Regulatory framework for aquaculture

Starting, or expanding, an aquaculture venture may require several different approvals. If you are planning a small-scale aquaculture operation, the accepted development requirements for material change of use that is aquaculture, may be relevant.

For other aquaculture ventures, including marine and land-based ventures, activities may be either:

  • development-related activities, which require approvals issued under the Planning Act 2016 (formerly the Sustainable Planning Act 2009)
  • non-development activities, which require approvals issued under separate legislation (see table below).

The table below summarises the types of approvals that you may need for a new or expanded aquaculture-related activity.

Note: This table is a guide only. Other agencies may also be involved in approving an activity. Native Title notification may be required for some approvals.

Activity Approval typeLegislation Advice agency
Development-related
Accepted aquaculture development (meets the accepted development requirements for material change of use that is aquaculture) None if it complies with the code Planning Act 2016 No assessment if it complies with the accepted development requirements
Assessable aquaculture development
(outside scope of accepted development requirements (PDF, 526KB))
Development approval for material change of use for aquaculture Planning Act 2016 Fisheries Queensland
  • Biosecurity
  • Aquatic health
  • Fish habitats
Assessable aquaculture development
(outside scope of accepted development requirements)
Development approval for material change of use for aquaculture Planning Act 2016 Department of Environment and Science (DES)
  • General environmental protection
  • Effluent discharge
Assessable aquaculture development
(outside scope of accepted development requirements)
Development approval for material change of use for aquaculture Planning Act 2016 DES
  • Water extraction in freshwater areas
Marine plant removal for farm maintenance
(meets accepted development requirements for operational work that is the removal, destruction or damage of marine plants (PDF, 993KB))
None if it complies with the code Planning Act 2016 No assessment if it complies with the code
Marine plant removal
(outside scope of accepted development requirements (PDF, 993KB))
Development approval for operational works Planning Act 2016 Fisheries Queensland
  • Fish habitats
Marine plant removal
(outside scope of accepted development requirements (PDF, 993KB))
Development approval for operational works Planning Act 2016 DES
  • General environmental protection
  • Vegetation clearing
Non-development related
Activity Approval typeLegislation Assessing agency
Access / use of terrestrial land Tenure Land Act 1994 Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME)
Access / use of tidal land for aquaculture activities (other than inlet / outlet) Resource allocation authority (RAA) Fisheries Act 1994 Fisheries Queensland
Access / use of tidal land for aquaculture activities (other than inlet / outlet) Works in a marine park Marine Parks Act 2004
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975
Department of Environment and Science (DES); Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)
Access / use of tidal land
for inlet /outlet structures
Permit to occupy Land Act 1994 DNRME
Discharge into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park for land-based aquaculture adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef The Australian Government has accredited Queensland laws under these regulations, allowing for a single assessment process Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Aquaculture) Regulations 2000 No separate assessment by GBRMPA if complies with accreditation details.
Potential impacts to matters of national environmental significance (World Heritage properties, national heritage places, wetlands of international importance [Ramsar wetlands], threatened species and ecological communities, migratory species, and Commonwealth marine areas) Assessment under Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy
Collection of regulated species from the wild Fishing licence
General fisheries permit (GFP)
Fisheries Act 1994 Fisheries Queensland
Collection of regulated species from the wild Permit for take of protected species Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy
Collection of regulated species from the wild Permit for take of protected species Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 GBRMPA
Translocation of aquatic animals into Queensland from other states Translocation approval Fisheries Act 1994 Fisheries Queensland
Importation of aquatic animals
from outside Australia
Import permit Quarantine Act 1908 Commonwealth Department of Agriculture
Food safety (if product is for human consumption) Compliance with Food Safety Program Food Act 2006, Food Production (Safety) Act 2000 Safe Food Queensland
Queensland Health
Stocking of public dams and impoundments General fisheries permit (GFP) Fisheries Act 1994 Fisheries Queensland

Assessing agencies for aquaculture activities

Queensland Government

Australian Government

Also consider...

Contact

General enquiries 13 25 23