Building in hazardous areas

In Tasmania specific building standards apply in designated areas potentially subject to natural hazards.

What are hazardous areas?

The Building Act 2016 (external link) defines a hazardous area as including land which is prone or subject to:

  • bushfire, landslip or flooding
  • slope instability
  • erosion or coastal inundation (flooding)
  • sea level rises or storm surges.

New Determinations for building in hazardous areas

The Director of Building Control has authorised a set of Determinations containing specific building requirements relating to the relevant hazards. These Determinations apply in municipal areas where the Local Council has adopted the Tasmanian Planning Scheme and aim to improve building safety in residential buildings.

The new Determinations are:

When do the new Determinations apply?

The Determinations take effect on the commencement date which is on the first page of each document.

Tasmanian Planning Scheme

The Tasmanian Planning Scheme is a single statewide scheme providing a set of consistent planning rules. The scheme contains planning hazard codes as well as maps defining land subject to various natural hazards.

Find out if your property is affected by any hazards on the planning scheme maps by visiting www.iplan.tas.gov.au (external link).

When a council has not adopted the Tasmanian Planning Scheme

If you plan to build in a bushfire-prone area and the local council has not adopted the new Tasmanian Planning Scheme, there are two Determinations you should read:

  1. Application of Requirements for Building in Bushfire-Prone Areas (transitional) Determination (PDF, 183.9 KB) (PDF, 183.7 KB)
  2. Requirements for building in bushfire-prone areas (transitional) Determination (PDF, 367.1 KB) (PDF, 362.2 KB)

The specific building requirements for areas subject to bushfire, landslip and flooding are set out in the Building Act 2000 (external link) and Building Regulations 2014 (external link) continue to apply. See the Fact Sheet - Building requirements for hazardous areas – transitional provisions (PDF, 257.8 KB) for more details.

When do hazardous area requirements apply?

The hazardous area requirements apply if the land is located in a relevant hazard area (either shown on the planning scheme maps or otherwise defined), and the work is:

  • permit work, or
  • low risk or notifiable work listed in Schedule 1 of the relevant hazard Determination, or
  • significant work in a landslip hazard area or bushfire-prone area.

What are the exemptions to hazardous area requirements?

The hazardous area requirements do not apply if:

  • the land is located outside a relevant hazard area, or
  • the work is not low risk work or notifiable work listed in Schedule 1 of the relevant hazard Determination; or
  • the work is specified as an exclusion in the Building Regulations 2016 or in the relevant hazard Determination.
Updated: 12 Feb 2020