The use of permits helps the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) ensure the conservation and sustainable use of the Great Barrier Reef’s state and Commonwealth Marine Parks.

Permits allow us to:

  • reduce impacts on high-use and sensitive areas
  • separate potentially conflicting activities
  • encourage responsible behaviour in all Marine Parks users
  • collect data for planning of Marine Parks
  • monitor activities which may become damaging to the Marine Parks.

Permit enquiries

Agency staff are available to answer your enquiries about permit applications and assessments.

You can find answers on our website to many commonly asked questions — such as when a permit is required and the steps you need to take.

Application forms are also available on our website.

If you have any further questions, please:

Assessment timeframes

The agency assesses more than 400 permit applications for new activities each year. It also manages more than 2300 permissions across some 1300 permits.

In 2016, we are continuing to see an increase in the number of permit applications for research activities.

All level 1 (low-risk activities) applications will continue to have an assessment timeframe of 16 weeks.

Please note assessments for other activities may take longer, as we are seeing an increase in applications for level 2 (medium risk) activities.

Under the Native Title Act, we must also provide a 30-day notification period to native title holders or claimants.

If you have applied for a continuation of your existing permit before it expired, you can continue to operate under this permit until a decision is made on your new application.

If you have requested changes to your existing permit, the agency must make a decision on the proposed amendments before you can proceed in undertaking those changes.