What Does it Cost?

The GBRMPA is bound by legislation to fully assess all applications against a set of criteria. Depending on what is being applied for, assessments can range from quite simple to very complex. A Permit Application Assessment Fee covers the basic costs of an assessment.

What is a Permit Application Assessment Fee?

A Permit Application Assessment Fee (PAAF) is collected to cover the cost of processing applications for Marine Parks permits by the GBRMPA and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS). The fee is charged prior to assessing the application. Moneys received from assessment fees remain with the GBRMPA and the QPWS.

Who pays?

Anybody applying for a permit to conduct a commercial activity within the Marine Parks will be charged an assessment fee, unless a delegate of the GBRMPA determines the assessment to be minimal.

What will I be charged?

Your PAAF can only be decided definitely when you submit a firm application.

The Permit Application Assessment Fee is based on the type of operation you are applying for and will vary depending on its size and potential for environmental impacts. Generally, the bigger the operation, the more likely there will be impacts on the reef, and the cost of the assessment will be greater.

If you are only operating vessels or aircraft and have not applied to operate a structure or facility in the Marine Parks, the fee will be based on the maximum passenger capacity of all vessels or aircraft covered by the application.

There are two types of PAAFs:

  • Initial Fees if you are applying for a new operation, or significantly changing an existing one.
  • Continuation Fees for operators who already hold a permit, but who wish to continue operations beyond the permit expiry date. Continuation fees will only apply if permit applications are lodged before the existing permit expires.

When does the fee have to be paid?

You may send the assessment fee payment with your application. You will be advised if it is the correct amount. Alternatively, a notice of the fee will be sent to you as soon as possible after your application is received. You will then have 21 days from the date of that notice to pay the fee. For large operations requiring an Environmental Impact Statement or a Public Environment Report there is provision for payments to be made by installments.

If the assessment fee isn't paid within 21 days, your application will lapse and there is NO provision for an extension of time. If your application lapses and your current permit expires, you will have to pay the higher assessment fee charged for obtaining a new permit when you re-apply and you will be required to cease operations until you receive the new permit.

No decision will be made on a permit application until the assessment fee has been paid.

Are fees refundable if my application is refused?

Assessment fees are not refundable if the application is refused. The fees are to cover the costs of assessing your application whether or not a permit is granted.

How often do I have to pay a Permit Application Assessment Fee?

Each time you make an application you will be charged an assessment fee. Permits are issued for different periods depending on the activity, however even if the operation does not change, you are required to pay an assessment fee with each application.

Is there a fee to change my operation?

Changing your operation may require a further assessment of the impacts of the new operation and you must let us know before you commence any changes. You may be charged a full Permit Application Assessment Fee or a Variation Fee depending on the changes requested.

  • Free Zoning Maps

    Zoning maps

    If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.

  • Important milestone

    40 years anniversary

    We're delighted to celebrate the 40 years of the managing the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Visit the Reef

    fish on reef

    Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing animals, plants, and habitats.

  • What you can do

    purple coral

    Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this great Australian icon.

  • Report marine strandings


    If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)

  • Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef

    Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef vulnerability assessment cover image

    A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Current Conditions

    Current Conditions logo promo image

    Current Conditions: Environmental and climatic forecasts for the Great Barrier Reef