Councils refer these development applications to the Office of Water, which assesses whether a proposal requires a controlled activity approval, and issues General Terms of Approval (GTA) if appropriate.
GTA are usually included as conditions of development consent but are not an actual controlled activity approval, which is still required.
Before issuing a construction certificate, certifiers should check that the property owner holds a controlled activity approval, if required.
GTA are designed to minimise impacts on downstream water users and the environment.
Read more about when a controlled activity approval is or isn't needed, and what is defined as waterfront land.