What’s going on with development at Deebing Creek?

Proposed development at Deebing Creek has been the subject of much attention, debate, accusations and counter-accusations in recent weeks

Much commentary appears to reflect a lack of clarity and understanding about the former Deebing Creek mission site and the separate cemetery site, the history of the sites and the actual intentions of the landowners.

Ipswich City Council has provided the following facts to assist the community in ensuring that views and opinions are expressed in the context of the facts.

Land ownership:

Council does not own the property that includes the former Deebing Creek mission site, nor the Deebing Creek cemetery, and has never owned either site over history.

Like any other freehold property across the city, council does not control the landowner’s ability to retain or sell the property.

Zoning History:

The Deebing Creek property and adjoining properties were initially identified as having development potential for predominantly residential uses in 2001, almost 20 years ago.

Over time, there have been several adjustments to zoning in this area as outlined below:

The Queensland Government declared the Ripley Valley as an urban development area in 2010, and the then Urban Land Development Authority (later replaced by Economic Development Queensland) took over statutory and regulatory control for this part of Ipswich.

This situation still exists, although the state government has delegated the development assessment and relevant administration powers to council.

While council can determine development applications, council has no ability to make or amend the development scheme in the declared areas of the Ripley Valley and Deebing Creek.

In addition, Economic Development Queensland retains powers to make decisions on matters of state interest (this has expressly been excluded from any delegation to council).

Cultural Heritage:

The State Government has primary responsibility for Native Title or Indigenous Cultural Heritage including responsibility for regulating native title issues, and for ensuring that development complies with the cultural heritage act and associated legislation. For more information, see:

Assessment Process:

Council approved the development application submitted by the landowners, Frasers Deebing Heights Pty Limited on 7 August 2018. This approval is for reconfiguring a lot to create up to 267 lots and is explicitly limited to the area pictured below. Further development outside of this area requires additional approvals.

All material associated with the assessment of the current approval is available on PDonline (see application 6241/2017/PDA on

The important issue of Indigenous Cultural Heritage was addressed in this development application by conditioning submission of a report prepared by a suitably qualified professional demonstrating that the recommendations of the submitted heritage impact assessment report are complied with, or are being implemented as part of the development process.

Further, the applicant has been advised to ensure that any development obligations pursuant to the provisions of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003, the Planning Act 2016 and the Planning Regulation 2017 are complied with in respect to the proposed development.

To assist in interpretation, the following is a combined plan of the approved development footprint and the State Government Cultural Heritage Maps:

Key points:

• There is no residential development proposed on the site of the former Deebing Creek mission

• The Deebing Creek mission cemetery is on separate state-owned land and is not part of the development

• There is no development proposed within 50 metres of Deebing Creek top of bank, much more than the land included in the creek line included in the state’s cultural heritage register


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