The Mackay Council says the Queensland Government has been dragging its feet for over a year on the approval of a new planning scheme.

Mackay Regional Council’s planning scheme was drafted in 2012, faced extensive public consultation, and has was submitted to the Government for approval in 2014.

Councillor David Perkins says there is very little the city can do until the vital document is signed, especially with an election coming up.

“For the next council that's coming at the end of March this is going to be critical going forward,” Cr Perkins told the ABC.

“It's tough out there at the moment and we've got to makes some plans going into the future and amend things and as I said, you can't amend something until what you're trying to approve has been approved.”

He does not have a lot of hope that the Government will move quickly.

“It's been interesting because of course there was a change of government in that time as well, so people getting their feet under the desk,” he said.

“We're not having a go, what we're saying is, the problem is that unless you have a planning scheme in place you can't amend it, so there's things we need to do but you can't amend that until the planning scheme is approved.”

But it may soon become someone else’s problem, as Mackay's council is in caretaker mode ahead of the local government election on March 19.

Mayor Deidre Comerford says most normal council functions will continue.

“It's business as usual, all it is is no more council meetings and therefore if you had a tender you had to award well you can't,” she told reporters.

“It's those big cost items you can't do.

“The rules are there, we play by the rules but the councillors have to get on and serve the people in their role as a councillor and my role as the mayor until the poll is declared actually.”

Fellow Queensland councils at Whitsunday and Isaac have entered caretaker mode ahead of next month's poll as well.