Department of Justice
If you are building in a hazardous area, there may be additional considerations.
The Tasmanian Government is developing guidelines for building in a number of different types of hazardous areas including:
You can find information about whether your property may be affected by any hazards by looking at www.iplan.tas.gov.au.
The requirements for building in areas affected by natural hazards are changing during 2017.
The changes will take effect at the same time as the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme in each municipal area. This process is expected to commence in the first municipal areas in late 2017.
For more information see Fact Sheet - Building requirements for hazardous areas (transitional provisions) (pdf, 195.6 KB)
Large areas of land in Tasmania are subject to slope instability and landslides have destroyed about 60 houses in the last 50 years.
The financial cost to owners and the community has been high.
Some problem areas have been declared under State legislation to be declared landslip areas.
These areas have been classified as either A or B landslip areas, with the A area posing the most risk. In the declared areas there are restrictions placed on what types of buildings can be constructed and what types of building work, or other activities may be carried out on that land. This includes a ban on the removal of vegetation.
Mineral Resources Tasmania has produced maps which can provide information on landslides and other geo-hazards.
Many Tasmanian planning schemes contain restrictions for use and development in landslip hazard areas. Details of these planning restrictions, as well as maps of landslip hazard areas, are available at www.iplan.tas.gov.au.
The Australian Building Codes Board have developed the Landslide Hazards Handbook (2nd Edition 2015).
Flood damage to your home or business premises can be devastating. If land is known to be prone to flooding, the design of a proposed building must comply with additional restrictions.
To find out the flood risk in your area, check the following sources:
The legal requirements for building in an area that is subject to flooding is that the floor level of any habitable room must be 300mm or more above the designated flood level for that land. The 'designated flood level' is:
If you are building in a bushfire-prone area, there are special requirements for the design, construction or alteration of certain types of buildings.
Your land is most likely to be in a bushfire-prone area if you have unmanaged vegetation (including grass) greater than 1 hectare in area within 100 metres of your building site.
The risk to a habitable building from that vegetation will need to be assessed before new building work is permitted.
Special construction standards apply to these types of buildings:
('Class' refers to the building classification system used in the National Construction Code).
The National Construction Code (NCC) provides the minimum standard for all building work in Tasmania. It provides that for any new building work (including alterations and extensions) in a bushfire-prone area, the building work must comply with the requirements of Australian Standard AS 3959 - 2009 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas. There are extra provisions for design and construction, over and above the usual building standards, to minimise the risks to occupants should the building come under attack from a bushfire. There are graded "Bushfire Attack Levels" (BALs) depending on the level of risk. A building with a high BAL will require much higher construction specifications than a building with a lower potential level of bushfire attack.
Some examples of these special construction requirements include:
Incorporating appropriate features or measures from the Standard into the particular building's design will reduce the effects of ember attack and radiant heat, two of the main forms of bushfire attack.
All new dwellings (and Class 2 and 3 buildings) in bushfire-prone areas must also have:
Full details of these specific requirements are found in the:
Bushfire hazard practitioners are accredited by the Chief Officer of the Tasmania Fire Service to provide advice on matters relating to planning and building in bushfire-prone areas.
The Director of Building Control's Determination on Certificates of Specialists and Other Persons also recognises these Accredited Assessors for the provision of Bushfire Hazard Certificates, including determining the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) for an application for building work. Such certification can be accepted and relied on by a building surveyor for their assessment for granting a Certificate of Likely Compliance. The Accredited Assessor's report must be provided to the Permit Authority when making an application for a building permit.
A list of Accredited Bushfire Hazard Assessors can be found on the Tasmanian Fire Service webpage Building for Bushfires. This page also provides general information for home owners, designers and builders.