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Research in a Commonwealth reserve

Research in a Commonwealth reserve Norfolk Island National Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden are Commonwealth reserves under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Norfolk Island holds important biological significance as many species have evolved into unique or endemic forms due to isolation from other populations and different evolutionary pressures. You will need to apply online for a permit to carry out scientific research in the park or botanic gardens.

Purpose of the online application form

The online application form can be used to apply to:

  • conduct scientific research in a Commonwealth reserve
  • take native biological material/specimens from a Commonwealth reserve

Depending on the location, nature and the type of research you may need additional permits. More information on permit requirements is located at www.environment.gov.au/resource/researchers-1.

Do not use this form for research in:

Apply well in advance

You will need to submit your application at least eight weeks before your research is proposed to start. If you have an existing research permit and need more than the permitted time to complete the research, you will need to reapply for another permit well before your permit expires.

Conditions and reporting requirements

Please ensure you and any research participants understand and will be able to meet your obligations under the permit. These are set out in the conditions, and in Part 3 and Part 5 of the application. We will contact you if further permit conditions need to be added following assessment of your application. Failure to abide by these conditions may lead to your permit being suspended or cancelled, or your approval being revoked, and may affect future applications.

To conduct research in a Commonwealth reserve, you will also need to meet certain reporting requirements. Details of these requirements are outlined in Part 3 and Part 5 of this application.

Application assessment

The assessment process for permit applications takes into account the following factors:

  • the reserve’s research and monitoring priorities – refer to Section 2.4 (page 66-68) of the Norfolk Island National Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden Management Plan
  • the usefulness of the research to reserve management
  • whether the activity threatens the conservation status of a species or ecological community
  • whether the activity can reasonably be done outside of the reserve
  • the level of impact on the reserve’s natural and cultural sites and values
  • the scientific merit of the activity
  • the level of logistical, community and funding support required from the reserve management
  • ecological sustainability (where applicable)
    Removal of native animals or plants from the wild must be ecologically sustainable (not threaten the species viability in the wild, or threaten rare, restricted or localised populations). Research involving the removal of native species will involve closer scrutiny than where collection of specimens is not required.
  • institutional ethics approval (where applicable)

Animal Ethics Committee approval is required for any research involving death or any form of handling of vertebrate animals. Human and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee clearance is required for any research which may impact upon people. University based researchers will normally seek clearance through their University’s ethical approval procedures. Independent researchers must arrange to obtain comparable ethics approval.

Successful applicants are issued with either a permit or an approval, depending on the management arrangement for the reserve. Unless noted otherwise, the information on permits in this application is the same for approvals.

Work health and safety

The Director of National Parks ('the Director') is committed to and has an obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to provide and maintain a safe and healthy workplace for all of its employees and visitors. It is a permit condition that you take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of your team when conducting research, and ensure that your activities do not adversely affect the health and safety of others. In the application you must specify measures you will take to minimise risks to safety, for example having protective equipment or an emergency plan. You must also attach a copy of your institutions’ safety procedures/risk assessment plan (if any) or complete and return the Risk assessment for remote fieldwork template provided by the reserve (if applicable).

Further information

If you would like further information, you can find out more by:
• visiting the Parks Australia website at www.environment.gov.au/resource/researchers-1
• emailing norfolkislandnationalpark@environment.gov.au
• calling the Parks Australia on 0011 6723 22695.

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