Australian Marine Parks

Australian Marine Parks provide beautiful places to enjoy, support businesses, and enable sustainable use and protection of marine park values.

To allow sustainable use of the marine parks while supporting businesses, Australian Marine Parks provide for installation of structures and works (under certain circumstances), including:

  • erection of structures, maintenance and works
  • artificial reefs
  • dredging and disposal of dredge material
  • Fish Aggregating Devices
  • excavations.

Where can operators install a structure or undertake works?

The plans set out zones and rules for structures and works in Australian Marine Parks.

Excavations (excluding dredging), erection of structures, maintenance and works are allowable in all zones.

Artificial Reefs are allowable in all zones, except Sanctuary Zones. In National Park Zones, an Artificial Reef will only be allowed if the key purpose for installation is to assist in the protection, conservation or restoration of habitats.

Dredging and disposal of dredged material are allowable only in Multiple Use Zones or Special Purpose (Trawl) Zones.

Fish Aggregating Devices are allowable in all zones, except National Park Zones and Sanctuary Zones.

You can find further information about the zones and rules for each marine park in the regional network factsheets.

Do operators need an approval?

Yes, approval is required for all structure and work activities. Approval types are:

  • class approvals
  • licences
  • leases
  • permits.

Some approvals are provided through class approvals. Class approvals detail who is authorised, as well as the authorised activities and zones.

If you meet the terms of a class approval, you don’t need to apply for an individual approval, minimising ‘red tape’ and costs for operators.

Class approvals also list conditions that must be followed while operating in our parks. Class approvals have been issued for:

  • Permits under the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981
  • Approvals under Part 9 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

If you do not meet the terms of either class approval, you will need to apply for an individual approval from the Director of National Parks.

The relevant class approvals are below:

How can operators be involved in marine park management?

We need your help to manage our marine parks.

This means working together to better understand and protect our marine parks. This may include conducting monitoring and cleaning up marine debris.

Network advisory committees are one way to be involved in marine park management, but there may be others.

We welcome your ideas on how you want to be involved.

For further information about the zones and rules in each marine park, look at the factsheets on each regional network on our Resources and publications page.

Apply for a permit