Building and Plumbing

Before starting work on most buildings and structures, a building permit, also known as a 'building approval', 'development approval' and 'building certification' may be required.

The current property owner must also ensure that any necessary Development Approvals have also been obtained.

A building certifier will assess whether the proposed work complies with the Building Act 1975 and associated standards. If it does, they will issue a building permit. Accredited building certifiers must be registered with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).

The building approval will note what inspections must take place while the work is underway. The building certifier who issued the permit is required to carry out these inspections and issue the final certificate.

Note: Council remains the sole regulator for approval /inspection of plumbing and drainage work.

What requires building approval

The current property owner is responsible for ensuring the necessary permits are obtained from a private building certifier prior to the commencement of any building work on a property. View the building approval requirements fact sheet (on the Planning Web Page) and the information below.

Sheds, carports, and pergolas

These structures require building approval from a private building certifier when any of the following occur:

  • the floor area is greater than 10 square metres
  • if the side is greater than five metres in length
  • the mean height is more than 2.1 metres or height exceeds 2.4 metres above the level of natural ground
  • it is attached to a dwelling.

Sheds (garden sheds)

All garden sheds are to be located a minimum of six metres from any road boundary i.e. front fence line. A roof water drainage system may need to be installed.


Carports whether attached to a house or free standing will need building approval from a private building certifier.


A pergola must remain unroofed or covered in shade cloth only.  If an existing pergola is proposed to be roofed or attached to any other structure, building approval from a private building certifier is required.

Retaining walls

The following types of retaining walls require building approval from a private building certifier:

  • retaining walls constructed more than 1 metre in height above natural ground level
  • retaining walls constructed closer than 1.5 metres to any other structure, regardless of height
  • retaining walls with surcharge loadings (i.e. have weight bearing load applied to the top of the retaining wall), regardless of height.

Shipping containers

A shipping container is permitted on private property if:

  • it is sited within the property boundary and does not remain longer than 30 days or
  • it is used in conjunction with the construction of a new dwelling on the property for no longer than 90 days.

The placement of shipping containers on a footpath requires additional approval and pay the relevant fee.

When building approval is required

If the shipping container remains on the property for a longer period of time, a building approval will be required from a private building certifier. Part of the approval process will be a referral to Council as a Concurrence Agency.

It is unlikely that Council would support a referral in relation to a shipping container on land in the General residential zone (all precincts).

Temporary homes / accommodation

Council may give consideration to the use of temporary homes / accommodation (i.e. caravan, shed, etc) during the construction of a dwelling on that land, for a maximum duration of six months.

Applications will only be considered on properties 3000 square metres or greater and only when a building application for the dwelling has been lodged with Council by the private building certifier.


Generally, all structures that require a building permit to be built also require a building permit for demolition or removal from site. This includes the removal or filling of a swimming pool.

Consult a private building certifier for further information.

Plumbing applications / notifications associated with demolition of structures

  • Capping of sewer: sealing a sanitary drain upstream from the sewer connection point of Council's sewerage infrastructure is to be completed by a licensed plumber/drainer.
  • Decommissioning an on-site sewerage facility is completed by a licensed plumber/drainer.

Removal house

A removal dwelling is a single detached dwelling (Class 1a building) that will be removed from the site that it is currently located (either in part or entirety), then transported to the new proposed location.

The completed application along with the applicable fees must be lodged with Council either by post, over the counter at the Normanton or Karumba Council Office.

Fees and charges can be found in the Commercial and Regulatory Fees and Charges Schedule.

Building Record Search

A building records search will outline details of building development approvals issued by Council within the Shire. However please note that some searches may be unsuccessful.

To request a Building Records Search please complete a Property Search Request along with applicable fees and lodge with Council either by post, over the counter at Normanton or Karumba Council Office or by email to

Swimming Pools

Swimming Pools in Queensland need to be registered on the Queensland Government’s Pool Safety Register.

It is the responsibility of the pool owner to have a current Pool Safety Certificate and ensure their pool is registered.

Carpentaria Shire Council does not employ a Pool Safety Inspector.  A list of Pool Safety Inspectors can be found on the QBCC website.

For more information on Swimming Pool Compliance visit the QBCC website.

Plumbing Works

Plumbing work in Queensland is regulated by State Government legislative requirements and is categorised under four types:

  • Unregulated work
  • Minor work
  • Notifiable work
  • Permit work

Property owners can contact Council or a licences plumber/drainer to discuss types of domestic plumbing works. For any enquiries regarding domestic, multi-residential or commercial plumbing applications including on-site sewerage facilities contact Council.

Anyone undertaking plumbing work must also consider if there are any building requirements involved and, if so, contact a private certifier to see if building approval is required.

Various changes to plumbing law became effective 1 July 2019, details are avainale through the Department of Housing and Public Works.

Unregulated Work

Unregulated work does not require approval or permit from either the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) or Council. The person doing the work does not need to be a licenced plumber, however, the work must still meet the minimum standards of work under the legislation and codes.

