A shortage of qualified building and planning staff is affecting local government councils across the state.

Hepburn Shire Council has announced that because of staff shortages, building permit applications will need to be made through a private building surveyor rather than through Council.

Staff shortages in the planning department are not new – the problem has been ongoing for the past two years. Council currently has advertised vacancies for planners including three more senior positions.

Before the change, residents had the option of submitting building permit applications directly to Council or submitting through a qualified building surveyor. Building surveyors charge a fee for service but can ensure that applications are compliant and can help applicants avoid pitfalls.

Council has indicated that the change is temporary although they are not able to advise a clear date when they will again be able to offer the service.

Building Permit applications which have already been submitted to Council will continue to be processed.

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