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Useful practice hints

Planning and Environment Court - civil

Adjournment of Appeals listed for Review

The ADR Registrar only has power to adjourn, "on the papers" appeals listed for Review in respect of files currently in the Brisbane Registry. Review days are only Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  The Registrar cannot adjourn those listed for Pre-Callover Review, or if there have been three adjournments on the papers since the last Court appearance, as the Court insists the parties appear at that Review.

Rules 9 and 10 of Practice Direction 2 of 2011 set out how an application is to be made and the information required. Please note the cut-off time for receipt of an application is 1:00pm on the day before it is listed. Requests received later than this may not be dealt with as the Registrar may be absent from the office conducting a mediation. Where possible, the Registrar will endeavour to process requests made after 1:00pm.

A suggested proforma of the request which will assist with the speed of a decision is:
cc:the Representative of each Active Party
File Number: 
Name of active parties: 
Reason for the request: 
Whether the review is a pre-callover review or not 
The number of times, since the last appearance before the Court, the review date has been adjourned on the papers by the ADR Registrar 

If the request is communicated by a party on behalf of the active parties, it must:

    1. state that all active parties join in the request; and
    2. include a copy of written evidence of the consent of all other active parties.

It is helpful if all the above information is included within the body of the email and not included in an attachment.

If the request is granted, the Registrar will REPLY to ALL.

As from 11/2/2011 Reviews for Wednesday and Thursday are limited to a maximum of 15. There is a possibility that the matter will be adjourned to another date.

Appointments for a Without Prejudice Conference, Case Management Conference or Joint Experts Meeting to be chaired by the ADR Registrar

The Registrar’s mediation calendar is now available for perusal online and is regularly updated during the day as bookings are made (see link below).  Bookings are allocated on a first come first served basis.

Entries shown in red/pink are confirmed and those in blue are tentative and will be held until the date shown, after which the date may be regarded as available. An entry in green means that time is not available.

Use of the calendar allows parties to ascertain the Registrar’s availability online and to liaise with other parties to arrange a suitable date.

Generally there are two conferences a day starting at 9:30am and 2:30pm but if a matter is likely to be short it may be possible to fit a conference in from 11:30am.

Conferences may be booked for longer or shorter periods if necessary. Conference start times may be varied by arrangement.

The Registrar will travel to regional centres as required.

To make a booking for a conference a Mediation booking request in the following format is to be sent:




Cc:  All Active Parties


MATTER NAME AND NUMBER...........................................................................

DATE TIME AND PLACE REQUESTED..............................................................

ESTIMATED TIME OF CONFERENCE..................................


We the undersigned certify

  1. all parties and other attendees have confirmed their availability for this date; and
  2. where expert reports are to be tabled ,that each expert has confirmed by means of a “conduct report” [see r27[6] ] their reports[s] WILL be completed by at least 5 days BEFORE the proposed date.


SIGNED by party seeking booking


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Mediation brief

To keep costs payable by the parties to a minimum, the Registrar does not require voluminous briefs and requests briefs be kept to the barest minimum, sufficient only to identify the issues in dispute. A brief containing only relevant documents is to be provided to the Registrar at least two working days before the conference. 

The Registrar does not require details of the legal aspects of what has preceded the conference such as preliminary points of law, proof of compliance with the Sustainable Planning Act regarding notification and service etc.

Useful inclusions are:

  • Executive summary of the nature of the proceedings, the proposed development and the issues in dispute
  • Notice of Appeal
  • Copy of the ADR order
  • A location plan
  • Plan of the proposal and, only if relevant elevations, especially if the application involves a multi-storey building
  • Council officers report to Council (where there are no experts' reports)
  • Submissions of those who are a party to the appeal
  • Relevant reports supporting the application (where there are no experts' reports)
  • Experts' reports (if any)
  • Photos (where likely to be helpful to understand the issues)

Do not include:

  • A full copy of the planning scheme – if anything only include those parts of the plan directly relevant to the disputed issues and then only if there is no Joint Planning Report
  • The original SPA application forms
  • The statutory attachments to the decision notice
  • Advertising and associated documents (the appeal is usually well past the point where these are relevant)
  • Copies of Notices setting out issues in dispute, requests for and provision of particulars
  • List of documents and/or discovered documents
  • Floor plans for each storey of a multi-storey building
  • submissions of non-parties
  • Other orders
  • Correspondence between the parties unless containing proposals for resolution

Briefs should be delivered to the Registrar, Level 10, QEII Courts of Law Complex, 415 George Street, Brisbane.

