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Building and Plumbing

The Tasmanian government introduced the new Building Act 2016, which came into effect on 1 January 2017.   This Act regulates building and plumbing works.

The new Building Act takes a risk-based approach to building approvals. As such, low risk building, plumbing and demolition work, and some medium risk work, can be done without seeking a building permit from the Council.

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

However, before lodging a building or plumbing application and before carrying out any works you will need to find out if you require planning approval.

For more information see below, or  contact Council’s Building Office on (03) 6268 7016.

Click here for current fees and charges.


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.

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 from the CBOS website but we recommend that you give our Development Services staff (6268 7000) 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).

As Council does not provide Building Surveying services you will need 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 you through the process.

You can find more information on the CBOS Owner Builders site, however, we recommend you contact us first before starting your application

Under the Building Act councils have a legal responsibility to address illegal works. Part of our legal obligation requires investigation of works that have been/or are being undertaken without Council approvals.  If a council fails to address illegal works Council 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?

If you are planning to develop 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 from the Tasmania Fire Service website here.

Any 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 is 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 system 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 system to be tested under our conditions.

If you have any questions please contact us.

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 developed a Code of Practice .

Brighton Council receives many inquiries relating to fencing matters.  See the fencing page for more information.