Important information: changed permit processes - COVID-19

Permit Application and Assessment Fees (PAAF)

The Authority acknowledges that travel bans and work restrictions associated with the outbreak of COVID-19 have placed severe financial hardship on businesses who use and access the Great Barrier Reef.

Consistent with the Australian Government’s intent to support businesses during this unprecedented event, until 31 August 2020 Permit Application Assessment Fees payable under section 202 or 205 of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 2019 may be waived in some instances.

In recognition of limited Permit Holder staff capacity and contractor availability, any valid applications will be assessed based on available information, further information requests will be limited where possible.

Future Act Notices (FAN) under the Native Title Act 1993

Due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions and the increased risk to health and safety of members, the Queensland Representative Body Alliance on behalf of all native title representative bodies has requested the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Partnerships (the Managing Agencies) postpone the issuing of all Future Act Notifications (FANs) with the exception of those deemed urgent.

In response to these concerns, the Managing Agencies have prioritised assessment of applications so only ‘urgent’ FANs will be issued for comment during this time.

Urgent’ is defined as:

  • applications to continue a current permit where there is a change required in order to continue to operate;
  • new applications for permission to operate in the Marine Parks; and
  • applications for permits that are vital to the health and safety of the community

Correspondence with representative bodies with urgent FANs will be limited to one batched notification per fortnight.

This arrangement may result in delays for permit application decisions that are considered non-urgent, for example a continuation of an existing current permit with no changes, as businesses can still operate in these cases.

Permissions in General

Some commercial activities and operations occurring in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Great Barrier Reef (Coast) Marine Park require a permit. Permits are granted by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Queensland Department of Environment and Science through a joint permission system.

The permission system regulates activities that require permission or accreditation under Australian and Queensland government acts, regulations and the Zoning Plan.

The Permission System Policy outlines the approach to managing the permission system within the Marine Parks. A Service Charter for the permission system is available and information about current applications, recent decisions, and current permits. Guidelines assist applicants seeking permission to undertake activities in the Marine Parks and guide staff assessing the applications:

New online application portal

Permits Online is a new online application portal that has been launched to allow applicants to submit Marine Parks permit applications and to manage their existing permits and contact details.

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Permits online

We have more detailed information on how to apply.

For clarification on any matters relating to the permission system, contact:


Phone our permits hotline on (07) 4750 0860 (between 9am and 2pm, Monday, Wednesday and Friday).