Previously, Building Surveyors employed by the local governments were the only ones who were able to assess your plans. The state government identified this as a bottle-neck in the system and eventually implemented what other states around Australia use; a private building surveyor. Since the 2nd of April 2012 a Building Surveyor in Perth has had the ability to now work in a private company and issue certificates for both new and existing builds known as a CDC (Certificate of Design Compliance) and a CBC (Certificate of Building Compliance) throughout Western Australia. These certificates show compliance with the Building Code Australia and are what the councils require to issue a certified building permit or a Building Approval Certificate (BAC).
People are now able to have an independent registered Building Surveyor Practitioner assess the plans and prepare the CDC. Once the CDC is issued by a private Building Surveyor you can then take that to the Council and make an application for a Certified Building Permit. The Council then have 10 working days to issue the permit, or they must refund your money. This is a lot quicker considering that previously they had an unlimited amount of time to put you through the wringers.
Feel free to contact our building surveyor for any further inquiries. However, before you start any process find out if you need a development application (read also Development Application and Building Permit, what are the differences?).