Some examples of unregulated work:

  • replacing a shower head, domestic water filter cartridge, jumper valve or washer in a tap
  • repairing or replacing a drop valve washer, float valve washer or suction cup rubber in a toilet cistern
  • replacing caps to ground level inspection openings on a sanitary drain or cleaning or maintaining a ground level grate for a trap on a sanitary drain
  • installing or maintaining an irrigation or lawn watering system downstream from a tap, isolating valve, or backflow prevention device on the supply pipe for the watering system
  • repairing or maintaining an irrigation system for the disposal of effluent from a greywater use facility or on-site sewerage facility
  • any work on stormwater drainage.

Minor Work

Minor work must be performed by a licenced plumber/drainer, however, does not require notification to QBCC or a permit from Council.

Some examples of minor work:

  • unblocking sanitary plumbing or sanitary drainage
  • repairing a broken or damaged pipe
  • maintaining or repairing an apparatus
  • installing, replacing, or removing an apparatus, other than a dual check valve with atmospheric port, a temperature control device, a testable backflow prevention device or a water heater.
  • maintaining, repairing, replacing, or removing a fitting or fixture
  • maintaining or repairing a greywater use facility or an on-site sewage facility, other than repairing or maintaining an irrigation system for the disposal of effluent from the facility
  • installing a greywater diversion device
  • maintaining, repairing, or replacing a fire hydrant or fire hose reel, unless the work is deemed unregulated work
  • sealing a supply pipe downstream from the water meter for house or shed/garage.
  • installing, removing, or replacing an automatic switching device for a rainwater tank.

Notifiable Work

Notifiable work includes common everyday plumbing and drainage work on existing buildings. This work must be performed by a licenced plumber/drainer and must be reported to QBCC by the plumber/drainer using a Form 4.

Council may conduct audit inspections on 5% of the notifications of work reported to QBCC. This inspection is done at no additional cost to the customer.

Some examples of notifiable work include:

  • extending, altering, replacing, or removing existing sanitary plumbing in an existing house
  • extending, altering replacing, or removing existing sanitary drainage in an existing house
  • installing, replacing, or removing a temperature control device, water heater, testable backflow prevention device and/or a dual check valve with atmospheric port within an existing house
  • installing or replacing a greywater treatment plant or facility
  • installing or relocating fixtures in an existing house
  • sealing a sanitary drain upstream from the connection point for a treatment plant or council sewerage system.

Permit work

Permit work must be carried out by a licenced plumber/drainer and Council approval is required prior to the commencement of this type of plumbing work. Mandatory inspections are also carried out by Council inspectors at various stages of the work. Once work has been completed to Council’s satisfaction, a final inspection certificate (Form 19) is issued by Council to the applicant, property owner and plumber/drainer.

The currency period for standard permit work is 2 years from the date of issue of the permit. Under the Plumbing and Drainage Act 2018 and the Plumbing and Drainage Regulation 2019, a request can be made to amend or extend the currency period of an existing permit. These requests must be submitted to Council in the approved form (Form 2), accompanied by the required documents and application fee.

All plumbing forms are produced by the Queensland Government and are not available from Council.

Standard permit work

Standard permit work covers all other permit work that is not included as Fast track. Council will assess plans of the work with a permit being issued within 10 business days of the lodgement of a properly made application.

Some examples of standard permit work in sewered areas include:

  • work on commercial buildings
  • a new multi-residential building.

Note: where an application for a multi-residential building meets the requirements for lodgement as Fast track permit work, the applicant may choose to submit the application as either Fast track or Standard permit work.

Some examples of Standard permit work in unsewered areas include:

  • a single house
  • a single shed/garage with plumbing
  • simultaneous building of a new house and shed/garage


The plumber will arrange for Council to inspect the plumbing work throughout the various stages of construction. A completed Form nominating the responsible person for the work must be received by Council before an inspection can be booked. To book an inspection, contact Council.

Plumbing Applications – Fast Track Opt-Out Declaration

Under the Plumbing and Draining Regulation 2019 Section 40, Council opts-out of Fast Track assessments of Plumbing Applications per Council Resolution No. 1023/030. In accordance with Section 41 of the Regulation this decision is published here. Council allows 10 days for the assessment of work before a Permit will be issued.

Building and Plumbing Forms

# Name Size Type Date Download
1 Application for Extension of Time Building Work.pdf 315.38 KB PDF 14th June 2016
2 Application for Water Services.pdf 100.93 KB PDF 24th October 2019
3 Building Application Pack.pdf 648.08 KB PDF 24th October 2019
4 Dispensation Form - Front Boundary.pdf 327.69 KB PDF 3rd June 2016
5 Dispensation Form - Side or Rear.pdf 381.64 KB PDF 3rd June 2016

Property Search Request

# Name Size Type Date Download
1 Form 307 - Property Search Request Form.pdf 113.65 KB PDF 29th June 2018