Authorisations for infrastructure and structures in protected areas

Authorisation is required for the building of infrastructure and structures (including service facilities and eco-tourism facilities) in protected areas in Queensland. These authorisations are granted under sections 34, 35 and 35a of the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and must be managed according to the requirements of sections 15 and 34(2) of the Act.

The types of infrastructure and structures that may be authorised on a protected area include:

  • electricity transmission lines
  • communication towers
  • pipelines
  • eco-tourism facilities.

Before you start building, you should consider any management statement or plan in effect for a protected area. Any infrastructure and development on protected areas must generally be consistent with the management principles for the protected area and any management plan or statement for the area.

Under the Act, the chief executive of the Department of Environment and Science (DES) can authorise certain inconsistent uses and activities on a national park provided the following criteria are satisfied:

  • the basic principle for the management of national parks will be observed as far as possible (if the land is in a national park)
  • the use will be in the public interest
  • the use is ecologically sustainable
  • there is no reasonable alternative to the use.

Environmental offsets

Where significant residual environmental impacts are likely to result from a proposed infrastructure project on a protected area, an environmental offset may be required under the State Offsets Framework.

Applying for an authority to build in protected areas

You can apply for an authority to build infrastructure or a structure in a protected area by:

  • submitting an application form for an authority under the Nature Conservation Act 1992
  • including a submission report with your application form
  • supplying an environment management plan
  • including a survey plan, administrative plan or A4 map.

The relevant application documents and further information can be obtained by contacting

You will also need to pay a fee when you lodge your application. There are different fees for different authorised uses:

Once you have completed your application form and collected the other information, mail your submission to:

Major Projects and Estate Management
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Partnerships
PO Box 3130

Before making a formal application for an authority to build in protected areas, you can phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or email to discuss your proposal with the regional staff.

If you have an authority that has expired, a new authority may be issued after a reassessment of your interest to build in a protected area.

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