Section 68 (Local Government Act) Applications

Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993 specifies a range of activities where approvals are required to be obtained from a local council. These are often in addition, or ancillary, to standard development application (DA) requirements, and are known as ‘section 68 approvals’.

The following activities generally require a section 68 approval:

  • Applications for new, or alterations to, a septic tank system,
  • Approval to operate a septic system,
  • Transportable dwellings, and
  • Footpath obstructions.

As part of the Development Application or Complying Development Certificate applications, applicants have the opportunity to apply for a section 68 approval as part of their application. Council encourages applicants to choose this option. Bathurst Regional Council requires all septic tank and transportable applications to be lodged through the Planning Portal.

Section 68 applications for other matters such as footpath obstructions, are to be lodged directly with Council at the Civic Centre.

Required documentation

The Planning Portal requires a Description of Works to accompany Section 68 applications. The specifications of the septic system or the architectural plans for the transportable dwelling should be uploaded as the Description of Works.

Other documents should be uploaded in their respective categories, for example, site plan, or geotechnical report.

Transportable Dwellings

A Section 68 approval is required to carry out work that involves the installation of a manufactured home, moveable dwelling or associated structure on land.

  1. A manufactured home is defined under s68 of the Local Government Act 1993 as:
  • is a self-contained dwelling (that is, a dwelling that includes at least on kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living area, toilet and laundry facilities)
  • comprises of one or more major sections
  • is not a motor vehicle, trailer or other registered vehicle authorised under the Roads Maritime Service (RMS) stipulated in the Road Transport Act 2013.

2. A moveable dwelling is defined under s68 of the Local Government Act 1993 as:

  • any tent, or any caravan or other van or other portable device (whether on wheels or not), used for human habitation, or
  • a manufactured home, or
  • any transferrable, structure or object described by the regulations for the purposes of this definition.

On-site sewerage management system (OSSM)

If your home is not connected to the sewer, you may have an on-site sewerage management system, such as a septic tank, composting toilet or aerated system.

There are special regulations that apply to these systems. As the owner of the property, it is your responsibility to ensure that the system is approved by your local council and that it is working properly. On-site systems can be a risk to the health of your family and other community members if they are not properly maintained. They can also cause harm to the environment.

To ensure that your system meets the requirements, you will need to obtain two approvals from your local council.

  • The first approval is to install the system.
  • The second approval is to operate the system


New On-site sewerage management system

A Section 68 approval is required to install a new OSSM on land not connected to a reticulated sewer system. As part of this application, you will require details of the tank size, effluent disposal method and the like. You will also require a report from a geotechnical engineer to design and size the system appropriately.

Waste means:

(a) effluent, being any matter or thing, whether solid or liquid or a combination of solids and liquids, which is of a kind that may be removed from a human waste storage facility, sullage pit or grease trap, or from any holding tank or other container forming part of or used in connection with a human waste storage facility, sullage pit or grease trap.

Alterations to existing On-site sewerage management system

A Section 68 approval is required to alter an existing OSSM on land not connected to a reticulated sewer system. You will require this type of application if you are making any changes to your OSSM, like adding more plumbing fixtures. You may also require a report from a geotechnical engineer if you are increasing the number of bedrooms.

Waste means:

(a) effluent, being any matter or thing, whether solid or liquid or a combination of solids and liquids, which is of a kind that may be removed from a human waste storage facility, sullage pit or grease trap, or from any holding tank or other container forming part of or used in connection with a human waste storage facility, sullage pit or grease trap.

Approval to Operate an OSSM

An Approval to Operate under the Local Government Act is required for all septic tank systems on land not connected to a reticulated sewer system. An approval to operate is required for the approval to use the system.

You can apply for an approval to operate as part of a new or alteration to an existing OSSM system.

Approvals to operate are issued for a set term, according to the risk classification for the OSSM; 2 years for high risk systems, 5 years for medium and 8 years for low risk.


Pay for your application

Application fees will be calculated by Council staff and provided to you in writing after we've received your application. Council aims to email you a fee estimate within 48 hours of receiving notification of the application being lodged. The assessment of your application will not commence until all outstanding fees have been paid.

If payment is not received within 3 business days, your application may be returned to you.

The fee estimate provided by Council will relate to the lodgement of applications only. Further conditions relating to the payment of fees, including Section 7.11 developer contributions and headworks charges may also be imposed as part of any consents. These fees can only be determined definitively as part of the assessment process and will be included in the conditions of consent. It is recommended that you contact a Council planner to determine whether or not Section 7.11 developer contributions may also be payable to Council in respect of your application.

Last Updated: 21 December 2020

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