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The Reef Authority operates a dedicated permission compliance program to ensure that the conditions of use and entry under Marine Park permits are complied with.

This includes several assessment strategies to achieve permit holder compliance.

  • These strategies include:
  • Education and communication with permit holders to outline expectations and raise awareness on how to comply.
  • Monitoring and reporting to assess levels of compliance.
  • Administrative and enforcement measures aimed at adjusting permit holder behaviour towards compliance.

Once granted, permits are subject to conditions which reduce the risk that the approved activity poses to the Marine Park.
The Service Charter for the permission system outlines our commitments to provide you with the best service possible, and the responsibilities of permit holders.

Complying with Marine Park permits

Permit holders must adhere to the requirements outlined in their permit to continue to be permitted to operate within the Marine Park. The responsibility for complying with the conditions of a permission rests solely on the permit holder.

  • Below are some useful tips to help you be a responsible permit holder. Ensure: 
  • you read and understand all approved conditions of your permit document and any additional documentation provided to you by the Reef Authority
  • you familiarise yourself with all zoning areas within the Marine Park including the Plans of Management and Special Management Areas (i.e. download the Eye on the Reef app, or review zoning maps)
  • you can always produce your permit when operating within the Marine Park as they are required by law to be produced for inspection to an Authorised Officer when requested to do so. This can be a physical or electronic copy (if keeping an electronic copy, please consider that you must be able to be produce the permit even out of mobile range). 
  • the permit (including documentation) is the correct permit with the correct permissions and activities for your intended operation.
  • the permit is valid and current (including any transferred permits or permits that have been reissued)
  • all vessel names/identifications numbers are correctly listed against the relevant permits on Permits Online and all identification numbers (VIN/BIN/AIN) or research identification is on the correct vessel and clearly displayed as per the conditions of your permit

Additional requirements when access Plan of Management areas:

The Environmental Management Charge (EMC) is a legislated obligation requiring certain commercial operators within the Marine Park to collect fees on behalf of the Reef Authority which supports the continued management and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef.

EMC visitation data (including nil activity advice) and any due payments (including fixed charges such as beach hire), are to be submitted quarterly by the following due dates:  

Dates of quarters            Due dates 
1 January to 31 March        30 April 
1 April to 30 June            31 July 
1 July to 30 September        31 October 
1 October to 31 December        31 January 

EMC Online is designed to maximise autonomy and control of your EMC logbooks, and payments (if applicable) for current and future quarters. Please note, even if you did not operate within the quarter, you are still required to submit a logbook with nil returns.  

You are legally required to meet all your EMC obligations, such as maintaining appropriate records and providing information and payments, by the due date. Permit holders who fail to meet their EMC obligations may face late payment penalties (minimum of $250), suspension and subsequent revocation of their permission(s).  

  • Your permit can be suspended or revoked if: 
  • it is necessary to do so to protect the environment or the living resources of the Marine Parks, 
  • you don’t commence operations within two years of the granting of the permit, 
  • you fail to comply with a permit condition, or 
  • you fail to submit your logbooks or pay your Environmental Management Charge by the due date.

If you suspect or identify an alleged breach of permit conditions within the Marine Park, you may report the alleged incident to our Permits Compliance team.

Please be advised that updates and outcomes of reported incidents cannot be provided due to privacy and confidentiality reasons.

Notify us of any permit related incidents

Phone: (07) 4750 0860 and ask for the Permits Compliance team

Updated 22 Jul 2024
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