Building Act 2011

The new Building Act 2011 and supporting Regulations replace Parts viii, ix and xv of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1960.

The Building Act 2011 will come into operation on 2 April 2012.

If you're considering:

  • a renovation or alteration to an existing building;
  • constructing a new building; or
  • demolishing or partly demolishing an existing building.

It's important to consult the permit authority (ie. Town of Cambridge) to ensure you obtain correct advice about the plans and processes you need to follow prior to lodging a permit application.

Building Permits

Building permits will now fall into two categories:

Category 1 -  Certified Applications - must be accompanied by a Certificate of Design Compliance, certified by a registered building surveyor (either in private practice or local government).  The Certificate of Design Compliance must be completed prior to the lodgement of a certified permit application. 

Category 2 - Uncertified Building Application (Class 1a - single residential housing and Classes 10a and 10b - non-habitable buildings, fences, retaining or free-standing walls, swimming pools, private garages and sheds).  For this category the permit authority (Town of Cambridge) will arrange for a registered building surveyor to sign a certificate of design compliance.  

A demolition permit is required for any demolition work, either a full building or part of a building.

A Building Approval Certificate is issued when an occupancy permit is not applicable for class 1 and 10 buildings or incidental structures.  It provides certainty that a building or incidental structure meets the relevant requirements.  A Building Approval Certificate can also be used to retrospectively approve unauthorised work, and for registration of strata title plans.

Permit Application Forms

It 's important to note that only Building Commission permit application forms can be used.

Building Commission permit application forms and guides can be downloaded from the Building Commission website at


If you're considering becoming an owner-builder approval must be obtained through the newly established Building Services Board before you can apply for a building permit from a local government (permit authority). 

You will be allowed to take out a building permit once every six years. 

The restriction from selling as an owner-builder within three years no longer applies under the new Building Act 2011.

Notice of Completion

A new requirement under the Building Act 2011 (for all classes of building) is that the builder must submit a Notice of Completion within 7 days of finishing the work listed under a Permit.

The purpose of this Notice of Completion is to establish an end date for the Building Permit, for compliance and record keeping purposes.  It also defines the date that the builder has fulfilled his compliance obligations under the Building Act 2011.

Want more information?

For further information including applicable fees for building/demolition permits and building approval certificates refer to the Building Commission's website

Last Updated: 28/08/2013