Drilling is a big job and therefore requires some preparation before getting started. Here at A1 Digging Solutions, we are the experts in the field and are here to help you every step of the way. 


One of the biggest questions we here is whether or not you need council approval before beginning an earthworks project. 


There’s not one single answer to this question so keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the process so you don’t miss anything that can delay your drilling job.

Exempt Earthworks

In some cases, earthworks projects are exempt from council approval, which means you can go forward without waiting for a permit or certification or written permission. 


To find out if your drilling job can be classified as exempt, it must meet the requirements outlined in the State Environmental Planning Policy Code 2008.  

Attributes that Keep Land from Being Exempt

Knowing when your land is exempt from council approval is just as important as knowing which attributes keep you from being exempt.


If your land has any of these attributes, you won’t be able to go forward with your earthworks job without prior council approval. This includes if

  • the land contains a heritage item
  • the land is prone to flooding
  • it’s in an environmentally sensitive area,
  • it’s a Ramsar identified wetland area, 
  • it’s high in biodiversity, the land is significant to the Aboriginal culture
  • the land is a critical habitat as outlined in the Threatened Species Conservation Act.


Other Criteria that Must Be Met

Before gaining council approval, your earthworks job must be designed to meet certain criteria set out by the SEPP Codes. 

  • It cannot be a fill or cut that extends more than 600mm below or above ground
  • it must be at least 1 meter from any lot boundary
  • it must be 40 meters from a natural body of water
  • it cannot redirect surface or groundwater onto an adjoining piece of land. 


Consent from council must also be obtained if your earthworks job involves removing or damaging any existing vegetation on the site. 


Finally, all excavation material must be disposed of properly upon completion of the job.

When you have a drilling or earthworks project call us here at A1 Drilling Solutions at or visit our website. We can explain the regulations and help you understand how your project may proceed.  We’ll provide the solution!