Building Information and Services

Legislative Framework 

In Western Australia the building approval process is governed by the Building Act 2011 and the Building Regulations 2012 which regulate the construction and/or demolition of buildings and structures, and the occupation of buildings. All building works must be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and relevant Australian Standards (AS).

Building Services

The Shire of Exmouth controls the construction, occupation and demolition of buildings and incidental structures through the granting of building, demolition or occupancy permits and building approval certificates and the enforcement of compliance with permits.

In addition to assessing and issuing permits and certificates, the Shire offers the following services:

  • Archive searches for building plans and documents for buildings and incidental structures that were built, altered or renovated. For further information about the archive search process, please refer to Building plans and documents.
  • Building Surveying services:
    • BAL assessment (town site only)
    • Building Approval Certificate 
    • Certificate of Building Compliance 
    • Certificate of Design Compliance 
    • Certificate of Construction Compliance 

Building Fees

Please refer to the adopted by the Council of Exmouth Fees and Charges.

Building Classes



Class 1

One or more buildings which in association constitute-

Class 1a - a single dwelling being
(i) a detached house
(ii) one of a group of two or more attached dwellings, each being a building, separated by a fire-resisting wall, including a row house, terrace house, town house or villa unit or

Class 1b - a boarding house, guest house, hostel or the like
(i) with a total area of all floors not exceeding 300 m2 measured over the enclosing walls of the Class 1b and 
(ii) in which not more than 12 persons would ordinarily be resident

which is not located above or below another dwelling or another Class of building other than a private garage

Class 2

A building containing 2 or more sole-occupancy units each being a separate dwelling

Class 3

A residential building, other than a building of class 1 or 2, which is a common place of long term or transient living for a number of unrelated persons, including-

(a) a boarding-house, guest house, hostel, lodging-house or backpackers accommodation or 
(b) a residential part of a hotel or motel or 
(c) a residential part of a school or
(d) accommodation for the aged, children or people with disabilities or 
(e) a residential part of a health-care building which accommodates members of staff or
(f) a residential part of a detention centre

Class 4

A dwelling in a building that is Class 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 if it is the only dwelling in the building.

Class 5

An office building used for professional or commercial purposes, excluding buildings of Class 6, 7, 8 or 9

Class 6

A shop or other building for the sale of goods by retail or the supply of services direct to the public, including—
(a) an eating room, cafe, restaurant, milk or soft-drink bar or
(b) a dining room, bar, shop or kiosk part of a hotel or motel or
(c) a hairdresser’s or barber’s shop, public laundry, or undertaker’s establishment or
(d) market or sale room, showroom, or service station

Class 7

A building which is –
(a) Class 7a - a carpark or
(b) Class 7b - for storage, or display of goods or produce for sale by wholesale

Class 8

A laboratory, or a building in which a handicraft or process for the production, assembling, altering, repairing, packing, finishing, or cleaning of goods or produce is carried on for trade, sale, or gain

Class 9

A building of a public nature –
(a) Class 9a - a health-care building, including those parts of the building set aside as a laboratory or
(b) Class 9b - an assembly building, including a trade workshop, laboratory or the like in a primary or secondary school, but excluding any other parts of the building that are of another Class or
(c) Class 9c - an aged care building

Class 10

A non-habitable building or structure –
(a) Class 10a - a non-habitable building being a private garage, carport, shed, or the like or
(b) Class 10b - a structure being a fence, mast, antenna, retaining or free-standing wall, swimming pool, or the like
(c) Class 10c - a private bushfire shelter



Building Permit

Generally, a building permit is required for all structures (residential, commercial or industrial) before any building work can be carried out.*

This includes (but is not limited to) Houses, granny flats, additions and alterations; Patios, verandahs, gazebos, pergolas and decks

  • Sheds,  garages, carports, workshops
  • Swimming pools, pool fencing, spas
  • Retaining walls
  • Shop fitouts, mezzanine floors, change of use (converting an office to a shop)
  • Commercial and industrial buildings 
  • Demolition of domestic and commercial buildings.

Please note there are two ways to apply for a building permit: applications for Class 1b and Class 2 to 9 must be made as Certified applications, whereas for Class 1a and 10 buildings and incidental structures it could be optional (either Uncertified or Certified).

