Fast-Tracking your Development Application (DA) through Brisbane RiskSMART

What is better than getting your development approval in 1 month? Getting your DA in 2 weeks (10 business days).

Brisbane City Council has offered their RiskSMART fast-track program for a number of years with Urban Planners Queensland being listed as an accredited consultancy. Many years ago your application would have received a large discount on Council fees and approval issued in 5 business days, however this became untenable. As of 2021, Brisbane City Council re-vamped their RiskSMART offering after consultations with industry professionals and internal reviews.

Three key changes made to RiskSMART in 2021 included:

  • no longer is there a need for accreditation
  • you must use Council’s report template for lodgement
  • there is no discount on Council fees


For your development application to qualify for the fast-track, post-2021 assessment process it must:

  • be low risk
  • comply with the eligible development type criteria
  • be decision-ready
  • be City Plan 2014 compliant
  • be well-made


In other words:

  • Your development must be a specific type of development that Council can assess without risk of a neighbour complaint
  • Your development application package must be 100% complete and correct in accordance with State and Local planning requirements
  • Your design and project needs to clearly comply with the acceptable outcomes of the relevant City Plan 2014 codes
  • The development must not cause any waves by being compliant and well documented


As with anything there are pros and cons to RiskSMART. Whilst there is definitely appeal in a quick development approval, the fast-track process is not the best option for a number of projects. Primarily, the ability to negotiate and request Performance Outcomes over Acceptable Outcomes may result in a better product or yield.



This post was written on 18 January 2022 by Urban Planners Queensland’s managing director Jessica Reynolds.