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.

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 2015, we are seeing an increase in the number of permit applications for research activities due to the strong El Nino weather system.

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 applying for a continuation of your existing permit before it expires, you can continue to operate under the old permit until a decision is made on your new application.