Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner sparked controversy in the local West End and South Brisbane communities last month when he announced the Kurilpa precinct would become Brisbane’s most sustainable community. His plan was for a Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) to allow CBD height for developments on our side of the city, up to 270 metres, equal to the tallest buildings in Brisbane, on the condition the buildings complied with national green building standards.

Cr Schrinner argued that lifting height restrictions and incentivising developers would create new residential housing that would contribute to tackling the city’s current housing crisis.

What is a TLPI?

A Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) is a statutory instrument created under the provisions of the Planning Act 2016. It may suspend or otherwise affect the operation of another planning instrument, i.e., the South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan, for up to two years from its effective date.

The Brisbane City Council lodged its TLPI application with the State Government on 7 June. It now sits with the Minister for Planning, Deputy Premier Steven Miles. Dr Miles must assess the TLPI from the perspective of state interests. It is open to him to accept or refuse the proposal.

The State Government has already indicated through the Housing Minister, Meaghan Scanlon, that it has some concerns with the TLPI. Minister Scanlon warned the government will block the Kurilpa Precinct proposal if it fails to include adequate social and affordable housing.

Many expect a decision from the Minister within days.

What are the criteria for assessing the TLPI?

The Planning Act 2016 specifies three criteria that must be met for a TLPI to be accepted by the Planning Minister.

(a) there is significant risk of serious adverse cultural, economic, environmental, or social conditions happening in the local government area; and

(b) the delay involved in using the process in sections 18 to 22 to make or amend another local planning instrument would increase the risk; and

(c) the making of the TLPI would not adversely affect State interests.

A Spokesperson for the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning said the Department is currently undertaking a state interest review of the TLPI for the consideration of the Planning Minister.

“All the criteria for a TLPI under the Planning Act need to be met for the TLPI to be approved,” the Department spokesperson said.


Residents and community groups opposing the TLPI argue that it does not meet the three criteria for the following reasons.

  • There is no significant risk of an urgent or economic threat in the Kurilpa/South Brisbane local government area. The current Local Area Plan already meets the population growth needs of the area.
  • The Brisbane City Council’s case to address the affordable housing crisis is poorly made. The TLPI’s provision for affordable housing at 10 per cent less than market rates is insufficient and not mandatory. There are no plans to ensure a diversity of social and affordable housing in future developments.
  • The rationale for the TLPI suggesting that delays to changes in the planning scheme will add to affordable housing risks lacks evidence.
  • The TLPI will adversely affect State interests. The proposed overdevelopment in the area, accommodating over 120,000 extra people, lacks infrastructure support and is eight times denser than Manhattan. The TLPI’s plan for 48,000 additional dwellings is not justified by the area’s needs and lacks provisions for necessary infrastructure such as schools, open space, and traffic management.
  • The height and density limits in the TLPI are inconsistent with the Queensland government’s growth goals. Additionally, building intense development in flood-prone areas poses environmental and social risks, and the TLPI does not address the management of stormwater and flood impacts from the additional growth.

Community groups also argue that if accepted by the State Government, this will be the first of many similar TLPIs employed by Council to create unacceptable height and density in suburbs across Brisbane, such as Woolloongabba, Kangaroo Point, Newstead, Albion, Herston, Spring Hill, Milton, and Toowong.


Kurilpa residents reject ninety storey precinct.

Solving Brisbane’s housing crisis.