The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has set aside a number of Indigenous Special Tourism Permissions under the Plans of Management for Cairns (5 permits), Hinchinbrook (3 permits) and the Whitsundays (10 permits).
These permits are intended for traditional inhabitants who have traditional affiliations with the relevant Planning Area. The GBRMPA is required to allocate these permits through an expression of interest process.
Summary of the allocation arrangements
- The Indigenous Special Tourism Permissions will be allocated through an expression of interest process as defined in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations (Division 2.6).
- The allocation process will commence for the relevant Planning Area, based on demand from one or more eligible Traditional Owner(s) for a special tourism permission.
- Written advice will be provided to potential applicants, relevant Land Councils and Commonwealth and State Government agencies well in advance of an upcoming call for expressions of interest (for example two months).
- The following selection criteria will be used to rank any applications, subject to minor variations for particular opportunities:
- Demonstrated competence and knowledge relevant to the tourism opportunity, for example tourism experience, business knowledge and a sound business proposal.
- Extent to which the operation will enhance protection of Marine Park values, for example through adoption of best practices and improved protection of sites of cultural significance.
- Extent to which the operation will enhance presentation of Marine Park values, for example the quality and quantity of interpretation and education, the extent to which the operation will enhance the range of visitor experiences available and the standard of client services and infrastructure.
- The GBRMPA will meet with relevant Traditional Owner groups, Land Councils and Commonwealth and State Government agencies before an allocation process has commenced to outline the process, particularly the selection criteria.
- An application period of at least four months will be allowed.
- Applications from joint venture partnerships or companies that include non-Traditional Owners will be allowed, providing that eligible Traditional Owners are the major partner(s) or majority shareholder(s).