Building & Plumbing

On 1 January 2017 the Tasmanian Government introduced the new Building Act 2016 which regulates building and plumbing work. The Act introduces new categories of work (low, medium & high risk). High risk work will still require a building or plumbing permit, medium risk work will only require approval from a building surveyor and plumbing permit authority. Low risk work may now be completed by a licenced builder or plumber without needing any approvals.

For more information on the changes please go to building and plumbing section at

You can access all Council’s Building and Plumbing Application Forms here.

1. When would I require building approval?

It is your responsibility as the property owner to ensure that appropriate building approval is in place prior to commencement of any building work.

In most circumstances, building approval is required from Council. Please note that you may require planning and/or plumbing approval prior to the granting of your building approval.

To determine whether Building and/or Plumbing Approval is required, you can refer to

If you believe a building permit is not required, you should seek written confirmation from a building surveyor prior to commencing any works. Please note penalties and additional approval fees apply to persons undertaking building work without permits.

Please note that all proposed works must be lodged for assessment.

2. What are my responsibilities under the Building Act?

The Building Act 2016 and the Building Regulations 2016 regulate building and plumbing work in Tasmania. These laws and codes apply to everyone who undertakes building and plumbing work.

The following links detail the Building Act 2016 and Building Regulations 2016.

Building Act 2016

Building Regulations 2016

This link to Consumer, Building and Occupational Services website provides an introduction into the regulation of building and plumbing work in Tasmania – The Regulation of Building and Plumbing Work in Tasmania

3. Do I need a permit for temporary structures and for temporary changes of use to a building?

A temporary occupancy permit may be required for temporary structures (for example, tents or stages) or for buildings being adapted for occupation or activities that modify its original approval.

Contact a building surveyor who will provide you with the appropriate Temporary Occupancy Permit.

4. What are my responsibilities as an owner/builder?

With the implication of the Building Act 2016, owners have the opportunity to act as an Owner Builder for residential works.

To be an owner/builder you need to meet a certain criteria and understand both your obligations and restrictions. Below are links to the useful information regarding the responsibilities and obligations of being an owner/builder.

Owner Builder Registration Process

Residential Building Work Contracts and Dispute Resolution Act 2016 also commenced on 1 January 2017 this Act applies to all residential building and plumbing contracts over $20000 and establishes minimum contractual requirements and an obligation on the building practitioner to provide the client with information about consumer rights under the Act. Mandatory warranties, variations, cooling –off periods and dispute mediation and resolution processes are included.

Warning: It is an offence for any person other than an appropriately accredited builder or an owner builder to manage or carry out the work of a builder. Building work carried out or managed by an owner builder may be subject of an audit by the Director of Building Control.

5. Water and Sewerage

As a result of the statewide water and sewerage reforms the assessment of building and plumbing applications process has changed. When lodging a building and/or plumbing application in a serviced area, you must have a Certificate of Certifiable Work from TasWater, or arrange for your designer to complete an Assessment of Certifiable Works Certificate (TasWater) – Building and Plumbing.

If a building or plumbing application requires a Certificate for Certifiable Work, then TasWater has to issue a Water and Sewerage Compliance Certificate before Council can issue a Certificate of Completion.

In an un-serviced area, Plumbing Permit Approval may be required.

6. Expired Plumbing and Building Permits

Under The Building Act 2016, it is now a legislated requirement that plumbing and building permits issued prior to 1 January 2017 will expire on 30 June 2020, unless the applicant has applied for an extension of time. All permits issued after 1 January 2017 will expire after 2 years, unless an extension is granted.

If you haven’t completed your building and plumbing work to date and obtained the certificates of completion, please check the expiry date on your permit, and if required, apply to Council for an extension of time.

Council has commenced checking the status of all applications and will be writing to property owners whose building and plumbing permits haven’t been completed, over the coming months.

Please call our Business and Customer Support Team on 6269 0000 if you require further information, and have have your permit application number on hand for reference.

7. Quick Links

Residential Building Consumer Guide 2016 (PDF, 2.2 MB)