Introduced from 1st January 2017, the Building Act 2016 and Building Regulations 2017 outline the different categories of approval that building works in Tasmania can be divided into, depending on the level of risk associated with that work. These risk categories determine what form and level of building approval is required.
There are now 4 categories of building work;
- Category 1 – Low risk work that can be undertaken by an owner.
- Category 2 – Low risk work that can be undertaken by a licenced builder.
- Category 3 – Notifiable building work or notifiable demolition work.
- Category 4 – Building and demolition work that requires a building or demolition permit.
To find out more about categories of building work, visit the Consumer, Building & Occupational Services (CBOS) website.
To assist applicants in determining their building category, Flinders Council offers an assessment service for all building works. To use this service, please complete a Development Enquiry Form (001) and submit it to Council with drawings of your proposed works. The Development Services team will assess the completed form and advise you of the category. If exempt, you will be issued a confirmation to provide assurance for future applications.
Table: Examples of Risk Categories (Source: CBOS)
Please note that State Government fees are payable on all work or $20,000 regardless of building work category. These fees are collected by the Permit Authority at Council office.
We have put together a Planning and Building Information Pack for those wishing to plan or build within the Flinders Municipality. This information pack contains all relevant application forms, frequently asked questions and process flowcharts.
Frequently Asked Questions
When would I require a Building Permit?
For the purposes of the Building Act 2016, all building work is permit building work unless the work is:
a) low-risk building work or low-risk demolition work; or
b) notifiable work or notifiable demolition work; or
c) emergency work.
Permit work must be –
a) Designed by a designer, and
b) Performed by a licensed builder who is licensed to perform the permit building work; and
c) Inspected by a building surveyor as required under the Building Act 2016.
Read the Fact Sheet - Consumer Guide - Low Risk Building and Plumbing Work (pdf, 166.6 KB) for an overview.
The Fact Sheet - Low Risk Work by Owner or Competent Person (PDF, 183.7 KB) provides a more comprehensive list of things to consider when undertaking work without any oversight by a Permit Authority or Building Surveyor.
The Checklist - Owner Responsibilities for Building Work Approvals provides owners with a checklist to ensure their key responsibilities as a property owner for notifiable (medium risk) and permit (high risk) are met under the Building Act 2016.
The Director's Determination on Categories of Building and Demolition Work (PDF, 350.1 KB) gives more detail about the work that can be legally undertaken without a permit.
I want to build a shed, do I need a permit?
Read the Fact Sheet - Sheds and similar structures - Building Act 2016 (PDF, 182.9 KB) for an overview of what an owner can do, when you need to use a licensed builder and whether or not you need a permit.
I want to install solar panels, do I need a permit?
New requirements to allow for a greater size of an array of panels to be exempted from the requirement for a building permit and to provide for the creation of a scheme for the accreditation of solar installers.
Photo-voltaic solar panels installed on a building roof are classified Low Risk if –
(i) the solar panels are installed by a person who holds a valid accreditation, to install solar panels, that is approved by the Director for the purposes of this regulation; and
(ii) the solar panels are parallel with the surface of the roof and there is not more than 100 millimetres between the top of the roof and the underside of the solar panel; and (iii) the solar panels, or any part of the solar panels, do not overhang the roof surface at any point; and
(iv) the solar panels are not within 200 millimetres of the edge of the plane of the roof; and
(v) the solar panel array does not result in more than 100 kilograms of dead load being placed on any single point where the solar panel array is attached to the roof; and
(vi) the solar panel array does not cover more than 38 square metres of –
(A) a single roof plane; or
(B) multiple roof planes that are supported by a single structure.
See section 1.1.14 Photo-voltaic solar panels in the Director's Determination - Categories of Building and Plumbing Work
How do I apply for a Building Permit?
To apply for a permit, please complete the Building Permit Application Form (Form 2) and Checklist included in the Information Pack. Once forms are complete, please lodge forms and any required additional information to Flinders Council via mail, front desk or email. Following lodgment, the Development Services team will send the application for assessment and issue an invoice for the relevant permit. For the current Fees and Charges, please visit the Flinders Council website.
Please note that Tasmania-accredited persons must be engaged to provide structural and technical advice to Council or to an independent building surveyor.
What if I want to be an Owner Builder?
Under the Building Act 2016 to be an owner builder, you must satisfy the following criteria:
- An owner builder needs to reapply for owner builder status for each separate project they do.
- A project may be building a house, or extending an existing dwelling.
- A person who wants to be an owner builder should apply to Licensing (see Occupational Licensing Act 2005).
- An owner builder must also apply for a building permit for each project they undertake. This is regardless of the risk category which would be applied to the work if it was undertaken by a licensed builder.
- All work undertaken by an owner builder is automatically permit building work.
To find out more on how to apply for an Owner/Builder Permit, please visit the Consumer, Building and Occupational Services website at https://www.cbos.tas.gov.au.
Can I use Council as my Building Surveyor?
Yes, Council provide a building surveying service to the island, which includes inspectors and any required assistance. However, any Tasmanian building surveyor may provide a Certificate of Likely Compliance (CLC) to Council, allowing Council’s Permit Authority to issue the Building Permit (if required). Please consider that the Building Surveyor is responsible for carrying out all your building inspections, but not your plumbing inspections – Council coordinates plumbing inspections.