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This updates the previous Practice Note 2014-32 issued May 2014


A Building permit is required for most building work, however some building work is of such a minor nature that the protections and advantages that a building permit can provide are not necessary, or will not be achieved. In these cases, Schedule 8 of the Building Regulations 2006 (the Regulations) exempts owners from having to obtain a building or occupancy permit.


The Building Act 1993 (the Act) requires that building work must be subject to the issue of a building permit prior to that work commencing. The Act prescribes a penalty of 500 penalty units for a natural person and 2500 penalty units for a company for any work done without a building permit. The amount of penalty unit is prescribed in the Regulations. The building permit ensures that the building work when constructed complies with the Act, Regulations, National Construction Code and relevant Australian Standards and the building or structure is suitable to occupy or use.


Under the Regulations, owners may be exempt from having to obtain a building permit or occupancy permit for minor building work. The exemptions legitimise certain building work which the building permit process would add little value or benefit. Schedule 8 of the Regulations describes buildings, structures and building work that do not require a building or occupancy permit to be issued. Column 2 of the table in Schedule 8 describes the type of building or building work which is exempted from a building or occupancy permit. Items 3 and 4 includes the limiting conditions that the building work will not “adversely affect the structural soundness of the building” and “will not adversely affect the safety of the public or occupiers of the building”. These terms apply to the construction process and the completed building, and must be applied to both situations.

For example, even if the finished building will comply and be structurally sound, if at any stage of the proposed construction there will be an adverse effect, then the exemption does not

apply. This generally means that any structural work to an existing building, regardless of cost, will require a building permit.

For More Info, CLICK HERE to view the VBA Document issued January 2016.