Building Act & regulations

The Building Act 2016 provides the legislative framework for all building, alteration, plumbing and demolition works in Tasmania from 1 January 2017. The Building Act 2016 sets out what works require approval and/or permits before commencement.

The Building Act 2016 is supported by the Building Regulations 2016. It is also supported by a number of Determinations, made by Tasmania’s Director of Building Control, which are available at the Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (Department of Justice) website.

For guidance on whether you need building approval for any building, alteration or demolition work on your property, contact a private building surveyor or our building team on 03 6217 9580.

Please be aware that you may need a planning permit under the Land Use and Planning Approvals Act 1993 and the Clarence Interim Planning Scheme 2015, as well as a building permit. For guidance on whether you need planning approval, contact our planning team on 03 6217 9550.

Categories of building work

Building work will fall into one of four risk categories which are pre-determined by the Director of Building Control.

Detailed information on what type of work fits within the categories can be found in the “Director’s Determination – Categories of Building and Demolition Work”.

Category 1: This is low risk work which can be built by the owner and does not require formal Council approval or permits. It must still comply with any relevant requirements of the National Construction Code. This work sometimes requires the owner to submit a ‘Form 80 Notice of Low Risk Work to Council’. We recommend owners provide the Form 80 to ensure accurate records are maintained for their property and to avoid potential complications when a property is sold.

Category 2: This is also low risk work but can generally only be built by a licensed builder. The work does not require formal Council approval or permits but sometimes requires the owner to submit a ‘Form 80 Notice of Low Risk Work to Council’.  We recommend owners provide the Form 80 to ensure accurate records are maintained for their property and to avoid potential complications when a property is sold.

Category 3: This work requires the engagement of licenced building practitioners such as designers, engineers and building surveyors and requires formal notification to us from the building surveyor, which incurs fees and state levies which depend upon the value of the work.

Category 4: This work is higher risk development or commercial building work. An application for a building permit is required by completing and submitting a ‘Form 2 Application for Building Permit’ along with the relevant documentation.

A number of ‘standard limitations’ apply to each of the four risk categories described above. For example, these relate to fire separation and depth of excavation or fill. The requirements can be checked by referring to the abovementioned ‘Director’s Determination – Categories of Building and Demolition Work’.

Expiry of building permits

Under the Building Act 2016, when a permit has been issued for more than two years and no valid extension has been approved, the permit will be automatically expired. This means that any further works required for completion, must then take place under a new permit. To obtain a new permit, an owner will need to engage a building surveyor for new certification and will need to submit new documents to Council.

Owners are advised to ensure that building permits are extended or formally completed in order to avoid potential significant costs and difficulties at the time of sale of their property.

Council building officers are available to advise owners on how the permit expiration may impact them and their property on 03 6217 9580 or

Owner responsibilities

Owners are reminded that building, plumbing or demolition works on their property must comply with the requirements of the Building Act 2016. They should also ensure that works are not a nuisance to others and that there is good site management and site sanitation.

Owners must also ensure that where works are proposed and may impact or undermine an adjacent property or create a risk to safety, that appropriate protection work is performed. Owners or their relevant licensed building practitioners should check the requirements of the ‘Director’s Determination – Protection Work’. A ‘Form 6 Notice of Proposed Protection Work’ must be submitted to each adjoining Owner and the building surveyor, and sometimes also to Council.

If any works are proposed on Council land such as the nature strip or cross over to the road, a permit for these works must be obtained prior to any works occurring.

Noise restrictions

Noise from mobile machinery, a forklift truck and portable equipment such as power tools and cement mixers, is prohibited during the times listed below per the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Noise) Regulations 2016:

  • Monday to Friday: Before 7.00am and after 6.00pm
  • Saturday: Before 8.00am and after 6.00pm
  • Sunday and all Statutory Public Holidays: Before 10.00am and after 6.00pm

Noise control may also be a condition of a building permit in order to protect the general amenity of the relevant area.

If requested by a member of the public, excessive use of power tools will need to be assessed for ‘reasonableness’ by a council officer. This assessment will take into consideration the volume, intensity, duration, time and where it can be heard.

To make a noise enquiry or complaint:

  • During business hours or an ongoing problem: contact Council on 03 6217 9500.
  • Outside business hours: contact the Police on 131 444

Other useful resources

For information on minimum standards for rental premises, visit Consumer, Building and Occupational Services.

For information on disability access design and construction for designers, builders, planners, certifiers, building managers and access consultants visit the Australian Human Rights Commission.