Before beginning any type of work on buildings or structures, including new constructions, garages, carports, swimming pools, or erecting awnings, you are obliged to submit an application with plans and specifications for assessment and approval. Once you receive an official development approval or decision notice work may commence.

Further information and relevant legislation is available here:

Please contact Council before proceeding with any building work.

Before you Build

When is a building approval (certification) required?

A building development approval (certification), known as a building permit, is needed before you start construction on most types of domestic or commercial building works.

You will need a private building certifier who will assess whether the proposed work complies with the Building Act 1975 and associated regulations and building standards. Please note Council does not offer building certification services.

All building certifiers must be registered with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.

Where can I find a private building certifier?

Council does not recommend private certifiers. The Queensland Building and Construction Commission however offers a Finding a Licensed Certifier service.

Further advice on engaging a certifier can also be found at the Department of Housing and Public Works website.

What else should I do?

It is important to ensure that you check whether any other types of approvals are required, including planning approvals or plumbing approvals from Council, prior to obtaining a building approval. Your building certifier should be able to give you this information in the initial stage.

Check that your building records are given to Council.

During the building application and approval process, the private building certifier is required to lodge a copy of approval related documentation with Council. A copy of these documents is held on Council’s records in accordance with the legislation.

Building approval and inspections

When is a building approval (certification) required?

A building development approval (certification), known as a building permit, is required prior to commencing construction on most types of domestic or commercial building works. You will need a private building certifier who will assess whether the proposed work complies with the Building Act 1975 and associated regulations and building standards. Please note Council does not offer building certification services. All building certifiers must be registered with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.

How to finalise a building approval

You will need to arrange a final inspection of your building works to ensure they meet the requirements of relevant legislation and standards. The information below explains how to arrange a final inspection for a building or plumbing approval.

Approvals issued by Council

Council is no longer providing building certification services with exception for remote areas in the Shire.  A qualified certifier will conduct a visual inspection to determine if the building structure is compliant with the relevant legislation and standards.  This means that for any new building certification applications, you will need to engage a private certifier who is licensed by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).

Download Map

To do this we will need access to your property and therefore may require written authority from the land owner. Someone must also be present during the inspection. If Council is satisfied that the building is compliant we will issue a final inspection certificate.

Approvals issued by private building certifiers

If your approval was issued by a private certifier you will need to contact them to finalise the process. The certifier may require further inspections, documentation or fees. If the required inspections have not been done, the original certifier (or another certifier) may be able to indicate what needs to be done to make the structure compliant with legislation and standards and any associated costs. If the approval has lapsed, or you can’t contact the original certifier, you will need to engage a new private building certifier to lodge a new development application and start the process from the beginning.

Council is unable to recommend private building certifiers, but you can search for certifiers in local telephone and business directories. Further information about the certification process is available at the Department of Housing and Public Works website.

Lodgment of documents

It is mandatory for certifiers to lodge approval documents, plans and inspection details with Council. If you are unsure about the status of a building approval you can order a Building Record Search Request through Council – select the relevant category – or contact Council on 1300 308 461 for assistance.

Pre-purchase building and pest inspections

Council does not offer building and pest inspection services for people wishing to buy a property. Several private businesses offer these services and can be found in local telephone and business directories.

Building plans

You may request a copy of your approved building plans, but Council cannot guarantee that all plans are available for older properties via Building File Search which attracts a fee.

Building complaints

Complaints about unlawful building or development work (eg, illegal buildings or structures, swimming pools and fencing) can be submitted in writing to Council or you can contact Customer Service to lodge your complaint.

Dial before you dig

Before you carry out any ground works, you should telephone 1100 or visit www.1100.com.au to find out what services are underground.

Building Certification

Building certification involves independently checking and approving building work to ensure it complies with the safety, health, amenity and sustainability standards specified in legislation and building codes.

Mareeba Shire Council no longer offers building certification services, with exception for remote areas in the Shire. Residents within the highlighted zone (see map below) will be required to engage a private certifier.

Please Council’s building and plumbing department for further information.

Download Map

Building Development Permits

A list of building development permits issued can be downloaded below.

Driveways and easements

 Driveways and crossovers

 It is the property owner’s responsibility to construct and maintain residential driveways and crossovers within the road reserve and within a resident’s own property.

The crossover is the part of the driveway that crosses the footway from the kerb to the property boundary.

A single residential crossover (new or alteration to existing) does not require Council approval on the condition that it is constructed in accordance with the Access Crossovers requirements of the FNQROC Development Manual. This document stipulates minimum construction standards and required site grades to allow safe and reasonable access to your property. These standards aim to minimise stormwater runoff and erosion, ensure access to public utilities, and maintain a safe corridor for pedestrians and traffic.

Council approval is required for multiple residential crossovers as well as commercial and industrial crossovers.

Download Information and Application Kit

Building on easements 

Many properties have easements running through them. Easements are sections of private property that are set aside to allow Council access to these properties to maintain pipelines, services or drainage systems.

If you wish to do building work over an easement, you will need to obtain written consent from the registered holder of the easement. A Title Search will identify the easement holder. (Fees apply – contact the Queensland Government Titles Registry by phone 13QGOV for more information on requesting a Title Search.)

If the proposed building is over or near infrastructure, you may need to apply to Council for approval, make special provisions for the footings, or relocate the structure

Fences – boundary, dividing and pools

 Boundary and dividing fences 

The Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011 (commenced on 1 November 2011) contains new laws on fences.

It relates to constructing and repairing fences (including any structure, ditch, embankment, hedge or similar vegetation barrier) that divide adjoining land. It aims to help you obtain a contribution from your neighbour.

If you are planning to build a fence over two metres high you must obtain a building approval (from a private certifier), in addition to meeting the requirements under the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act.  Visit the Queensland Legislation website for more information.

The Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney General website also provides more information about dividing fences, including a guide with a suggested plan of action which may be helpful in avoiding conflict with your neighbours about fencing and trees.

Pool fencing

The standard for fencing around a swimming pool is contained in the following legislation:

  • AS1926.1 -2007 Swimming Pool Safety Part 1: Fencing for swimming pools
  • AS1926.2 -1995 Swimming Pool Safety Part 2: Location of fencing for private swimming pools
  • Queensland Development Code Mandatory Part 3.4 – Swimming Pool Barriers

Pool owners are responsible for ensuring pool barriers are maintained and damaged fencing or barriers are fixed immediately.

For more information about swimming pool fences and safety barriers, visit the Queensland Government Pool Safety website.

Asbestos Awareness

We encourage homeowners to seek professional advice if they need to disturb or remove asbestos or be aware of how to work safely around it. They should also encourage any tradies working at their home to do the same. Anyone removing asbestos will also need to seek council advice about where and how they can safely dispose of asbestos waste.

Visit Queensland Government’s asbestos website.

Shipping Container Structures

Do I need approval to have a Shipping Container on my property?

If you intend to place a shipping container on your property for more than 30 days, you will need to obtain Building Approval from a Private Building Certifier.

You may also need to obtain a Development Permit from Council depending on the size and location of the container. Council recommends that prior to locating a shipping container on your property, you enquire with a private Building Certifier to determine if a Development Permit is required.

This applies for use of the container as both a Class 10a non habitable structure (shed, storage, or the like) or for a Class 1a habitable structure (a granny flat, dwelling house extension or similar space).

If the container is to be placed on your property for 30 days or less, no Building Approval or Development Permit is required.

There is no special planning requirements for shipping containers outside of the regular siting and size criteria for structure such as sheds and dwelling houses.