Notifying the public and how to have your say

It is important to us that you have a say in the development of the Tweed Shire.

Community Engagement and Participation Plan 2019-2024(PDF, 5MB) - requires that adjoining property owners be notified of a Development Application (DA) by way of a letter. This process incurs a Notification fee, which is charged at the lodgement of a Development application.

In addition to the above, some developments are required to be advertised in the local newspaper, The Tweed Link, and be advertised locally by a sign placed on the street frontage of the subject property. This is referred to as Advertised Development and Community Engagement and Participation Plan 2019-2024(PDF, 5MB) defines what development falls into this category. Advertised Development incurs a greater fee than Notification.

It is important to us that you have a say in the development of the Tweed Shire. As a part of the Development Application (DA) process, proposed developments are advertised to the public for comment.

The details of current Development Applications can also be viewed through the DA Tracker or found in the On Exhibition area.

How to have your say!

A submission is the public’s chance to present their opinions, observations, and recommendations about a notified DA. Submissions may be letters, petitions or similar written representations from individuals or groups of people.

When / How / What - all about Submissions

When How What

How long do you have to make a submission?

Applications are advertised for a limited time (typically 2 weeks, and 4 weeks if an integrated development).

Council considers applications as soon as possible as part of its service to local residents and applicants. As a result, submissions must be lodged within 14 days as indicated in the notification letter. Should your submission be lodged after the close of this period it is possible that Council may have determined the application prior to receipt of your submission.

How should a submission be made?

Submissions must be in writing and should relate directly to the work proposed and its possible impact on surrounding property or the locality. Council staff can assist you when viewing plans and specifications and can answer questions on specific technical issues. Staff are not in a position to comment on the merits of the proposal at notification stage nor is it appropriate that they assist you in formulating your objection, should you have one.

Please provide the following information in your submission (if appropriate to the development):
  • Development application number
  • The address of the development
  • Your telephone number

You should only address those issues relevant to the development application. You can use photos or sketches to clarify your concerns.

What happens to your submission?

Council will send you a letter acknowledging the receipt of your submission. Council does not provide a specific response to the matters raised in submissions as these are addressed in the report prepared on the application.

If minor amendments, or amendments made to overcome concerns already raised, are made to the application before it is determined, you may not be re-notified, but your earlier submissions will be considered.

To what extent will Council consider your submission?

The matters which Council may consider are set down under legislation such as the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 and relate to environmental impact. Issues such as moral objection, commercial competition or personal circumstances of an applicant or objector cannot be given weight in Council's assessment.

Local Environmental Plans, Development Control Plans and the Building Code of Australia are matters that must also be considered. These provide controls to assess the proposal. They include issues such as overshadowing, privacy, heritage, urban design and view corridors.

Your comments will be considered in conjunction with Council's legal responsibilities, the interests of the community at large and the reasonable expectation and rights of the applicant. Council will carry out a balance assessment of these interests in the analysis of any application and may vary the applications of its "controls" on merit.

How are applications determined?

Applications for local development can be determined by Council staff under delegated authority, or reported to a Council Meeting.

Assessment reports prepared by staff are reviewed by senior staff before being finalised. Generally, less complex or non-controversial matters are dealt with under delegated authority.

Community access session

Objectors, applicants, or any other interested persons relating to a specific Agenda item - DA or other matters may address the Councillors and Senior Staff through prior appointment, in a forum known as the Committee Access Session. This Session is generally held on the second Tuesday of each month, commencing at 4.30pm.

How do I present at a Community Access Session

Make an appointment

To make an appointment contact us on 02 6670 2400 and a time will be allocated. You will need to leave a contact telephone number and indicate what matter you wish to raise. Where the matter is complex or requires confidentiality, the Mayor/Councillors may approve a booking for a longer time, or may decide it would be better dealt with at a workshop.

Who can speak?

Where a number of people wish to speak on the same matter a spokesperson should make a single presentation.

Addressing Councillors and Senior Staff

You may speak for 5 minutes, although a short extension may be allowed. Councillors may then ask questions. You are not permitted to ask questions of Councillors or Council staff.

Following any questions from Councillors, the General Manager or senior staff may make a comment if appropriate. If you wish to receive a formal response to your address, you should make the request in writing to the General Manager. In most cases a member of staff will contact you the next day.

Presentation of written material

You may ask the Public Officer to distribute any materials such as written statements, drawings or photographs. If you wish to distribute such materials to each Councillor you will need 7 copies and if you wish to include senior staff in the distribution you will need 5 additional copies.

Electronic Information

Please advise the Public Officer when making your booking, that you will have electronic versions of your documentation available for distribution or you will require access to equipment to make your presentation.   The officer will discuss your technology requirements and provide you with the most appropriate method of supplying the information.   We will need notification before 2:00pm on the day of the Community Access session. 

Appeals / Complaints process

Any complaints or allegations regarding the conduct of Councillors, management or staff must be in writing and directed to the General Manager. It is unacceptable for people in their address to Council, or in their responses to questions, to make allegations that any resident, member of Council staff, Councillor or other person has acted improperly with regard to their duties or obligations, or has acted in a way that would be unlawful.

Speaking in this forum does not provide any protection from civil action that could arise if you make defamatory statements or comments.

Your privacy

Will your representations remain confidential?


The Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIP Act) came into operation on 1 July 2000.

Information contained in any submission made to Council in relation to a DA may be “personal information” for the purposes of the PPIP Act.

Details of any submission, including your personal information, may be made available to:

  • Officers within the Council for the purpose of assessing your submission
  • Consultants who may be working for Council
  • The applicant/owner or their appointed representatives
  • People who apply to view Council’s file relating to the application in accordance with Council’s.

Details of any submission may be included in Council Reports. Council Reports are public documents.

Information may be withheld from Council reports where “OBJECTION IN CONFIDENCE” is stated clearly on a submission, but only if such constitutes 'personal information' as defined under the PPIP Act.

However, personal information will be provided in response to a valid application made under the Freedom on Information Act(PDF, 308KB) 1989 (NSW).