Is a licence required ?: 

Unless an exception applies, a QBCC contractor licence of the appropriate class is required to carry out the erection, construction, renovation, alteration, extension, improvement or repair of a fence (including a gate that forms part of a fence).

However, in some circumstances the work may be exempted from being building work or otherwise requiring a licence under the QBCC Act or its regulation.For example the construction of a farm fence or temporary fence is exempted from being building work requiring a licence. See next column for common exceptions.


Under section 42 of the QBCC Act it is an offence carry out or undertake to carry out building work without a contractor’s licence of the appropriate class, unless the work is exempted in schedule 1A of the Act.

Subject to exceptions prescribed in schedule 1 of the QBCC Regulation, building work is defined in the  QBCC Act to include the erection, construction, improvement, repair or alteration of building, including a fixed structure (eg a fence).

Undertaking to carry out building work includes contracting to carry out the work, submitting a tender to carry out the work, making an offer to carry out the work

Common exceptions: 

Work that is not building work requiring a licence

  • The total value of the work (including the value of any other building work that is also carried out by the contractor) is $3,300 or less;
  • Work personally performed by the owner of land if the work value is $11,000 or less;
  • Work for a fence (of any value) that is personally performed by an owner of land if the fence:
    • is no higher than 2m above the fence’s natural ground surface; and
    • is not for a regulated pool.
  • a fence (including a gate or grid for the fence):
    • on land used wholly or primarily for agricultural or pastoral purposes; and
    • used, or intended to be used, for agricultural or pastoral purposes;

Construction, maintenance or repair of a strand wire fence with no concrete footing.  (A strand wire fence is a structure serving as an enclosure, barrier or boundary made of posts, pickets or stakes joined together by strands of wire).

Work that is building work but is exempted under the QBCC Act from requiring a contractor licence     

  • An employee of an appropriately licensed contractor;
  • A subcontractor of an appropriately licensed trade contractor;
  • A person in partnership with an appropriately licensed person;
  • Work carried out by the holder of an owner-builder permit to the extent that the work is permitted under the permit;
  • A consumer who engages 1 or more licensed contractors to carry out the work if the consumer does not provide building work services for the work;
  • A licensed nominee supervisor or site supervisor if doing something authorised by their licence;
  • A person who enters into a head contract to carry out the work if both (i) the work is to be carried out by an appropriately licensed and (ii) is not residential construction work or domestic building work.

Further exemptions can be found under Schedule 1A QBCC Act and 1 of the QBCC Regulation

Licence classes: 

Licence classes

The following licence classes may undertake this work subject to the limitations of the licence class scope of work:

  • Builder Low Rise;
  • Builder Medium Rise;
  • Builder Open;
  • Carpentry;
  • Builder Restricted Structural Landscaping;
  • Structural Landscaping Trade*;
  • Brick and Blocklaying;
  • Structural Metal Fabrication;
  • Non-Structural Metal Fabrication;
  • Stonemasonry.


*The scope of work for a structural landscaping trade licence does not include work for a gate unless the gate forms part of a fence.

Definition of wall - vertical construction that bounds or subdivides a space and usually fulfils a loadbearing or retaining function.

For detailed information regarding scopes of work see Licence Classes.

Key Legislation: 

Key legislation includes:

  • Section 42, QBCC Act;
  • Schedule 2, QBCC Act;
  • Schedule 1 sections 1, 2,33,49, QBCC Regulation;
  • Standards Australia, Glossary of Building Terms;
  • Schedule 1, Building Regulation.