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Tambourine Mountain Progress Association Inc v Scenic Rim Regional Council [2017] QPEC 19


The Scenic Rim Regional Council (the respondent) approved an application for material changes to a development at 98-196 Guanaba Road, Tambourine Mountain. The development is of an outdoor recreation facility. It includes outdoor sports, recreation and entertainment facilities, camping grounds, and a reception centre. There were a number of proposed design changes of which four were contentious. Those were:

  1. Reduction in the number of camping sites;
  2. Removal of vehicular access to the camping sites;
  3. Restriction of campers to those who were attending mountain bike clinics;
  4. Removal of a proposed caretaker, replaced with a clinic coach that would camp with the attendees.

The appellant alleged that the changes would change the nature of the development in a substantial way. Of particular concern to the appellant were the demographics that would allegedly be attracted by a predominantly mountain-bike directed facility.

Other proposed activities would no longer be part of the development application, and recreational activities at the site would be restricted to the mountain biking activities only.


Were the four changes minor changes to the development application for the purposes of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (Qld), s350.


Following the decision in King of Gifts (Qld) Pty Ltd & Anor v Redland City Council & Anor [2017] QPEC 17, the relevant test is whether the changes will mean the development is substantially different, rather than whether the development will be substantially different in some certain aspects.

Because the application only resulted in a reduction in the intensity of the use of the sight, rather than a completely different use, the changes were minor changes to the application. Furthermore, there was no evidence to suggest that a shift in focus to a mountain-biking only facility would cause substantially more disruption, or be inclined to invite a ‘certain type’ of clientele


Developments are sometimes contentious issues for some parties, however effective challenges to the alteration of a development will depend on the changes being evidenced as substantial rather than merely undesirable.