If you are thinking of doing any renovations, alterations or additions, before erecting retaining walls and carports, or installing a swimming pool, you should contact a private certifier. They provide general advice on the current requirements and fees for all types of building work to ensure you comply with relevant local and state laws.

State Government regulations require that you obtain a building permit before starting on any building work.

Building Certification

Building certifiers are responsible for assessing whether proposed building work complies with all relevant provisions of the Building Act 1975 and associated standards.

The building certifier who issues the building permit must also carry out inspections to determine if the building work complies with the approval.

Building certifiers can provide general advice about compliance of building work with the legislation. They are not permitted to design the building or carry out any of the work.

You can obtain specialist advice on building applications from the appropriate design professionals.

A listing of Private Certifiers for the Douglas region can be found in the Yellow Pages.

Building applications and approval

You need to obtain a building approval, for all types of building work before you start construction, if you are doing the building work yourself or employing the services of a licensed builder.

Applications for building approvals are lodged via building certifiers.

Building approvals – also known as ‘building permits’, ‘development approvals’ and ‘building certifications’ – are required before you start most types of building and structural work.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • new dwellings;
  • alterations and additions to existing buildings (including new roofs);
  • house removal and relocation;
  • demolitions;
  • carports and sheds;
  • garden shed – see note 1;
  • roofed patios, gazebos, pergolas and shade sails;
  • fences over 2 metres in height above the natural ground level;
  • retaining walls over 1 metre in height above natural ground level or within 1.5m of a building or other retaining wall;
  • swimming pools and spas; and
  • Approval is required for garden sheds, including the DIY kit type, because Douglas Shire is in a cyclonic region (as specified in the Building Code of Australia).


Contact a private building certifier to enquire about:

  • whether you need a building approval;
  • how to apply for a building approval; or
  • standards applicable to building work.


Private building certifiers are not authorised to approve any building work that is contrary to the local planning scheme or the Queensland Development Code.

If there is any uncertainty as to whether the proposed structure complies with the requirements of the local planning scheme or the Queensland Development Code, it is recommended that you complete a Town Planning Prelodgement Enquiry.

A building application that requires a variation to the requirements of the Queensland Development Code or the local planning scheme must be submitted to council prior to the building certifier granting approval.

Refer to the Department of Local Government and Planning for the range of IDAS (Integrated Development Assessment System) forms for development applications.

Building legislation

Council administers planning and development in the Shire region in accordance with the consolidated planning scheme and the Building Act 1975.

Certification assessment enables the public to gain building approval and ensures construction complies with the following legislative requirements:

  • Building Act 1975;
  • Building Regulations 2006;
  • Building Code of Australia;
  • Australian Standards;
  • Queensland Development Code; and
  • any other relevant legislation.