Research permit information
Information required in the research permit application form is prescribed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983. All relevant sections of the form must be completed or the application cannot be assessed and will be returned to the applicant for further information.
The information provided should be accurate and succinct. If you are unsure of any of the requirements, please contact the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) on freecall 1800 990 177 or (07) 4750 0700 (international +61 7 4750 0700) or email@example.com prior to submitting your application.
New permits verses a continuation of an existing permit
Question 3 on the online application form allows you to apply for either:
- a new permit – for an activity which is not presently permitted in the Marine Park
- the continuation of an existing permission (where you provide the number of the permit you are continuing e.g. G10/12345.1)
- a variation to an existing permit (where you may be continuing an existing permit, provide the permit number and provide details of the modifications within the relevant sections of the application form).
Research permit applications are assessed having regard to criteria prescribed in the Regulations. These criteria address the potential impacts of the proposed activities on the natural resources and other users of the Marine Park.
All applications require notification to relevant native title claimants and representative bodies under the Native Title Act 1993. In addition, some applications may require review by the Environmental Research Ethics Advisory Committee (EREAC). Note that this is not the equivalent of an institution ethics approval, although proof of institution ethics approval should be provided if such has been issued.
At present there is no fee for the assessment of research permit applications. However, in line with Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines, the GBRMPA may introduce permit application assessment fees for research activities in the future. In doing so, the GBRMPA will have regard to the level of assessment required, the public good of the research, and will consult the research community prior to the introduction of fees.
Marine Park zones
Applicants should be familiar with the Marine Park zone(s) in the area in which they want to conduct research activities.
Zoning maps are a tool to help you get to know the Marine Park zones.
Where possible, research which involves the disruption of the physical environment or living resources (including the taking of specimens) of the Marine Park, should be conducted outside Buffer, Marine National Park and Preservation Zones.
Permission to conduct manipulative research in Buffer (Olive Green) and Marine National Park (Green) Zones will be discouraged except in certain situations (see guidelines below).
The conduct of research in the Preservation Zone will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances (see guidelines below).
Guidelines for research in Buffer, Marine National Park and Preservation Zones
The GBRMPA, in considering the issue of a permit for research in the Buffer Zone, the Marine National Park Zone or the Preservation Zone, will have regard to the level of environmental impact associated with the activity and the issues raised in the guidelines below:
Buffer and Marine National Park Zones
- Is important to and a priority for management of the Marine Park
- This means that the proposed research has been identified as one of the GBRMPA’s research priorities, as amended from time to time; or
- Cannot reasonably be conducted elsewhere
- This means that the research:
- is in proximity to research stations (e.g. within a 20km radius or the distance a small vessel can travel); or
- is part of a long-term ongoing monitoring program for which permission had been granted prior to 1 July 2004; or
- is/has been specifically identified in the Basis for Zoning of the Marine Park.
Note: research in particular areas of the Scientific Research Zone may have some additional restrictions - see the relevant Environmental Management Plan.
- Is important to and a priority for management of the Marine Park and cannot reasonably be conducted elsewhere
- This means that the proposed research:
- has been identified as one of the GBRMPA’s research priorities as amended from time to time; and
- is part of long term monitoring program for which permission was granted prior to 1 July 2004; or
- is necessary as part of new monitoring program that is considered of highest priority by the Authority.
- is low impact
- This means that the proposed research is non-extractive, unless the nature of the long-term monitoring program is for extractive purposes.
Native Title notification
Under section 24HA of the Native Title Act 1993, GBRMPA and QPWS are required to notify the relevant registered native title claimants and representative bodies of all permit applications to conduct activities in the Marine Park.
A minimum of 31 days is allowed for comment. Any comments received are considered in the assessment process. A decision in relation to a permit application cannot be made until either comments are received or this time period has elapsed.
Applicants need to be aware that any changes to an application either before or after a permit is issued may require re-notification and a subsequent extension to the assessment time (e.g. this can delay your assessment for a further 31 days).
Both scientific and common names (where available) must be provided for all organisms identified in the research proposal. This is particularly important to expedite Native Title notifications, which require that common names are provided;
e.g. Pomacentrus amboinensis (Ambon Damsel).
Signatures on the application form
All parties are required to sign the declaration at the end of the permit application form. Only applicants who have been nominated (question 1) and have signed the form (page 7) are able to liaise with the GBRMPA about the application (e.g. to make changes or to enquire about the progress of the permit).
How to apply
- Print out and complete the application form
- Scan and email the completed application form to firstname.lastname@example.org together with your research plan (Note: if applying to continue an existing research permit please include details of any changes that may have occurred since the last application)
- Research plan (Note: if applying to continue an existing research permit please include details of any changes that may have occurred since the last application)
- Field work summary (Applicable only if applying to continue an existing research permit)
- Forward the signed original application, research plan and field work summary (if applicable) to:
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
PO Box 1379
TOWNSVILLE QLD 4810
Attn: Environmental Assessment and Management
Facsimile: (07) 4772 6093 International +61 7 4772 6093
Telephone: (07) 4750 0700 International +61 7 4750 0700
By emailing your application, it can be immediately registered and sent to Native Title Notification.
*Please be aware that the signed original application will be required by the GBRMPA before a decision can be made on the application.
Applicants should allow AT LEAST EIGHT (8) WEEKS for an application to be processed and a decision made; this includes a period of 31 days for Native Title notification. Proposals, and any research application that is deemed to fall under the EREACcriteria may be referred to the EREAC and as such are likely to take substantially longer.
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