Building Permit Advice

House Plan

Private building surveyors issue building permits in the Colac-Otway Shire. A private building surveyor carries out the assessment of the application, inspections and issuing all relevant paperwork. The private building surveyor (relevant building surveyor) is required to lodge all building permit documentation to Council.

A building permit is a document issued by a registered building surveyor to signify that the plans and documentation for the proposed work meet requirements for health, safety and structural soundness under the Building Code of Australia, the Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations 2018.

A list of private building surveyors who operate in the Colac-Otway Shire is available here 

The relevant building surveyor must apply to the VBA for a building permit number for the proposed building permit. To obtain a building permit number from the VBA: 

  1. The relevant building surveyor must provide the VBA with all required information relating to the proposed building permit, and
  2. The levy must be paid


The Building Process

How do I apply for a building permit?

Step 1 - Check if a building permit is needed

Some types of building works may not require a building permit.

To seek advice on whether a building permit is needed go to When is a building permit required? or contact your private building surveyor.

Step 2 - Find a building surveyor

Within the Colac-Otway Shire municipality, private building surveyors issue building permits and conduct the appropriate inspections.

If you need a new building permit, contact a private building surveyor who will explain the process and how much it costs.

This link to private building surveyors are local or have expressed that they are willing to work in the area, however any registered building surveyor can issue permits and carry out inspections.

Step 3 - Prepare documentation

Speak to your building surveyor to find out what documentation is required to lodge your application.

Step 4 - Lodge

Lodge your application with your chosen building surveyor and pay any required fees to your building surveyor.

Step 5 - Issue

Your private building surveyor will check for compliance with Building Act and regulations. If it complies, they will issue your building permit. A copy of the building permit is required to the sent to the owner, the applicant, and the nominated builder. Do not start work until you have a copy of the building permit in your possession.


Owner's duty to notify the VBA of final cost of Works

From 1 July 2019, owners have a duty to notify the VBA of revised final costs of work. The duty to notify the VBA of the revised final cost of work applies to work carried out under a building permit issued on and from 1 July 2019:

  • if the revised final cost exceeds the RBS’ initial estimate under s205I by at least $15,625; and
  • when the duty holder becomes aware of the revised final cost of work (notification must be made within 28 days).

Where the owner fails to notify the VBA of a variation to building work, or where false or misleading information relating to the cost of building work has been provided, penalty levy may apply.

Notification can be provided by completing the Notification of increased building costs for building permits form and attaching any supporting documents (for example, quotes, invoices or a copy of an amended building permit).


What other permits are required to build?

In addition to a building permit, you may require further permits or approvals prior to commencement of your building works. These approvals (excluding the crossover permit) must be obtained and provided to your Building Surveyor before the Building Permit can be issued.

  • Planning Permit - For use and/or development of the building or land

  • Siting Variation - When a building design does not comply with the building regulation siting requirements you will need to apply for a Report & Consent (often known as dispensation)

  • Owner Builder Consent - If you are an owner builder and the value of works will be over $16,000 you will need a Certificate of Consent from the Victorian Building Authority (Value of works must include all materials and labour at a commercial value)

  • Demolition Consent - For demolition or removal of a building (including partial) 

  • Septic System - Approval to install and use a septic system

  • Crossover Permit - For installation or alteration to crossovers for a driveway


Related Information

Plans & Permits Checklist - Consumer Affairs Victoria

VBA Building Resources

VBA Building Regulatory Framework

VBA Website