Publication Classifications


'Documents' is the collective name for all items published on the Planning Portal not categorised as EPIs, Regulations, Acts, Development Control Plans, Contribution Plans, Spatial Datasets or Maps. Examples of documents are: Ministerial orders, regional plans, district plans, guidelines, frequently asked questions, reports, planning circulars, etc.

Development Control Plans and Contribution Plans

A development control plan provides detailed planning and design guidelines to support the planning controls in the Local Environmental Plan.

Section 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, enables local councils or other consent authorities to levy contributions for public amenities and services required as a consequence of development.

EPIs, Regulations and Acts

'Environmental planning instruments' (EPIs) is the collective name for Local Environmental Plans (LEPs), State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs), and Regional Environmental Plans (REPs). The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation are included in this section. The provisions of EPIs and the Regulation and Act are legally binding on both government and developers.

Spatial Datasets

'Spatial datasets' encompasses electronic spatial data provided to the Secretary by councils or other planning bodies related to instruments, plans or other documents. Spatial data provided to the Department is in one of the following file formats: ESRI Shapefile (*.shp), ESRI File Geodatabase (*.gdb), MapInfo TAB (*.tab), or MapInfo Interchange Format (*.mif).


'Maps' encompasses all non-spatial maps. Maps should be simple, clear and convey information efficiently. Map colours and overlays must be legible to the user. It is expected that planning information displayed through digital systems or methods would implement the same symbology standards as those for hardcopy maps. It is important to note that the principal purpose of maps is to clearly communicate legal planning information.

Find a Publication