Development key roles and responsibilities

Property owner

Your role as property owner is to ensure you have the correct approvals and permits in place, if they are required for your project.

PlanBuild Tasmania can help you navigate the planning and building process and identify if a permit or approval is required.

There are industry professionals to help you on the way. It is important to choose your industry professionals before you start an application.

In future releases of PlanBuild Tasmania, these professionals can be invited when you lodge your application in the portal. They will then be able to upload and view documents when needed.

Be sure to do some research and obtain quotes from relevant professionals. Chose those who you feel you will work well with over the duration of your project.

Council planner

Council planners are specialists who can provide advice on the rules that apply to your project. You can contact your local council to get in touch with a council planner in your area.

If planning approval is required, the Council Planner will assess your planning application against the requirements of the relevant planning scheme. This will be either the Tasmanian Planning Scheme or a council Interim Planning Scheme, while the council works towards adoption of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme.

Learn more about the planning process.

Building surveyor

Building surveyors are licensed building professionals. They mainly work in private practice and charge fees for their services.

Building surveyors are engaged by the property owner and are responsible for making sure the building design and construction meets the requirements of building laws, such as the Building Act 2016 and the National Construction Code .

They are independent from the Builder and Building Designer and act in your interest to ensure a safe and compliant project.

Your Building Surveyor will:

  • approve the Building Designer’s plans
  • inspect building work at specific stages
  • check completed work
  • issue an Occupancy Certificate
  • send a complete copy of all relevant documentation to the Council so they have a record of your building.

Your Building Surveyor will ask you to:

  • provide a planning permit or information that a permit from Council is not required
  • provide plans drawn up by a licensed Building Designer or Architect
  • provide details of the Builder that you have engaged
  • pay fees.

It is important that you are involved in selecting and engaging the Building Surveyor, as they are responsible for ensuring the building design and building work meets the requirements of the Building Act 2016, National Construction Code and relevant Australian Standards.

Your Building Surveyor remains involved in your building project until it is complete, inspecting the work at particular stages to ensure your Builder (or you, if you are an Owner Builder) are building in accordance with the approved design.

Learn more about licensed professionals and how to find one.

Permit authority

In Tasmania, each of the 29 local councils have a designated Permit Authority. A Permit Authority is a person who works for council and has responsibility for issuing building, plumbing and demolition permits.

The role of a Permit Authority is to:

  • receive and assess building, demolition and plumbing applications
  • issue permits
  • ensure that building, demolition and plumbing works in their municipality (council) complies with the requirements of the Building Act 2016
  • take compliance action where required
  • maintain a record of building and plumbing work undertaken.

There are four categories of building and demolition work and the type of building and demolition work you are undertaking will determine whether you need to apply for a permit.

There are also four categories of plumbing work and the type of plumbing work you are undertaking will determine whether you need to apply for a permit.

Read more about the building, demolition and plumbing process.


If you are building a new home and purchasing land, you may wish to engage a specialised settlement agent or conveyancer to act on your behalf. These specialists are property lawyers who handle paperwork involved with buying a new home, including new build projects.

Building designer or architect

If your project is either notifiable or permit work the design must be completed by a licensed professional. This may be a Building Designer or Architect depending on the type of project you wish to complete.

Your Building Designer or Architect can:

  • check the local planning rules and restrictions for your build
  • check for any site restrictions or limitations
  • give you a written quote for the fees they will charge for the work
  • check your Certificate of Title
  • contact Before You Dig Australia to make sure there is no interference with local underground assets.

A builder is primarily responsible to coordinate the building works for your project. Your Builder must have a current licence to build in Tasmania. You should get a range of quotes before entering into a contract.

Any residential building work with a value of $20,000 requires a contract between the Owner and Builder.

Your Builder will:

  • supervise and coordinate each trade (e.g. an Electrician)
  • source, quantify and coordinate materials
  • quality assure the build.

The Builder should provide the Owner with a copy of the Residential Building Work Consumer Guide as required by the Residential Building Work Contracts and Dispute Resolution Act 2016.

Bushfire hazard practitioner

If your property is located in a bushfire prone area you may need to demonstrate that risks to both people and property can be minimised in your proposed development. You may need to engage a Bushfire Hazard Practitioner to prepare or certify a bushfire management hazard plan.

Bushfire Hazard Practitioners are professionals who have completed appropriate training and have been accredited by the Chief Officer of the Tasmanian Fire Service. They are private consultants who charge fees for their services. They are not employees of the Tasmanian Fire Service.

Your Bushfire Hazard Practitioner will:

  • Inspect your site and determine the Bushfire Attack Level
  • Identify appropriate bushfire protection measures
  • Develop a bushfire hazard report
  • Prepare a bushfire hazard management plan.

Depending on your circumstance and need, they may also:

  • issue a planning certificate that certifies the bushfire hazard management plan complies with the planning requirements of the Bushfire-prone areas code
  • issue a Certificate of Qualified Person – Assessable Item (Form 55) that certifies under the Building Act 2016 the bushfire hazard management plan complies with the Director’s Determination – Requirements for Building in Bushfire-Prone Areas.

Search for an accredited Bushfire Hazard Practitioner.

Planning authority

A Planning Authority is a council. The role of a Planning Authority is to:

  • receive and assess Planning applications
  • make a decision on your application
  • issue permits.

The planning approval process considers all applications against state planning laws and the relevant planning scheme. Planning approval will fall into one of five planning classification types. These types are as follows.

  • Exempt
  • No permit required
  • Permitted
  • Discretionary
  • Prohibited

Read more about the planning process.

Other professionals

You may need additional information from specialists for your building or planning permit. These include:

Your Building Designer/Architect or Building Surveyor can help identify if this will apply to your project and provide you with advice.

Want to know more?

More resources are available on the Consumer Building and Occupational Services website.

Updated: 30th August 2022