Improving the permission system

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is in the process of improving its permission system.

What is the permission system?

Under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975, the Zoning Plan 2003 and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983, certain activities require written permission (a permit), accreditation or notification to GBRMPA.

The ways in which these activites are managed are collectively referred to as the 'permission system'.

The agency manages most of these activities through a joint permission system with Queensland's Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing.

Why are changes needed?

The Great Barrier Reef Region Strategic Assessment Report and its Program Report identified a need to reduce duplication and to improve rigour and transparency in our permission system.

In August 2015, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) released a report on the findings of an audit into GBRMPA's permission system. The report identified a need to improve consistency in the assessment of permit applications to better address risks and regulatory requirements.

Public consultation

Between 16 October 2015 and 18 December 2015, we conducted the first round of public consultation on improving the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park permission system.

Thank you to all who shared their views with us.

We have considered all the comments received and developed a response document which summarises the feedback received and explains our planned actions in response.

A second round of consultation on draft policies and guidelines is scheduled for mid-2016.