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Building and Plumbing

From 1 January 2017, the Tasmanian State Government has introduced the new Building Act 2016The new Act regulates all building, demolition and plumbing works in Tasmania.

It is your responsibility as the property owner to ensure that appropriate approvals are in place prior to commencement of any works.

For more information on the State Legislation click here or contact our Development Services Department.

You can find plenty of information including determinations, guidance and fact sheets on the Building Act 2016 here.

PLEASE NOTE: The following information relates to building, demolition and plumbing legislation only. Please contact our Planning Department for any inquiries relating to planning approvals which may be required before your development can be considered.

To determine whether Building and/or Plumbing Approval is required your work will need to be categorised under the new Building Act and will fall under one of the following:

  • Low Risk (Category 1 & 2)
  • Medium Risk -Notifiable Works (Category 3)
  • High Risk Work – Permit required (All other work – Category 4)

You can find out more about these categories here but we recommend that you give our development services staff or a Building Surveyor a call to confirm what approvals may be required.

Building Surveyors have a legal responsibility for ensuring buildings are safe to occupy, energy efficient, accessible and suitable for occupation. As part of this responsibility, they review, analyse and assess plans for compliance to current standards, conduct inspections, issue relevant legislative permits and approvals and enforcement.

You will need a Building Surveyor if you are carrying out Notifiable Work (Category 3) or High Risk Work (Category 4). You can find more information on these categories here.

We do have a Building Surveyor on staff or you may choose to engage the services of a private Building Surveyor to assist with your application.

As a property owner you can apply to be an Owner Builder however there are limitations and conditions in place which you must understand first. To make sure you are clear on these limitations we suggest you give us a call first so we can help walk you through the process.

You can find more information on Owner Builders here, but again, we recommend you have a chat to us first before starting your application.

Under the Building Act councils have a legal responsibility to address illegal works. Part of our legal obligations requires investigation of works that have been/or are being undertaken without Council approvals.  If a council fails to address illegal works we could be found negligent of the law which could result in legal action against Council and the property owner.

Illegal works on a property can also affect the sale of the property as potential buyers will be made aware of these works. This can result in the delay in settlement or even the buyer backing out of the sale.

If illegal works have been undertaken on your property give us a call so we can work with you to find a solution.

Have you done any of these works without checking you need the relevant permits?

  • Building a house, deck, shed, carport or any other new structure?
  • Any internal or external alterations to your house?
  • Placed a shipping container on your property?
  • Built a fence or retaining wall?
  • Demolished something and replaced it with something else?
  • Installed a permanent or inflatable swimming pool.
  • Erected signage?
  • Erected or moved a temporary structure?
  • Removed any trees?
  • Any plumbing works?
  • Installed a Waste Water System?
  • Connected to Sewer or Water Mains?

You will need planning approval first before undertaking any building works in a landslip area. Please call our Planning Department for more information.

St Helens has a small but significant landslip site (which has its own building requirements. Landslip is closely governed by both the Building Act 2016 and Building Regulations 2016. You can find the declared landslip areas in Break O’Day by going to The List website and adding the Proclaimed Landslip Zones Layer which can be found under the Geology and Soils category. For more information give our Development Services team a call.

Fees and Charges for any development are calculated when you submit your application, however you can view the schedule here.

A person must notify Council no less than two working days prior to the installation of a wood heater, a wood stove or similar appliance that burns oil or solid fuel. You can obtain a Notice of Intention to Install a Heating Appliance form here or from Council’s main office.

The person who does the installation must also notify Council that the installation has been carried out in accordance with the Building Code of Australia within seven days of completion of the installation. You can obtain a Heating Appliance Installation Compliance Certificate or from Council. Both need to be completed by the installer.

If you are installing a wood heater, please check out our wood heater etiquette page which has plenty of information and tips on how to get the most out of your wood heater by burning efficiently. Wood Heater Etiquette.

If you are planning to develop in the BOD area you may be subject to additional construction requirements to ensure your home is defendable in the event of a bushfire.

Bushfire Hazard Management Plans (BHMP) are completed by an accredited bushfire practitioner who will determine the requirements for vegetation removal and any construction restraints to safeguard properties and human life.

You can find information about development in bushfire prone areas and a list of accredited bushfire practitioners here.

Any residential development on a site not serviced by a sewer system must rely on some form of onsite waste disposal which will require a Plumbing Permit. In many instances it will be the suitability of the site which will determine if it is capable of being developed and which waste water disposal system will be the most suitable.

Under the Building Act 2016 the treatment unit must be accredited for use in this State. Some systems may be used Interstate or Overseas, however to be used in Tasmania it is necessary for the unit to be tested under our conditions.

Need more information? Check out our  FAQ-Septic Tank

If you have any questions please contact us.

We understand that sometimes things go wrong and disputes with builders, contractors or sub-contractors happen, meditation and help is available just click here.

Exposure to Asbestos can cause disease so it is very important that if you find asbestos it is removed and disposed of safely.

For more information on safely disposing and removing asbestos please go to the Asbestos Awareness website

Worksafe Tasmania also has information about Asbestos removal on their site and have even developed a Code of Practice .