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New Building Act Changes

Posted on January 02, 2017

The 2016 Building Act, which came into effect January 1 2017 provides a framework for all building, plumbing and demolition work in Tasmania, replacing the old legislation that had been in place since 2004.

These changes are specific to the building permit process, not the planning permit process.

Frequently asked questions What can I build without a permit? As an owner, you can do general maintenance and repairs on your home and build small structures such as sheds (no bigger than 18m2 or up to 36m2 if its prefabricated) without getting a permit from Council. In some cases, planning will still be required, it is important that you check this before building.

I heard most building work doesn’t require a permit? This is not correct. For most jobs you will still need to check with Council about planning rules and notify Council you are doing the work.

Who can complete the work? There are some simpler projects you can undertake yourself. Mostly, you’ll require a licensed builder or licensed plumber to ensure your project is safe and complies with national standards.

What checks do I need to make before building? It’s important to make sure you are complying with planning rules. For example, height restrictions and location of boundaries, easements and underground infrastructure.

The work is complete – Do I need to tell anyone about it? If a shed or similar has been built, Council will need to be advised to ensure accurate record management. For larger projects, Council is advised prior to the work commencing.

Other questions? You can email your questions to or discuss your project with your builder, building surveyor or the Northern Midlands Council’s Building Department.

You can find more details about what you can and can’t build in the Director’s Determinations of Categories of Building and Demolition WorkCategories of Plumbing Work at