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 ***Please Be Advised***

New Building Act 2016
The Tasmanian State Government is preparing new building & plumbing legislation which is (currently) scheduled to be introduced on the 1 January 2017.

As a result, the information contained on this website may become out-of-date as the new legislation commences.

GCC will endeavour to update this information as the new laws and requirements become clear.
For further information on the progress of these legislative changes, please visit the Department of Justice website via the following link;



Frequently Asked Questions – Building

Q. When is a Building Permit required?

A.  A Building Permit is generally required for the following types of work:

Garages, Carports & Sheds

Renovations or Alterations

Extensions and Additions

Swimming Pools & Pool Fences

Demolition work, Etc…

Work that doesn’t require a Building Permit is covered in the Building Regulations 2014.


Q. Are any types of building work possible without a Building Permit?

A. Yes, building legislation in Tasmania does provide exemptions for certain types of building work. Please speak with Councils building section for further information on these exemptions.


Q. Can I start my excavations prior to a Building Permit being issued?

A. No, excavations form part of the building work and cannot be started until the Building Permit has been issued.


Q. Does Council retain old house plans?

A. Yes in many cases we may have records relevant to your property, including plans. Please be advised that there may be a cost involved with retrieving and producing copies of these records.


Q. For how long is a Building Permit valid?

A. Building Permits are valid for a period of 2 years from date of issue. However, it must also be recongnised that work relating to a Building Permit must have commenced within the first 12 months from issue, otherwise the permit will lapse.


Q. Can I extend my building permit if I need more time to complete my building works?

A. Yes, building & plumbing permits can be extended for a period of time (usually in 12 months intervals). Applications can be made with Councils Building Section.


Q.  What is the maximum Rain Water Tank size I can install before I need a Building Permit?

A. 45,000 Litres, however please be advised that plumbing approval may still be required.


Q. Are there any requirements in relation to Solar Panels?

A. Yes, since November 2012 solar panel systems above a certain size may require building approval, Contact Councils building section for further information.


Q. What if I discover my property has unapproved building work?

A. In many cases, unapproved works can be resolved without the need for removal or demolition of the structures. There are a number ways in which retrospective approval can be obtained however these issues must first be discussed with Councils building and plumbing section.


Q. I want to alter some aspects of my building work, what do I have to do?

A. Variations to your Building Permit are possible; however you should first discuss these ideas with your building surveyor and Council’s officers before making any changes. Some variations may not require consent from Council.


Q. I have some old applications relating to my property which have not been finalised, what can I do?

A. Councils building section is usually able to assist/guide you in finalising old applications. Speak with one of the Councils building officers to discuss the specifics of your property.


Q. Can I draw my own plans for a Building Application?

A. If the value ($) of your project is certified to be less than $5000 you may be able to draw your own plans. In all other cases, plans must be prepared by a designer or an architect who is accredited with Building Standards and Occupational Licensing.

Q. Can I view Councils records in relation to my property?

A. Depending on the information you are seeking to obtain, you may be able to access Councils records on your property. Some information however, may be protected by privacy laws, in which case will be viewable at Councils discretion. If you are seeking to obtain old building plans, in most cases (where the information is still available) we will be able to facilitate these requests.

An application form for these requests can be obtained in the “Forms” section of this website, or from Councils Building Section.


Q. How can I find out the requirements of the Building Code of Australia?

A. For advice and information on provisions of the Building Code of Australia, it is suggested that you contact an accredited building surveyor. They have the knowledge and experience to assist with your enquiries.


Q. What if my question is not listed above?

A. If you have a question related to building or plumbing issues, please feel free to call one of Councils Building & Plumbing Officers on 62 166 800 or using the contact page of this site. Alternatively, if you would to meet with one of Councils Officers in person, we prefer that you arrange an appropriate meeting time. This helps us to ensure that someone is available to assist you.