Duration:  a building permit is valid for two years from the date of issue, unless otherwise stated on the permit.

*Unless there is an exemption for the proposed work under Part 5, Division 2 of the Building Act 2011 and Regulation 41, Schedule 4 of the Building Regulations 2012

Demolition Permit

A demolition permit is required for the demolition, dismantling or removal of a building or incidental structure.

Unless there is an exemption under Part 5, Division 2 of the Building Act 2011 and Regulation 42 of the Building Regulations 2012

Occupancy permit 

An occupancy permit must be obtained from the Shire before a Class 2 to Class 9 building can be occupied. It covers circumstances such as:

  • occupying a completed new building or a new part of an existing building (s. 46);
  • occupying an incomplete building or part of a building on a temporary basis (s. 47);
  • modifying the current occupancy permit for additional use of a building on a temporary basis (s. 48);
  • occupying a building or part of a building that has undergone a permanent change of use or classification (s. 49);
  • authorising and occupying an unauthorised building or an unauthorised part of a building (s. 51); and
  • authorising a building with existing approval with a new or replacement occupancy permit (s. 52) – this demonstrates that an existing building complies with the relevant building standards and is safe to occupy.

Occupancy permits are not needed for:

  • Existing buildings, unless the use or classification is to be changed.
  • Class 1a and 10 (single residential) buildings

Building approval certificate

A building approval certificate is used to:

  • Approve any unauthorised building work associated with a Class 1 or 10 building or incidental structure or
  • Certify an existing building’s compliance with the applicable building standards.  


Certificates of Compliance

Certificate of design compliance 

A certificate of design compliance (CDC) is required in order to obtain a building permit to construct a building or incidental structure. The Building Act requires a CDC to be in an approved form (BA3) and contain a statement by the building surveyor that the building will comply with each applicable building standard if the building is completed in accordance with the specified plans and specifications. Additionally the Building Regulations prescribe each other thing the certificate must contain and what the building surveyor is required to do before signing the certificate, for example:

  • state that the plans and specifications have been submitted to the FES Commissioner where required under the Building Regulations;
  • state the relevant edition of the Building Code; and
  • provide details about each alternative solution to a building standard for Class 2 to Class 9 buildings.

Certificate of construction compliance 

A certificate of construction compliance (CCC) is required in order to obtain an occupancy permit to occupy a newly completed Class 2 to Class 9 building or a newly completed part of the building e.g. addition to a building. A CCC amongst other things requires the building surveyor to state that:

For a completed building:

  • the building has been completed in accordance with the plans and specifications that are specified in the applicable CDC for each applicable building permit;
  • the building complies with each applicable building permit including each condition that applies to the permit; and
  • the building in its current state is otherwise suitable to be used in the way proposed in the application.

For an incomplete building:

  • the building is incomplete;
  • that occupying or using the building in its current state in the way proposed in the application would not adversely affect the safety and health of its occupants or users; and
  • the building in its current state is otherwise suitable to be used in the way proposed in the application.

Certificate of building compliance 

A certificate of building compliance (CBC) is required in order to obtain:

  • an occupancy permit, other than an occupancy permit required for a completed building or an incomplete building for which a CCC would be required;
  • a building approval certificate;
  • an occupancy permit strata; or
  • a building approval certificate strata.

The applications that must be accompanied by a CBC include change of use, change of classification, registering a strata title, approval of unauthorised work, or replacing an existing occupancy permit or building approval certificate. A CBC amongst other things requires a building surveyor to state that:

  • the building or incidental structure substantially complies with the applicable building standards;
  • occupying or using the building or incidental structure in its current state in the way proposed in the application would not adversely affect the safety and health of its occupants or other users;
  • the building or incidental structure complies with each authority under a written law that is prescribed in r. 36 of the Building Regulations; and
  • where relevant, that the building or incidental structure substantially complies with the building permit, building licence or other approval that was granted in
    respect of the construction of the building or incidental structure.


Bushfire Attack Level contour map

A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Contour Map is a scale map of the subject lot/s illustrating the potential radiant heat impacts and associated indicative BAL ratings in reference to any classified vegetation remaining within 100 metres of the assessment area after the development is complete. The intent of the BAL Contour Map is to identify land suitable for development based on the indicative BAL rating.

BAL Contour Maps are prepared by accredited practitioners.