City of Busselton sea container audit

Photo by Shutterstock.
Photo by Shutterstock.

The City of Busselton is undertaking an audit of unapproved shipping containers on industrial, residential, commercial and rural properties across the municipality.

The first stage of the audit revealed around 80 unauthorised shipping containers situated on properties in the light industrial area, Vasse, Dunsborough and Clarke Street. 

City of Busselton director of planning and development services Paul Needham said the audit was to ensure relevant approvals have been obtained in order to meet legislative requirements that protect public safety and amenity.

“In essence if a shipping container is being used as a building, be it a shed or for domestic or commercial accommodation, it requires the same approvals required of a building being used for the same purpose,” he said.

“Depending on the use, the materials being stored inside, the frequency of access and the location of the container relative to other buildings and boundaries; a shipping container that is not being used for the transport of goods will require planning approval and either a Certificate of Building Compliance or a Building Approval Certificate.”

The response to the initial audit has been encouraging with less than 10 per cent of property owners contacted failing to remove the container or make application to the city to retain it.

The city is assisting those property owners who wish to retain the shipping container to obtain the necessary planning approval and relevant building certificate.

Mr Needham said the number of shipping containers on properties had increased over past years.

“With the downturn in the mining sector they are now more affordable and accessible,” he said. 

“Shipping containers can provide a useful alternative to traditional sheds and buildings and the city is not opposed to their use.

“However, the city is obliged to ensure all buildings comply with the legislation in place that ensures public safety, minimises the risk of fire and protects visual amenity.

“The City will consider enforcement action if necessary.”

If you have concerns about a shipping container on your property or a nearby property, please contact James Washbourne, Senior Development Compliance Officer at the City of Busselton on 9781 0343 or email