Exemption certificates can be issued for development under either the Planning Act 2016, the Queensland Heritage Act 1992, or the Economic Development Act 2012. You need to know under which legislation you are applying for an exemption certificate. If you are unsure, please do not hesitate to contact our Planning Section to confirm, on 13 48 10.


Once an exemption certificate has been lodged with council for assessment, please be aware that Council will not grant a refund or partial refund of the application fee if the request is assessed and subsequently not supported. As such, Council strongly recommends obtaining pre-lodgement advice from council officers before lodging an application for an exemption certificate.

Further information required

After your application is submitted, Council may issue a “Further Advice” letter requesting more information or details be provided in order for a decision to be made regarding the exemption certificate. 


Officers will endeavour to issue exemption certificates within 10 business days from the date of lodgement (subject to the need to issue a Further Advice letter, if required).


A refusal from Council to issue an exemption certificate does not mean the proposed development is not supported in nature. A refusal means that the request has not met the relevant exemption requirements of the applicable Act, and therefore the proposal must be lodged as an application for assessable development against the Townsville City Plan.

Application fee

Your application will not be processed for assessment until the application fee has been paid. Failure to pay the application fee within 24 hours of lodging the request may result in the application lapsing and being returned to you. Please contact the Planning and Development Section on 4417 5325 as soon as possible to arrange payment of your application fee.

For the 2022-2023 financial year, the application fee is $508 (Planning Act/Economic Development Act). Information on fees can be found on the Planning and Development Schedule of Fees and Charges on Council's website.

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