Legislative framework – Building services and plumbing

Building regulation

Through a range of regulation reforms, Building and Energy has delivered the most significant transformation of Western Australian building laws in over 50 years. 

Architects Act 2004

The Architects Act 2004 provides for the effective registration of architects in WA.  It regulates the use of the title 'architect', monitors professional standards and seeks to prevent conduct by non-architects that may be misleading to consumers of architectural services.

Subsidiary legislation: Architects Regulations 2005.

Building Act 2011

The Building Act 2011 commenced on 2 April 2012, introducing a new building approval process for WA and bringing significant changes to the building approvals process – from the design stage right through to occupation of a building.

The Act and the Building Regulations 2012 replaced the Building Regulations 1989 and much of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1960 and amend a range of associated acts.

Further information on the Regulations are available in the Building Regulations 2012 – Explanatory guide.

The commencement of the Act introduced a new Building Services Levy, private design certification services provided by registered building surveying contractors and consent requirements for work affecting other land.

Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2021 

The Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Act 2021 (Act) provides important payment protections for all participants in the Western Australian building and construction industry (some exclusions apply). It applies to construction contracts entered into on or after 1 August 2022.

The Act provides effective rights to get paid and recover debts owed, modifies and prohibits certain provision in construction contracts, and provides a number of protections for contractor performance security such as retention money and bank guarantees.

Subsidiary legislation: Building and Construction Industry (Security of Payment) Regulations 2022

Building Services (Complaint Resolution and Administration) Act 2011

This Building Services (Complaint Resolution and Administration) Act establishes the Building Commissioner as a statutory role and Building and Energy as a central place for the administration of building regulation and customer service.

The Act deals with the process of dealing with complaints and resolving disputes, which may involve conciliation or referral to the State Administrative Tribunal, the provision of orders to remedy building work and the authorisation for audits, inspections and investigations.

The supporting Building Services (Complaint Resolution and Administration) Regulations 2011 enable Building and Energy to deal with complaints made against building surveyors.

When considering the Regulations, please refer to the Explanatory guide to the building surveying amendments.

Building Services Levy Act 2011

A building services levy is payable on permits and building approval certificates issued under the Building Act 2011. The levy is paid to local governments for the purposes of the funding the operations of Building and Energy to regulate the building services industry. The Building Services Levy Act 2011 makes it lawful to charge the building services levy as a tax.

Building Services (Registration) Act 2011

The Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 establishes a flexible framework for the registration of building service providers including builders, painters and building surveyors, in WA.

The Act:

  • provides for the registration of individuals, partnerships and companies as building service practitioners or building service contractors;
  • provides for approval of owner-builders; and
  • establishes the Building Services Board.

The supporting Building Services (Registration) Regulations 2011 implement the registration of building surveyors to support the operations of the Building Act 2011 (Parts 2 to 16).

Construction Contracts (Former Provisions) Act 2004

The Construction Contracts (Former Provisions) Act 2004 provides a rapid adjudication process to resolve disputes that arise over payments when individuals and organisations enter into contracts for building and construction work. The Act allows for the appointment of an adjudicator and establishes time limits on the adjudication process.

The adjudication process under the Act does not cover salary or wage disputes. For assistance with resolving a salary or wage dispute, please contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.

Subsidiary legislation: Construction Contracts Regulations 2004.

Dividing Fences Act 1961

The Dividing Fences Act 1961 combines with local government by-laws to regulate dividing fences in WA. It covers a process for sharing costs between neighbours, the determination of boundaries and a mechanism for courts to deal with disputes over dividing fences. It does not apply to retaining walls, fence height restrictions or encroachments.

Subsidiary legislation: Dividing Fences Regulations 1971.

Home Building Contracts Act 1991

The Home Building Contracts Act 1991 provides protection for home owners and people undertaking home building work.

The Act sets out the minimum requirements for contracts and applies to contracts for home building and associated work valued between $7,500 and $500,000.

The Act includes:

  • provision of the Notice for the Home Owner;
  • the provision of home indemnity insurance;
  • requirements of home building work contracts; and
  • conditions regarding deposits, progress payments and variations.

Subsidiary legislation: Home Building Contracts (Home Indemnity Insurance Exemptions) Regulations 2002 and the Home Building Contracts Regulations 1992.

Plumbers Licensing Act 1995

The Plumbers Licensing Act 1995 provides for the authorisation of licensed plumbing contractors and tradespersons to undertake plumbing work and the administration of a compliance and inspection framework to certify plumbing work standards.

Part 5A of the Act establishes the Plumbers Licensing Board with functions to licence plumbers, regulate their plumbing work and provide the Minister with advice on the qualification and training needs of the trade.

Subsidiary legislation: Plumbers Licensing and Plumbing Standards Regulations 2000 and the Water Services Coordination Regulations 1996

Go to the Parliamentary Counsel's Office website Click here to view these Acts and subsidiary legislation

Area of jurisdiction


The area of jurisdiction previously of the Builders' Registration Board encompasses 122 local governments in WA. In some instances only major town sites are included.

See the Directory of Local Government.

Builders Registration WA Map
Builders Registration WA Map , by sgrove

Jurisdiction for the registration of builders in Western Australia.

This map highlights the areas of Western Australia where builders are required to be registered with the Building Services Board.

Download a PDF of the builders map and zoom in for details.

The Home Building Contracts Act 1991 applies to all areas in WA.


The area of jurisdiction previously of the Painters' Registration Board encompasses the metropolitan region and most of the South West Land Division, with the exception of the Shires of Mukinbudin, Mt Marshall and Narembeen.

The South West Land Division extends from the Kalbarri area on the West Coast and through the Hopetoun region on the South Coast. In addition, the Board's area includes specified townsites within the Shires of Coolgardie, Dundas, Esperance, Yilgarn, Laverton, Ravensthorpe and the City of Kalgoorlie/Boulder.

Painters Registration WA Map
Painters Registration WA Map, by sgrove

Jurisdiction for the registration of painters in Western Australia.

This map highlights the areas of Western Australia where painters are required to be registered with the Building Services Board.

See the Directory of Local Government.

Download a PDF of the painters map and zoom in for details.

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