Parks Australia manages the Australian National Parks & Gardens which consist of the:
- Australian National Botanic Gardens
- Booderee National Park
- Christmas Island National Park
- Kakadu National Park
- Norfolk Island National Park
- Pulu-Keeling National Park
- Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park
Each park is established as a Commonwealth reserve under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) to help manage the park for the benefit of all people, present and future. The Director of National Parks, also established under the EPBC Act, uses a permit system to help regulate some activities. Permits may be issued subject to conditions that help to identify, protect, conserve and manage biodiversity, heritage and other values of the parks. This is a system through which industry and the public can share in the responsibilities of managing and protecting the park. Permits enable park managers to:
- maximise the safety of visitors
- encourage responsible behaviour
- ensure that commercial and other users are accountable for their actions
- separate potentially conflicting activities
- manage impacts on high-use and sensitive areas
- monitor activities that could degrade biodiversity, heritage and other values
- collect data for planning and management.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (the EPBC Regulations) prohibit some activities to be undertaken in the park. Individuals and other commercial entities (e.g. companies and associations) wishing to conduct an activity otherwise prohibited by the EPBC Regulations in the park may be able to obtain a permit issued by the Director. The Director may issue a permit only if:
- the activity is consistent with the management plan in force for the park in question, including that the activity:
- promotes an understanding and appreciation of the park’s natural and cultural heritage
- is consistent with the aims of the zoning system of the park’s management plan
- is consistent with the conservation values and management principles of the park
- the activity is not likely to:
- endanger the public safety
- unduly damage the park
- unduly interfere with the preservation or conservation of biodiversity or heritage in the park
- interfere with the privacy of other people in the park
- the activity benefits the public or persons using the park
In making a decision whether to issue a permit, the Director may take into account whether a person to whom the permit is to be issued has, in the last 10 years, been convicted of or is subjected to proceedings for an environmental offence.
Some activities need to satisfy additional requirements before the Director can issue a permit for them.
Visit Parks Australia for the complete contact details of each park.