Building Permits

buildingUnder State legislation a building permit is required before commencement of most building work. The definition of 'building work' in the legislation includes new building, demolition and/or alteration. In many cases the builder or architect/draftsperson obtains the permit on behalf of the property owner.

For information about which work requires a building permit and which does not, we recommend referring to the wording of the exemption allowances of the Building Regulations or checking the 'building permits' page at the  Building Commission's website.

If building work is proposed it is wise to check whether a planning permit from Council's Planning Services Unit is also required, as a building permit cannot be issued unless any relevant planning permit has been issued.

Building permits are issued by building surveyors. An application for a building permit may be made to the Municipal Building Surveyor (Council's appointed official) or a private building surveyor (a registered person privately appointed by or on behalf of the owner, having no connection with Council). Note the Municipal Building Surveyor carries out building permit and inspection functions only with respect to land within the municipal district.


In the case of applications to the Municipal Building Surveyor, fees for building permit applications are determined under delegation from Council - refer our fee schedule below. Private building surveyors set their own fees.

Connected with a building permit are supplementary functions for which the relevant building surveyor will be responsible:

  • inspection of the building
  • work enforcement of building
  • standards occupancy permit functions.

Fee Schedule* for Building Permit Applications to the Municipal Building Surveyor - inspections included  (Current 1 July 2013)

  • Fences - minimum  $648
  • Carports - minimum  $680
  • Demolitions - minimum  $1,254 ($680 per additional storey)
  • Dwelling additions - minimum  $660 (cost of work to $10,000)
  • Dwelling additions - minimum  $1,275 (cost of work to $50,000)
  • Dwelling additions - minimum  $1,463 (cost of work over $50,000)
  • New dwelling - minimum  $2,466
  • Commercial building - minimum  $2,435 (cost of work up to $50,000)
  • Commercial building - minimum  $2,770 (cost of work over $50,000)
  • Final inspection of lapsed permit -$350

Fee Schedule* for Occupancy Permit Applications to the Municipal Building Surveyor

  • Class 1 (new houses) - $387
  • Other Classes - $606
  • Places of public entertainment - (Minimum $1098)

* Fees include GST.


The GST has traditionally applied to building and occupancy permits issued by Local Government and private building surveyors, but not the Building Commission. It has been applied in addition to the building permit levies charged by the Building Commission for its Building Administration Fund.

The latest tax exemption determination can be reviewed at A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) (Exempt Taxes, Fees and Charges) Determination 2011 (No. 1) - for Victoria, go to Part 3 (Vol 4) and items 8.5 - 8.80.

Levy and Lodgement Fee

The Building Act requires that these must be paid before any building permit can be issued.


(also see Victorian Building Authority page on the Building Levy)

  • $1.28 cents per $1000 of the cost of work over $10,000 (note the additional so-called HIH levy of 32c per $1000 for domestic work was repealed on 30 June 2010). These are collected by the relevant building surveyor who will send to the Building Commission - plus

Lodgement Fee (Current 22/7/14)

  • Applies to all work of more than $5000 needing a building permit.  From 22 July 2104 this is set as 2.75 fee units with the total rounded to the nearest 10c. 
  • 2.75  x $13.24 = $36.41 which is rounded to $36.40
  • Note that the lodgement fee to be provided to Council is the amount required at the time the building permit application was made to the relevant building surveyor, not at the time of decision or provision to Council under s30 of the Building Act. If the application was made in the 12 months before 22/7/14, the lodgement fee is the old amount -  $35.70.

For a specific quote from the office of the Municipal Building Surveyor, please call 8290 3525.

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