Unauthorised work

Brisbane City Council aims to be proactive in identifying unauthorised work. However, it does not have unlimited resources and exercises discretion when deciding how to deal with unauthorised work.

Unauthorised work can take many forms including:

  • using a premises without approval to do so (unlawful use)
  • carrying out works without the correct approvals
  • not complying with a development approval
  • not complying with a building approval
  • environmental breaches.


Council relies upon the public to help in identifying unauthorised work. If you wish to report possible unauthorised work or a possible breach of the planning regulations (either the superseded Brisbane City Plan 2000 or Brisbane City Plan 2014) you should contact Council to lodge a complaint.


Council compliance officers undertake an investigation when a complaint is received. All relevant information is taken into account, including:

  • available evidence
  • the circumstances of the individual case and the public policy
  • any precedent considerations
  • cost to the community of any action.


Enforcement action, if necessary, may include:

  • notices and orders, such as a stop work notices or enforcement notices
  • prosecution for criminal offences
  • fines
  • injunctions to restrain or remedy serious breaches (court orders).

It is a criminal offence to breach building, environmental and planning laws.   

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Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.