Section 1 (continued): Coverage, exemptions and responsibilities

As part of its enforcement role, a permit authority can inspect building work and investigate Building Act compliance matters and, where relevant, issue infringement notices, building orders or commence prosecution for non-compliance. There are three types of permit authority:

Local government For most buildings the permit authority will be the local government in whose area the building is located or is proposed to be located.
State Government

The State Government of Western Australia may perform the functions of a permit authority. Currently there are three State Government permit authorities that enforce control of buildings under their management:

  1. Department of Housing;
  2. Department of Finance – (Building Management and Works); and
  3. The Public Transport Authority.

The relevant local government is the permit authority for buildings owned or occupied by the state, unless the Minister has decided that the state is to be the permit authority for that building. The Minister must inform the relevant local government of a decision that the state is to be the permit authority.

When a State Government permit authority grants a building or demolition permit, building approval certificate or grants or modifies an occupancy permit, it must give details of the permit or certificate to the relevant local government. A State Government permit authority must also give details of each notice of completion (BA7) or notice of cessation (BA8) it has received to the relevant local government (s. 7(2)).

Special permit authority

The Building Act allows for a public body to be established as a special permit authority for specific areas or kinds of buildings such as:

  • a group of regional local governments that wish to centralise building approval in one local government or regional council;
  • another regulator able to deal with building work of specific kinds; or
  • entities with building responsibilities that extend across more than one local government such as redevelopment authorities or universities.

Currently there are no special permit authorities designated by regulations for this purpose. 


Responsibilities before, during and after building work

Applicant Builder Building surveyor Permit authority
Before – application and grant of building permit
Ensure that all of the relevant documentation is provided and is correct ie plans and specifications, payment of fees and levies certifications, authorisations, etc. Ensure home indemnity insurance is in place (if relevant). Ensure the plans comply with the Building Code of Australia before signing and issuing a certificate of design compliance. Check applications are complete and in order and that all statutory requirements and approvals are in place.
Obtain necessary statutory approvals. Sign the application form as the builder. As part of the CDC process, liaise with the FES Commissioner if required for certain Class 2 to Class 9 commercial buildings. Grant building permits and listing conditions, required tests and/or inspections.
For certain Class 2 to Class 9 buildings, lodge with the FES Commissioner copies of the plans and specifications that accompany the certificate of design compliance (CDC).     Record keeping.
Where required provide evidence of consent or court order for work that may adversely affect other or encroach on other land.      
During – when the permit has been granted
  Ensure the building work complies with the applicable building standards.   Carry out compliance and enforcement function.
  Ensure building work complies with the approved plans and specifications.   If relevant, approve new responsible person.
  Ensure the relevant inspections and/or tests are carried out.    
  Provide notifications and obtain consents where necessary prior to any work being carried out that will affect other land.    
  If relevant, provide notice of cessation to the permit authority and to the owner.    
After – at completion of work and prior to occupying certain buildings
Submit an application for an occupancy permit for Class 2 to Class 9 buildings. Submit a notice of completion for all buildings to the permit authority including any relevant test and inspection certificates.  Carry out inspections and issue certificates of construction compliance to accompany an application for an occupancy permit for Class 2 to Class 9 buildings. Ensure notice of completion and the required inspection certificates are received.
      Provide the FES Commissioner with a copy of the occupancy permit where a referral was carried out in accordance with
r. 18B(1).
      Grant occupancy permits for Class 2 to Class 9 buildings.


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