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Permits at Kakadu

Kakadu National Park is a Commonwealth reserve established under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) to manage the environment of the region 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 Commonwealth reserves. This is a system through which industry and the public can share in the responsibilities of managing and protecting the reserve.

When a permit is required

You will need to apply for this permit if you wish to conduct filming, videoing, photography or art in or of Kakadu National Park for commercial purposes. Commercial purposes means carrying out an activity with intent of a reward, i.e. money, merchandise or services, or the possibility of future reward (if done for financial reward or commercial gain, under contract or consignment for another person, and/or with a view to being sold or hired out, or for promotion/advertising of a product or service).

Please make sure you and your staff (if any) are familiar with, and adhere to, the permit conditions of any permits you are issued with. Breaching permit conditions may lead to the permit being suspended or cancelled.

Obtaining or using an existing image of Kakadu National Park

If you want to use or obtain an existing image of Kakadu National Park you do not need to fill out this application, but will need to contact the Project and Communications Officer on 08 8938 1176 or email kakadu.permits@environment.gov.au regarding permissions and acknowledgement that might be required.

Overseas applicants

Overseas film-makers, please note that the Migration Act 1958 requires you to obtain an appropriate visa. For further information visit www.immi.gov.au or email entertainment.visas@immi.gov.au to ascertain which visa is appropriate.

Permit fees

Permit application fees are payable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Regulations 2000. The fees are:

  • Filming (includes video recording) AUD $250 per day or part-day
  • Still Photography / Artwork / Audio Recording AUD $30 per day or part-day

Rock art sites

Filming at all rock art sites must be accompanied by park staff, and potentially also overseen by traditional Aboriginal owners of the site. You will need to contact the Kakadu Project and Communications Officer and have the staff supervision times agreed upon before you arrive in Kakadu National Park. Please carefully consider what times you need for filming, as changing the allocated supervision times may not be possible. Still photography in public areas and at the three main art sites of Ubirr, Nourlangie Rock and Nanguluwurr may be done without accompaniment by park staff.

Working with traditional Aboriginal owners

Projects that seek to involve traditional owners are welcomed in Kakadu National Park. If you wish to involve traditional owners in your image capture, or if you are filming in sites that require permission from traditional owners, please provide those details in your permit application, as traditional owners will need to be consulted. Please contact the Project and Communications Officer for help in arranging traditional owner’s involvement and seeking permissions to access restricted areas. In certain circumstances traditional owners may be required to oversee filming, photography or sound recording. Traditional owners may negotiate a separate fee for their time.

Alternatively, Kakadu offers unique opportunities to connect with Aboriginal culture through a range of independent commercial tours. These tours are designed to enlighten and inform, and the filming or photography of the tour experience may be arranged. Visit www.environment.gov.au/parks/kakadu/explore/tours.html to explore the different tours available.

Public liability insurance

You will need to provide a certificate of public liability insurance showing that you, your staff and contractors are covered for the proposed image capture and use. Your public liability insurance needs to be with an insurer that is approved by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, and for at least $20 million for each and every event. Please contact the Kakadu Project and Communications Officer if you are unable to meet this requirement.

Park briefing

Once you are granted a permit, you and your staff (if any) are required to attend a briefing by park staff before you commence your image capture. Briefings are conducted at the Bowali Visitor Centre within normal business hours of 8am to 5pm, and you can nominate your preferred time in your permit application.

Planning for your visit

Throughout the year, Kakadu National Park's landscapes undergo spectacular changes. Bininj/Mungguy (traditional Aboriginal owners) recognise six different seasons, as well as subtle variations that signpost the transition from one season to another. This knowledge of nature is fundamental to the culture of Kakadu National Park and its people. Find out more about Kakadu National Park’s six seasons to discover what you can do at different times of the year and explore what is on offer.

During the dry season, you can join rangers for free activities throughout Kakadu National Park, including daily art site talks, walks, cultural activities and slide shows (at night). Please contact the Project and Communications Officer to request a timetable at kakadu.permits@environment.gov.au.

Apply well in advance

Please allow a minimum of 14 days for the permit application to be processed. Some projects, particularly where consultation with traditional owners is required, may take a minimum of 8 weeks. If you require a permit in less than 14 days’ time, please contact the Project and Communications Officer on 08 8938 1176 (if calling from within Australia) or 61 8 8938 1176 (if calling from overseas), or email kakadu.permits@environment.gov.au.

Further information

The Permits Officer for Kakadu National Park can help with any queries regarding this permit – please call 08 8938 1140 or email kakadu.permits@environment.gov.au.

Our website is at www.parksaustralia.gov.au/kakadu/. The EPBC Act and Regulations can be viewed at www.environment.gov.au/epbc/ or purchased from CANPRINT by telephoning 1300 656 863.

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