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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 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 national 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 and the Aboriginal traditional owners of Kakadu National Park to:

  • maximise park visitor safety
  • encourage responsible behaviour in the park
  • ensure that commercial and other park 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 park values
  • collect data for planning and management.

Individuals and other commercial entities (e.g. companies and associations) wishing to conduct commercial activities in the park, including commercial tours, need to have a permit issued by the Director. The Director may issue a permit only if:

  • the activity is consistent with:
    • the management plan for the park, or (if there is no management plan) the purposed for which the park is declared
    • any lease of indigenous people’s land in the park
  • the activity is not likely to:
    • endanger public safety
    • unduly damage the park
    • unduly interfere with the preservation or conservation of biodiversity or heritage in the park
    • unduly interfere with the protection of other features or facilities in the park
    • interfere with the privacy of a cultural event held in the reserve by the traditional owners of Aboriginal land in the park
    • interfere with the continuing cultural use of the park by the traditional owners of Aboriginal land in the park
    • interfere with the privacy of other persons in the park
  • the activity benefits the public or persons using the park
  • if all the permit holder’s tour guides who will lead tours in the park have successfully completed the Kakadu Knowledge for Tour Guides course.

In making a decision about 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.

Apply well in advance

Please allow a minimum of 28 days for the permit application to be processed. Some activities, particularly where consultation with traditional owners is required, may take a minimum of 8 weeks. If you require an application for a permit to conduct other activities in Kakadu National Park permit in less than 28 days’ time, please contact the Permits 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 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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