Coastal development works

You will need approval from us if you are proposing development work on tidal land.

Works on tidal land include the construction or demolition of structures such as:

  • jetties
  • pontoons
  • revetment walls
  • boat ramps
  • navigation channels.

What are tidal works?

You must have operational works development approval for tidal works before construction begins.

Tidal works includes:

  • works in, on or above land under tidal water, or land that will be or may be under tidal water because of development on or near the land
  • works that are an integral part of the works mentioned in the above point (the principal works) and are carried out in, on or above land next to the land in, on or above which the principal works are carried out
  • works designed to be exposed to tidal water because of shoreline fluctuations
  • work designed to prevent the erosion of land by the sea (whether or not within the ebb and flow of the tide at spring tides)
  • works within the boundaries of a canal, whether above or below the high-water mark.

For the full definition of tidal works please review the definition from the Coastal Protection and Management Regulation 1995.

Tidal works include, but are not limited to, the construction or demolition of the following works:

  • pontoon, jetty, boat ramp
  • revetment wall, dredging
  • bridge, powerline, pipeline
  • dock, slip, wharf
  • rock armour, seawall, groyne.

Tidal water means:

  • the sea and any part of a harbour or watercourse ordinarily within the ebb and flow of the tide at spring tides
  • the water downstream from a downstream limit declared under the Water Act 2000.

Pontoons & jetties

Pontoons and jetties are only allowed at waterfront properties where there is what is called a 'sufficient waterway allocation area'.

The waterway allocation area for a property will depend on factors including:

  • the angle of the properties side boundaries
  • waterway frontage length
  • the proximity to any existing approved structures.

Properties that cannot have a pontoon or jetty, may be able to have a boat ramp.

Pontoons and jetties can extend out to the quay line. The quay line offset will vary in different canals and waterways. To confirm the quay line offset for a specific property, contact Gold Coast Waterways Authority.

Maximum vessel size for a pontoon

The maximum vessel size is specified on the development approval or the approved plans for the pontoon.

Maximum vessel size for an address

The maximum vessel size will depend on the waterway allocation area for the address and navigational requirements. To confirm the maximum vessel sizes for a specific address, contact Gold Coast Waterway Authority.

Installing a second-hand pontoon

A tidal works approval is still required to install a second-hand pontoon. You must supply an engineering certificate confirming the pontoon is structurally sound with your tidal works application.

Operational work in a coastal management district

A development application for operational works is required for any of the following works carried out completely or partly within a State government coastal management district:

  • interfering with quarry material, as defined under the Coastal Act, on State government owned coastal land above high-water mark
  • disposing of dredge spoil, or other solid waste material, in tidal water
  • constructing an artificial waterway
  • removing or interfering with coastal dunes on land other than State coastal land, that is in an erosion-prone area.

The assessment manager for these application types can be the State government or Council depending on the proposed development. For more information, refer to the Planning Regulation 2017, Schedule 10, Part 17.

Tidal works within integrated resorts & Hope Island flood mitigation channel

Where the land is private land inundated with tidal water and is within an integrated resort, the application and assessment processes are:

Within and bounding Sanctuary Cove Resort

Where within the bounds of the Sanctuary Cove Resort area, an application to Council is not required per the Sanctuary Cove Resorts Act 1985 (SCRA).

Where an application is proposed facing the Coomera River an application for tidal works is required.

Your application for tidal works will be assessed by both Council and the State government.

Application process

  • Lodge an application for tidal works with Council.
  • Council refers the application to the State government.
  • The State government decides the application under section 104 of the Sanctuary Cove Resort Act 1985.
  • At the same time, Council assesses the application under the Planning Act 2016.
  • The State government issues a decision notice to Council.
  • Council issues a decision notice for the tidal works application to the applicant, accompanied by the State government decision notice.

Within and bounding Hope Island Resort

Within the bounds of the Hope Island Resort, an application is not required under the Integrated Resort Development Act 1987 (IRDA). To build a structure such as a pontoon that extends over the Coomera River, lodge a tidal works application with Council.

Within and bounding Hope Island flood mitigation channel

To build a structure such as a pontoon that extends over Council-owned inundated land, you will need to have consent from Council's property unit and then lodge a tidal works application with us. Contact our Property Unit on 07 5581 6763.

Single pontoons are only permitted for lots in Palladium Boulevarde and lots that existed before the channel was built.

In all other cases, you will need a combined application consisting of:

Bounding Oyster Cove Resort and Monterey Keys Estate

To build a structure such as a pontoon on the tidal waters of Saltwater Creek, lodge a tidal works application with Council.

Works in the internal waterways of Oyster Cove Resort and Monterey Keys Estate do not require a tidal works approval as this internal water is non-tidal due to the lock system.

Maintenance on lawful works

Property owners are legally required to ensure that any tidal works structures adjacent to their freehold land are maintained in a safe condition.

Some maintenance work can be undertaken on existing approved tidal works structures without a new approval.

Maintenance work on a lawful structure means maintaining a lawful work in accordance with the development approval or original construction details.

Maintenance work does not include replacing or rebuilding greater than 20% of the approved structure within a 12-month period.

Replacing or rebuilding greater than 20% of the approved structure within a 12-month period will require a new development approval unless special circumstances exist. This requirement accounts for changes in design standards or environmental criteria that may not have been considered when the approvals were originally assessed.

Where the maintenance works do not comply with maintenance on lawful structure, a new approval for tidal works is required. For more information, refer to State government guideline Excluded work (Coastal)

How to apply

Use one of the options below to submit a Coastal development works application. Fees apply. Refer to our Register of fees & charges for details.

Online

Step 1.Gather your documents

You will need to submit the following information with your application:

  • a fully completed State government DA Form 1
  • prepare a set of Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) certified drawings of the structure. The plan set should include: locality plan, site plan, notes page, elevation, structural details,
    foundation details etc
  • where the application is outside of a canal (i.e. within a natural waterway), consent is required from the owner of the waterway. Typically, the State government is the owner of the waterway so owner's consent must be supplied from the State
  • payment of our assessment fee.

Once construction is complete, you must provide final certification from an RPEQ.

Step 2.Complete and submit our online form

Apply online

In person

Step 1.Gather your documents

You will need to submit the following information with your application:

  • a fully completed State government DA Form 1
  • prepare a set of Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) certified drawings of the structure. The plan set should include: locality plan, site plan, notes page, elevation, structural details,
    foundation details etc
  • where the application is outside of a canal (i.e. within a natural waterway), consent is required from the owner of the waterway. Typically, the State government is the owner of the waterway so owner's consent must be supplied from the State
  • payment of our assessment fee.

Once construction is complete, you must provide final certification from an RPEQ.

Step 2.Complete the application form

Application for operational works(PDF, 678KB)

Step 3.Visit one of our customer service centres

Submit your application and pay at one of our customer service centres Monday to Friday between 8.15am and 4.30pm.

By mail

Step 1.Gather your documents

You will need to submit the following information with your application:

  • a fully completed State government DA Form 1
  • prepare a set of Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) certified drawings of the structure. The plan set should include: locality plan, site plan, notes page, elevation, structural details,
    foundation details etc
  • where the application is outside of a canal (i.e. within a natural waterway), consent is required from the owner of the waterway. Typically, the State government is the owner of the waterway so owner's consent must be supplied from the State
  • payment of our assessment fee.

Once construction is complete, you must provide final certification from an RPEQ.

Step 2.Complete the application form

Application for operational works(PDF, 678KB)

Step 3.Send us your completed application form and payment

Post to:

Planning Assessment, City Development
Economy Planning & Environment
PO Box 5042
Gold Coast MC QLD 9726