The Cairns South State Development Area (SDA) was established to provide land for regionally significant industrial development. The SDA will facilitate economic growth and diversification of the Cairns economy as well as job creation to support the long term needs of the Cairns region.

Declared in November 2018 and totalling 856 hectares, the Cairns South SDA is located:

  • south of Edmonton and north of Gordonvale at Wrights Creek
  • from the Bruce Highway in the west to Mackey Creek in the east
  • from France Road in the north to Hall Road in the south.

The SDA's strategic location will enable the development of industries that require large blocks of land, extended operating hours and separation from sensitive land uses. Being adjacent to the Bruce Highway and North Coast rail line, the SDA offers a key opportunity to support anticipated trends and growths in the rail freight sector, including increased volumes of freight and longer trains.

A significant portion of land within the SDA is anticipated to remain for the ongoing cultivation of sugar cane and supply to the Mulgrave Mill, act as a buffer for industry, and be retained for environmental management purposes.

The Cairns South SDA map

The Cairns South SDA regulation map (PDF icon 526 KB) defines the boundary of the SDA.

Preparation of a Cairns South SDA Development Scheme

The Office of the Coordinator-General is currently preparing a development scheme for the Cairns South SDA.

A development scheme is a planning instrument specific to an SDA. It is used by the Coordinator-General to assess and decide SDA applications for development.

SDA development schemes function in a similar manner to a local government planning scheme, by outlining the types of development which are regulated and the criteria which development is assessed against.

Until a development scheme has been approved by Governor in Council, land use planning decisions will continue to be regulated in accordance with the current planning framework. Contact the Cairns Regional Council for more information.

Have your say

The draft development scheme for the Cairns South SDA will undergo public consultation and the Office of the Coordinator-General will welcome submissions at that time.

Further information

For further information on the Cairns South SDA contact the SDA Division on 1800 001 048 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.