Building Information Request - Overview

Who is eligible to obtain access to building information?

The Building Act 2016  provides that the Council can only make building information contained in its records available to –

a) The owner of the premises

The owner of premises is defined in the Act to mean –

1. every person who jointly or severally, whether at law or in equity, is entitled to the premises for an estate in freehold in possession; 
2. a person who has contracted to buy the premises;  
3. in the case of premises subject to a mortgage, the person currently holding the equity of redemption in that mortgage; 
4. in the case of premises held under a life tenancy, the person who is the life tenant; or 
5. in the case of premises held under a lease of not less than 99 years, the person who is the lease of the premises

b) A building surveyor, building services provider, or other licensed practitioner who has been engaged by the owner of the premises

A person seeking to have access to building records of the Council must provide proof they are an eligible person.


What information is available?

The Building Act 2016  requires the Council must keep records of all permits, certificates, authorisations and notices issued or received in relation to most categories of building, demolition and plumbing work performed after 1st January 2017.  Such information is to include any plans and specifications required in order to approve or describe the work on the building.

The Council’s records may also contain details in relation to similar matters for building, demolition and plumbing work performed prior to 1st January 2017.

The building information contained in these records may be of interest or useful to the owner of the premises or to any person engaged by the owner to perform work on the building.

Not all information may be useful or relevant to your enquiry. 

It will assist the Council to simplify the search and any copying process if an application for information can identify the nature of information required.

Include terms in your request description such as:

 “floor plans, elevations and construction and drainage details for dwelling as originally constructed in approximately 1995 and for later alterations and additions, including free standing car port”; 
“drainage diagram - details of on-site arrangements for drainage for sewage and stormwater”;

It is also useful if you indicate whether copies of these documents are required.

Please note –

1. Building designs and plans may be subject to copyright and other intellectual property rights which can restrict the purpose for which information can be reproduced and used.  It is the responsibility of the owner or their agent to ensure compliance to copy right and other legal requirements when using any information made available by the Council.

2. Building information held by the Council may not comprise a complete record of all work performed in relation to an existing building on the site.  Not all work requires a permit or approval under the Building Act 2016 or under the relevant predecessor legislation.

3. Building information must not be relied upon as evidence of compliance to any regulation applying for the use or development currently on the land.  A section 337 certificate under the Local Government Act 1993 can be requested if you are seeking information on compliance matters. 

4. Council does not provide any assurance or undertaking that –

  • All or any of the information requested will be located.  Subject to the age or nature of the building Council may not have been required to issue a building permit or to hold copies of the relevant information. 
  • All relevant documents will be located.  The age, accessibility and completeness of Council records may mean some documents may not be identified or available.
  • The description and detail on the information will be consistent with the building as it is currently constructed on the land.  Variation may have lawfully occurred during construction; and some forms of subsequent building work may not have required a permit or notification of plans to Council.
  • The quality of plan copies will enable all details and notations to be legible. The age and means by which documents are stored or recorded may result in deterioration or distortion.    

5. Provision of building information does not imply Council accepts any liability for any alleged non-compliance, inaccuracy or inconsistency between the work as described on the plans and the current or past construction of the building. 


    How is a request for building information made?

    A request for the Council to make building information available must be made by either the

    1)  Online Building Information Request Form or

    2) downloading the Request for Building Information Form, and lodge
         - in person at the Council’s City Office, 80 Wilson Street Burnie
         - by post to PO Box 973, Burnie TAS 7320
         - by email to burnie@burnie.net

         The application must be accompanied by –

        a) Written evidence that the person making the application is an eligible person for purposes of the Building Act 2016. 

        In this regard –        

        • for a person who jointly or severally, whether at law or in equity, is entitled to the premises for an estate in freehold in possession – a copy of the current Certificate of Title;
        • for a person who has contracted to buy the premises – a copy of the relevant contract;

        • for a person currently holding the equity of redemption in a mortgage – a copy of the current mortgage;

        • for a person who is the life tenant – a copy of the life tenancy agreement; or

        • for a person who has a lease of the premises for not less than 99 years -  a copy of the lease

        • for a building surveyor, building services provider, or other licensed practitioner who has been engaged by the owner of the premises – a copy of the agreement or contract to perform work        

         

        b) Payment of the non-refundable search fee

        The non-refundable search fee can be paid -
      • In person at the Council’s City Office, 80 Wilson Street Burnie
      • Over the phone, call Revenue Services on (03) 6430 5700 
      • Cheque made payable to the Burnie City Council, posted to PO Box 973, Burnie TAS 7320
      • Credit Card Authorisation completed and emailed to burnie@burnie.net or posted to PO Box 973, Burnie TAS 7320.
      • For the current Fees and Charges refer to PDF Icon Building and Plumbing Section: Creation And Keeping Of Records - Provide access to Council building records (s27(4))


        Terms and Conditions for Provision of Building Information

        1. The information requested -

        a) may not be available in whole or part within the Council’s records;

        b) may not provide a complete record in relation to the building to which this request applies;

        c) may not completely or accurately describe or detail the state or condition of the building as it was constructed or as itcurrently exists;

        d) cannot be relied upon and does not purport to be evidence for the level of compliance to any relevant standard or regulatoryrequirement for the building as it was constructed or as it currently exists;

        e) should not be relied upon for the purpose of any decision which may have a financial or legal implication;

        f) may be subject to Copyright under the Copyright Act 1968(Cth) and therefore I must not without express written consent ofthe author of the information:

        i. reproduce the work in a material form;

        ii. publish the work; and

        iii. communicate the work to the public

        2.Independent professional advice should be obtained in relation to any matter which relates to or arises from the information provided by the Council under this request as it applies toyour rights and interests in the premises;

        3. The Council will not be held liable for the accuracy or completeness of the documents it provides in response to this request or forany action or decision I may make as a result of receiving these documents;

        4. The fee payable to make this application is a non-refundable search fee. If the documentation is not available, the fee will not be refunded; and

        5. An additional payment is required for any copy of documents provided from the information held in the Council’s records. It is not possible for the Council to indicate the quantum of such fee until the availability and number of documents has been established from the search.

        How long does it take for information to be made available?

        The Council will endeavour to process your application within 15 business days.

        You will be advised if Council is having difficulty locating information and requires an additional period to satisfy the application; or if Council is unable to locate or does not have a copy of the plans requested.

        The Council will notify you when the search has been completed and if building information is available. 

        You must attend the City Offices to view this information and to identify any copies which are required. 

        Alternatively, you may indicate on the application whether there is a requirement for copies of certain documents (eg “copy of all floor plans, elevations and construction details for dwelling as originally constructed in approximately 1995 and for later alterations and additions, including free standing car port”; drainage diagram - details of on-site arrangements for drainage for sewage and stormwater”). 

        An additional charge will apply per sheet copied (as per Councils Fees and Charges schedule) and must be paid before the document copies are provided.