I am considering turning our lounge room into a master bedroom with an ensuite. Is there any way I can avoid paying the hefty costs for an architect to draw the plans? Will the council accept drawings from a draftsmen? And finally, is council approval needed for such works (assuming a plumber is comfortable with proceeding based on draftstmen drawings)?
Your best bet Alister is to check with your local council directly on whether you actually need to submit your plans for approval (and given what you have stated, I would say you probably do) and the requirements around drawings/plans... hopefully you can avoid paying the hefty architect costs.
One thing you may want to check is whether the lounge room (future bedroom and ensuite) has easy access to existing plumbing - if not, this could be a significant cost.