Staff and Couriers should be instructed not to put briefs through the postal system as this delays delivery due to the Government security scanning requirements prior to delivery.

Changing approvals – Section 370 Sustainable Planning Act

This section deals with changing approvals. Of relevance, Sec 370 provides for the request to be made to the responsible entity (the P&E Court) on its form. The P&E form to be used is the Originating Application. Form PEC2.

Notice under Sec 376 of Sustainable Planning Act PD 3 of 2010

Under Section 376, the P&E Court as responsible entity is required to give a notice to the persons set out in subsection (1) where it approves a change to a previous Court approved development. The applicant for change should therefore provide the Registry with a Notice which complies with Section 376(2) (note the requirement to attach a marked-up copy of the original Court order). The Registry should be provided with one copy for each person to be notified, plus one additional for the file. The Notice should not be called a 'draft'. It can be handed up with the order or delivered to the Registry.

Perfection of orders

The Registry no longer requires orders to be filed, i.e. signed and sealed unless requested by a party. Refer r661 UCPR.

Accordingly, one copy only of a proposed draft order should be handed to the presiding judge who will, if he agrees, place his initials on it, and "order as per draft" (OAPD), or if he amends it, "order as per amended draft" (OAPAD), and that document will be placed on the file and scanned to the Courts eSearch facility. No longer will the Registry require additional copies to be supplied, and unless specifically requested none will be signed or sealed.

It is expected the only occasions when a sealed order will be required are:

  1. Where the order is FINAL, and in that case, two copies may be handed to the presiding judge. The OAPD initialled by the Judge will become the original and will be signed and sealed. The second copy will be signed and sealed and delivered to the party;
  2. Where the OAPAD is not legible; or
  3. A party needs to use the order for enforcement purposes.

In the latter two cases, the additional copy can be given to the Registry or e-mailed to the List Manager, who will print, sign and seal, and put it out for collection. When the order is only endorsed on the file by the Associate (ie there is no draft) a party may, if it desires, obtain a copy of that order (by searching the file), and present a typed version to the Registry for signing and sealing. It may be e-mailed to the List Manager.

Final orders containing conditions packages

A new Practice Direction is imminent which will provide that where two or more copies of a Final Order containing a conditions package are tendered for filing, the order must contain, or be accompanied by a statement that each copy of the conditions package is identical and be signed by the party (or its lawyer or agent) having carriage of the order.

Each page of a conditions package must be numbered sequentially, and the order must make reference to those page numbers.

Pending the new Practice Direction, it is requested parties commence to adopt the above practices.

Appearances by telephone

The Court is generally willing to permit out of town lawyers and/or agents/parties to appear on Reviews by telephone. The Courtroom has a conference call facility for this purpose.

If an appearance by phone is required, it must first be arranged with the Associate no later than the day before the Review so appropriate bookings can be made.

On the day of the Review, please call 1800 1 73224 to connect to the teleconference for the Planning and Environment Court.

You will be welcomed by a recorded voice announcement and prompted to enter a PIN. Enter the number (as provided by the Associate), followed by the hash (#) key.  You will be advised that the PIN has been confirmed, and will then be joined into the conference. You will hear the music until the Associate calls in from the courtroom.

Please call at 9:10am so that you are on the line ready for when Court resumes at 9:15am (or five minutes before the specified time of review).

You will hear the Judge come into the courtroom and call the list. The Judge is likely to call your matter first as there is a phone appearance. Please announce your appearance once he/she calls your matter.

The PIN will be given to you by the Associate when you make the request. Ideally, requests should be made by email. A list of the email addresses for each Associate of the Planning and Environment Judges in Brisbane and their phone numbers are as follows:

Associate to Judge Robin QC32479100
Associate to Judge Rackemann32474770
Associate to Judge Griffin SC32474446
Associate to Judge Rafter SC32474275
Associate to Judge Martin SC32479116
Associate to Judge Searles32474293
Associate to Judge Andrews SC32474437
Associate to Judge Dorney QC32474451
Associate to Judge Jones32277599
Associate to Judge Reid32277778

September 2016
  • Land Court wins award
Queensland Land Court Reports
  • Volume 35 - Now available
Last reviewed
24 August 2015
Last updated
20 January 2016

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