Changes to building permit service at Colac Otway Shire Council
June 25, 2020

Colac Otway Shire Council will no longer offer a building permit service, opening up opportunities for those operating in the private sector.

Councillors made the decision to discontinue the service at Colac Otway’s Ordinary Council Meeting on 29 May however General Manager of Development and Community Services Ian Seuren said any customers who have already applied for a building permit through Council have been reassured that their permit will still be processed.

“Council Building staff will continue to process any applications which are currently with Council until the applications are completed. Council will also meet its obligations to carry out all inspections associated with buildings constructed under permits previously issued by its Building Department,” he said.

Mr Seuren said the change to Council operations could also mean local building surveyors increase their business in Colac Otway.

“Unlike many other permits which are issued by Council, such as planning, health registration or septic tanks, building permits can be issued by building surveyors in the private sector.

“Council officers will continue to provide building advice to ratepayers, and to confirm the circumstances when building permits are required. The only change will be that owners will then need to approach a private building surveyor for lodgement of their permit application, which will provide business to local providers in the region.

“Council held a small market share of building applications lodged by land owners in Colac Otway Shire, only about seven or eight percent, with the remainder already being processed by private building surveyors.

“Given this reasoning, Council made the decision not to continue processing building applications on the grounds that the service is mainly provided by private surveyors already, and it will allow the Building Department to focus on its many other public safety functions.

 “To assist the community in their application process, Council will prepare a list of private building surveyors that operate in the region with suitable registration with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) to issue building permits. This information will be made available on Council’s website.

“We thank members of our community who have used Council’s services to process their permits in the past. Council staff will continue to assist ratepayers and support the transition to adjust to these changes in Council operation,” Mr Seuren said.


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