How planning works in the NT

The Northern Territory (NT) planning system is different compared to other states and territories.

Planning responsibility sits at the NT government level, rather than local government.

The system is set up through the Planning Act 1999 and Planning Regulations 2000, which explains:

  • how planning rules are made and changed
  • who makes planning decisions
  • what the penalties are for breaking planning rules.

The NT has one ‘rule book’ - the NT Planning Scheme 2020 - which applies to the whole of the NT, except for Jabiru.

Jabiru has its own rule book - the Jabiru Town Plan.

How planning happens

Before any planning decisions are made, the government has to consider a range of community needs.

For example, they may need to consider:

  • how the population will grow
  • what infrastructure and services will be needed
  • what natural hazards may affect the area
  • what special areas need protection.

Once these needs are understood, the government starts planning and consultation with various stakeholders.

Find out about steps in the plan-making process.


Last updated: 31 July 2020

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