Building, Plumbing and Compliance


  • A Building Approval (a development permit) is needed if a development for “carrying out building work” is categorised as any of the following

    • code assessable development
    • impact assessable development

    A quick indication of which category of development applies to a particular type of development can be determined by having regard to the regulation made under the Building Act 1975 (the Building Act).

    To accurately determine which category of a development applies, it is necessary to have regard to:

    • Schedule 1 (prohibited development) of the Planning Act
    • Regulations made under the Planning Act and Building Act
    • Any applicable State planning regulatory provisions
    • Local planning schemes
    • Any applicable temporary local planning instruments; and
    • Preliminary approvals that affect the planning scheme under section 242 of the Act

    If the development also requires a Planning Approval, then the Planning Approval must be given before the Building Approval.  Where a development permit is not necessary for self-assessable developments, the type of development must comply with any applicable codes.

    For self-assessable building works, the owner is responsible for ensuring compliance with the relevant standards, such as structural sufficiency, size limits, boundary setbacks and manufacturing specification. Some minor building works (whether exempt or self-assessable) may still require approval under Council Planning Schemes, and again, the owners are responsible for complying with the requirements of the Planning Scheme.

  • Where a particular type of development requires a Building Approval, you will need to submit a Development Application Form 2, through a suitably qualified licensed building certifier (Private Certifier) prior to commencing construction. Your building certifier will assess your application to ensure that the building or structure meets the legislative requirements.

    Generally, your builder may organise a certifier to approve building work, however if you need to find a certifier, the QBCC Website provides a free search function of certifiers by location.

    Each development application must be properly made, that is, it must:

    • be made to the assessment manager, being the private certifier
    • be in the approved form
    • be accompanied by any mandatory supporting information specified on the approved form
    • be accompanied by the required fee

    To determine the required fee, it is necessary to have regard to our Fees and Charges.

  • The Private Certifier’s role:

    • To approve assessable building work relating to new or altered buildings and structures
    • Ensure all proposed structures and buildings comply with the relevant building codes, standards, health and safety issues and local community planning schemes
    • To undertake mandatory inspections of buildings under construction to ensure compliance with the approved plans
    • Provide customers and local governments with copies of all issued and approved documents, with certificates of inspections and final documentation

    Building Certifiers will perform inspections at mandatory stages of the building process, including:

    • Foundations and excavation (footings) – before footings are poured
    • Slab – before concrete is poured
    • Block work – before block work is filled with concrete
    • Frame – before cladding and/or linings are fixed or masonry construction commenced
    • Final – completion of all aspects of building works

    Additional mandatory inspections may be necessary for any plumbing or drainage works performed.

  • To request copies of building plans, request a building compliance inspection or Certificate of Classification, complete our Search Request Form and return the completed form together with the appropriate fee.

  • Council has jurisdiction as a referral agency for certain development applications for building works.

    The Queensland Development Code (QDC) regulates design and siting of residential buildings and has requirements for setbacks, site coverage and height. Where a proposed development does not comply with the accepted solutions of QDC, a concurrence agency referral to Council will be required. Your building certifier should also be able to assist you in determining whether any referrals are required to Council or other agencies. 

    The following is required for a lodgement of an application for concurrence agency response:

    • Completion of the application form 
    • Relevant plans (site plan, floor plan elevations)
    • Assessment against the relevant performance criteria of the Queensland Development Code
    • Payment of the application fee

Plumbing and Drainage

  • All plumbing work in Queensland is regulated by State Government legislative requirements and is categorised as:

    • Permit work
    • Notifiable work
    • Minor work
    • Unregulated work

    However, to accurately determine which category applies to a particular type of plumbing work, it is necessary to have regard to:

    Whilst a permit is not necessary for notifiable, or minor work, the work must:

    • comply with any applicable legislation
    • be performed by an appropriately licensed person
    • be notified to the Queensland Building & Construction Commission (QBCC) (notifiable work only)
  • If a particular type of development requires a Plumbing Approval, then a plumbing application is required to be lodged, assessed and decided by the local government.

    Each plumbing application must be properly made, that is, it must:

    To determine the required fee, it is necessary to have regard to our Fees and Charges.

    We will contact the applicant for payment of fees

    All applicable sections of the application form must be completed and the required documentation included to avoid delays in issuing the approval.

  • If you need to substantially change the work covered by the original application, you must apply to amend the existing permit approval. The local government needs to approve and issue the permit before you can start the additional work.

    The local government may amend an approved plan with minor inconsistencies at any stage of the work to correctly represent the work done. They don't need to request an application to amend an existing permit approval.

    An application to amend an existing approval can be lodged by the property owner or the applicant of the original application. The responsible person for the work is only permitted to lodge an application to amend an existing approval only if they have been issued with an Action Notice to do so by Council as a result on an inspection of the work.

  • Where the new connection required is for an additional connection e.g. block is subdivided and the new lot requires a new sewer connection, then an operational works application is required. For further information regarding this, please contact our Development Assessment branch on 1300 972 753 or email

  • From November 2013, new laws came into effect for building work proposed to be undertaken over or near relevant infrastructure. This includes sewers, water mains, stormwater drains or combined sanitary drains.

    This type of building work must now be assessed against Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part 1.4 (MP 1.4)—Building over or near relevant infrastructure.

    For more information please click on the following links:

  • Under the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009 a 'relevant service provider' (sewerage service providers and water service providers) is prescribed as a Concurrence Agency for building work regulated under MP 1.4.

    Applications must be referred to a Concurrence Agency/Whitsunday Regional Council when:

    • the work does not comply with an acceptable solution for the MP 1.4 performance criteria; or
    • the work is for a class 2-9 building located less than five metres from the relevant infrastructure.

    Concurrence Agencies have 20 business days to assess the application and fees may be charged.

    Please note: applications involving combined sanitary drains do not require a referral to a Concurrence Agency because they are generally shared by more than one lot owner and not owned by a service provider. In these cases, the assessment manager will assess the situation.

    For further details please click on the following link:

  • To help you with your submission for a Concurrence Agency referral, we have developed an assessment checklist for you to complete. This checklist along with a completed indemnity form and all other supporting information should be included in your referral application.