Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 2019

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 2019 will come into effect on 1 April 2019 — but will not result in any substantive change to the rules that apply in the Marine Park.

These new Regulations repeal and replace the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983.

About the new Regulations

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 2019 reflect modern drafting standards and will reduce complexity and improve clarity of the policy intent for the reader. They will have a different look and feel, but do not make any substantive change to rules applying in the Marine Park.

The new Regulations will also repeal the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Aquaculture) Regulations 2000, as there are currently adequate provisions in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 for any proposed new aquaculture facilities that have the potential to impact the Marine Park.

It is necessary to repeal and replace the old Regulations, and repeal the Aquaculture Regulations, to address the sunsetting regime established under the Legislation Act 2003. Under that regime the old Regulations will automatically ‘sunset’ or cease to have effect on 1 April 2019, and the Aquaculture Regulations will sunset on 1 October 2019, unless legislative action is taken.

Sunsetting is an important mechanism to enable the Australian Government to implement policies to reduce red tape, deliver clearer laws and align existing legislation with current government policy.

Changes from the 1983 Regulations

The format and structure of the new Regulations is different:

  • sections have been renumbered in sequence — a renumbering table has been prepared to assist readers locate the new equivalent of an old provision.
  • the names of some parts, divisions and sections have changed to better reflect their subject matter
  • outlines of each part have been included at the start of each part to enable readers to quickly gain an understanding of the content
  • most sections have been reworded to reflect modern drafting style
  • other wording changes have been made to reduce complexity and improve clarity with the effect that most sections remain unchanged
  • minor changes have been made to some sections (for example where there were obvious errors or omissions in the old section)
  • most definitions now appear at the start of the Regulations, in section 5, so that where possible, an expression only has one meaning throughout the Regulations
  • out-of-date content (for example, references to other pieces of legislation which are no longer in force have been updated to refer to the latest equivalent legislation) has been updated
  • content, such as long lists of species and descriptions of Special Management Areas, have been moved into schedules at the end of the Regulations to improve readability
  • a mechanism, to update some of the lists that appear in schedules without the need for new Regulations, has also been included to keep lists up-to-date.

More information

For general enquiries relating to changes to the Regulations please contact us on (07) 4750 0700 or email