Building Overview

Building Overview
Building Legislation

Building Legislation

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

The following links provide the legislative framework for buidling in Western Australia.

Dept of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety Western Australian Legislation National Construction Code (NCC) - free access

The National Construction Code (NCC) provides the minimum necessary requirements for safety, health, amenity and sustainability in the design and construction of new buildings (and new building work in existing buildings) throughout Australia.

The NCC comprises the Building Code of Australia (BCA), Volume One and Two; and the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), as Volume Three.

  • Volume One: pertains primarily to Class 2 to 9 buildings which are commercial, industrial and multi-residential buildings.
  • Volume Two: pertains primarily to Class 1 and 10 buildings which are houses, sheds and carports.
  • Volume Three: pertains primarily to plumbing and drainage associated with all classes of buildings.

 Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB)

Smoke alarm laws

The Building Regulations 2012 (the Regulations) require the owner of a dwelling to have compliant smoke alarms installed prior to the transfer of ownership; where a dwelling is rented under a residential tenancy agreement or made available for such rental; and where a dwelling is made available for hire.

 smoke alarm laws

Dividing Fence legislation

A dividing fence separates the residential land of different owners whether the fence is on the common boundary of adjoining lands or on a line other than the common boundary. A dividing fence does not include a retaining wall.

The erection and maintenance of dividing fences on the boundary are a matter between neighbours and as such are dealt with by the Dividing Fences Act 1961  which is administered by the Department of Commerce - Building Commission.

A Building Permit may be required for the construction for dividing fence and front fence. Please refer to the Residential Fence Information Sheet available on the Forms & Information Page

dividing fences dividing fences guide

Home Indemnity Insurance (HII) - Home Building Contracts Act

Residential building work contracts in Western Australia are governed by the Home Building Contracts Act 1991.

  • It is compulsory for all residential building work above $20,000 to be covered by HII, except associated work alone (e.g. swimming pools, carports, pergolas and landscaping).
  • Before commencing work or demanding any payment including a deposit, the builder must take out HII and give the home owner a certificate confirming the existence of the insurance cover.

 Fact SheetHome building contracts act 1991

Application Information

Application Information

Application Requirements

A building permit is required prior to commencing construction for most structures (residential, commercial or industrial) including but not limited to new works, additions, alterations, commercial fitouts and refurbishments, changes to ground levels, swimming pools, spas and pool barriers.

Although Part 6 of the Building Regulations 2012 details building work for which a building permit is not required, it does not exempt those works which may require planning approval.

It is important to consult the Shire of Irwin as the permit authority or a registered building surveyor to ensure you obtain correct advice about the plans and processes you need to follow prior to lodging a permit application.

The Shire of Irwin currently contracts the City of Greater Geraldton to assess all applications, the City's Building Surveying Team are available to answer all questions building related on the Shires behalf between 8.30am and 5.00pm at the Geraldton Civic Centre on Cathedral Avenue (08) 9956 6916 or alternatively at

Relevant application forms, information sheets, checklists, fees and charges and copies of current property plans can be accessed on the Forms & Information Page.

Uncertified Application

An Uncertified Application is one in which the certification of building standards has not been done prior to the lodging of the Building Permit application.

All building application are submitted the Permit Authority (the Shire of Irwin). 

  • Uncertified applications can only be lodged for Class 1a and 10 residential buildings
  • The Shire of Irwin has 25 business days to approve or reject your application 
  • Please ensure all plans, specifications and all other relevant approvals are submitted with your application to assist in a timely aproval
Certified Application

A Certified Application is where you engage a registered building surveyor to complete a Certificate of Design Compliance (CDC) to accompany the building application submitted to the Permit Authority (the Shire of Irwin). 

  • Applications for Class 1b and Class 2 to 9 must be lodged as Certified Applications
  • Applications for Class 1a and 10 may be lodged as Certified or Uncertified Applications
  • The Shire of Irwin has 10 business days to approve or reject your application
  • Please ensure all plans, specifications and all other relevant approvals are submitted with your application to assist in a timely aproval

The role of a building surveyor

Planning approval requirements

Prior to granting a building permit, a permit authority must be satisfied that the proposed building work has the necessary approval under the Planning and Development Act 2005 and the applicant has complied or is complying with all relevant planning requirements.

Development (Planning) page

Please contact Regulatory Services on (08) 9927 0000 and they will be able to advise whether a planning assessment or a planning application is required to meet the relevant requirements.

Unauthorised Building Works

Unauthorised Building Works

It is an offence under the Building Act 2011 to undertake building work without first obtaining a Building Permit, unless the building work is exempted from such a requirement under the Building Regulations 2012.

Property owners who have unauthorised building works may submit an application to obtain a Building Approval Certificate which is used to retrospectively approve any building works completed without a Building Permit being issued, or certified an existing building’s compliance with the relevant standards.

Building Approval Certificates are voluntary, however if you have unauthorised building work you may be required to demolish it if you do not have one.



Under the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011, owner-builders are required to obtain approval from the Building Services Board, administered by the Building Commission, before obtaining a building permit to carry out owner builder work on their land. Applicants are required to provide evidence of their ownership of the land and demonstrate that they have sufficient knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of an owner-builder.

Dept of Mines, Industry Reguation and Safety

Owner-builder requirements

Contact Information

Contact Info

For Building Services enquiries, please contact Regulatory Services  on  9927 0000