updated to reflect:

  • new development;
  • changes in the amount of land available for
  • development;
  • changes in Council’s planning policy;
  • changes in State and Federal government; and
  • policy.

Fundamentals of a Planning Scheme

When developing in Mornington Shire, the following fundamental issues should be considered and recognised:

  • all development in Mornington Shire concerns the community as change on the islands affects and forms part of the identity of the community.
  • holding tenure over land in the Mornington Shire brings with it the expectation of contributing to the local community.
  • all development must be undertaken in accordance with the duty of care, as required by the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003.

Contact Us

For more information on our Projects and Planning Scheme, contact us today:

Executive Manager Infrastructure and Technical Services
Mornington Shire Council
Email:  david.sechtig@mornington.qld.gov.au
Phone: 07 4745 7832