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Do I Need Council Approval When Hiring A Crane?

A mobile crane is capable of lifting and moving heavy materials throughout a site. There are a number of processes and procedures that need to be followed if a mobile crane is involved in your project. Read on to find out the permits required in order to operate a mobile crane legally. 


Do I Need A Permit To Operate A Mobile Crane?

The type of permission required to operate a mobile crane will depend on the location and airspace above the crane’s job during operation. If your crane will be hoisting material over a public road, footpath or cycleway, you will need to apply for a permit via the local council. Also, if the crane will be used within the perimeter of another person/entity’s property’s airspace, you will be required to get a crane license agreement from them. It’s important to note that the property owners also own the airspace above their property. 


Local Government Act and the Roads Act (Section 138) Explained

There are two different Acts that specify that a permit is required to operate a crane over a public road, footpath or cycleway.

Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993

Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993 outlines a range of activities that require approval from the local council (often in addition to a standard development application), including: 

“Swing or hoist goods across or over any part of a public road by means of a lift, hoist or tackle over the footway.”

Section 138 of The Roads Act 1993

Section 138 of The Roads Act 1993 also requires that consent is obtained for any works or activities in a public reserve, public roadway or footpath (nature strip or verge). Whether you need to apply to the local council for a permit will depend on the type of road you will be lifting over.


How Do I Obtain A Crane Permit?

If you need to apply for a permit in Sydney, the City of Sydney website has step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a permit. All you need to do is download your application form, complete it and lodge. The form requires you to outline all the relevant details of the project including the site details, crane specifications, hoisting job details, applicant details and other secondary paperwork (e.g. public liability insurance and safe work plan). Crane permit fees will vary depending on the type of road you will be hoisting the material over. 


Other Crane Work Requirements

Of course, just having the right permit isn’t enough to safely and legally operate a crane. Other crane work requirements include:

  • Licensed operator

  • Inspection and pre-use safety checks 

  • Emergency plan

  • Documentation and markings

  • Risk assessment


Operating a mobile crane safely requires careful planning. In many cases, you will need to apply for a permit from your local council.  The application process should be fairly straightforward if you’ve got all your job information ready. Talk to St George Cranes today if you need a mobile crane for your project and you’re looking to hire a mobile crane.


Date posted: December 7, 2022 | St George Cranes