From the 1st of January 2017, the Tasmanian State Government has introduced the new Building Act 2016. On 1 January 2017 the New Building Act 2016 commenced 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 with needing any approvals.

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

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 your local 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 the Director’s Determination of Categories of Building and Demolition Work or the Director’s Determination of Categories of Plumbing Work.

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.

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

The link to Workplace Standards Tasmania (Department of Justice) provides an introduction into the regulation of building and plumbing work in Tasmania.

The Regulation of Building and Plumbing Work in Tasmania

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

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.

Apply for owner builder permit

Owner builder 7 steps

Owner Builder Registration Process

Owner Builder FAQ

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


Director’s Determination of Categories of Building and Demolition Work

Director’s Determination – Categories of Plumbing Work

Fact Sheet – Sheds and similar structures – Building Act 2016 (PDF, 183.3 KB)

Fact Sheet – Consumer guide to low risk building and plumbing work (pdf, 166.6 KB)

Fact Sheet – Low Risk Work by an Owner or Competent Person (PDF, 183.7 KB)

Residential Building Consumer Guide 2016 (PDF, 2.2 MB)

Building & Plumbing Applications Forms

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A Special Plumbing Permit is required to install an onsite wastewater management system such as a conventional septic tank, envirocycle or AWTS etc. Please note that it will be necessary for you to engage the services of an accredited plumbing designer to prepare a Site and Soil Evaluation Report. Further details are available in this information document.Onsite Wastewater Management Systems (Special Plumbing Permit)

Application for Plumbing Permit

Under the Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008, Tas Water is responsible for providing a Certificate of Certifiable Work (Building) or exemption to the applicant or Permit Authority. This Certificate will advise the applicant of water and sewerage conditions that may apply to an application for a Building Permit. If your application does not require approval from Southern Water you may complete a Declaration of Exemption, however it should be noted that the Permit Authority may still reserve the right to request a Certificate obtained directly from Southern Water.

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