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Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Building Surveyor?

A Building Surveyor is a trained professional working in the community’s best interests to make sure the buildings are safe, accessible and energy efficient. Building Surveyors are experts in a range of legislation, technical codes and construction standards and specialise in the interpretation of the Building Code of Australia. Building Surveyors are authorised to assess building plans ensuring that they are compliant with the Building Regulations.They are in high demand by other allied professions like Architects, Engineers, Town Planners and Builders for their knowledge and expertise, and are often called upon to sit on design teams in the early stages of projects to provide their expert advice.


What is a Certified Application?

Registered Building Surveyors can certify that a building permit application meets relevant regulations, requirements and standards through the completion and signing of a Certificate of Design Compliance (CDC). This means that all the certification is done before the application is lodged. The permit authority (local Council) will then issue the permit within the prescribed time. The prescribed time is 10 Business days.


What is an Uncertified Application?

For prescribed buildings only (Class 1 to 10 in the Building Code of Australia), the Building Act 2013 requires a local Council, in its role as permit authority, to provide a certification service, as they do now. The permit authority must arrange for the application to be certified and issue the permit within the prescribed time. The prescribed time is 25 business days.


The new Building Act 2013 allows for private certification, do I still require a Building License from the Local Council?

Yes you will, under the new Act the Council will be referred to as Permit Authorities. They will issue the Building Permit for both certified and uncertified applications.


What is the difference between Town Planning Approval and a Building Permit?

The Building Permit process regulates the construction and alteration of buildings by assessing proposed buildings, structures and alteration work against the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). A building permit is required before any building work can be carried out. A registered Building Surveyor is engaged by the applicant to certify compliance to the buildings standards by issuing a Certificate of Design Compliance (CDC).

The Planning Approval (also referred to as Development Approval/DA) process regulates the use and development of land by assessing proposals against Council’s planning schemes and the State’s planning legislation. The planning approval process focuses particularly on the impact of a proposal on the site and neighbouring land.


Do I need to know who the Builder is going to be when I submit an application for a Building License?

The Council discourages people from submitting building permits without builders, however, legally the Council cannot refuse an application on this basis. If an application is submitted without a builder, the Council will be sending out the standard 21 day letter.