Occupation permits for state forests

Occupation permits allow you to occupy land in any state forest for a fixed term. Occupation permits are granted under Section 35(1)(a) of the Forestry Act 1959 by the chief executive of the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation.

New permitting hub

Online Services is the department's new permitting system for permits and authorities issued on Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service managed areas.

Permit and authority holders, and applicants can use Online Services to:

  • manage your authority
  • submit an application for a new authority
  • submit renewals, amendments and returns
  • access all your documents in one place.

Uses under occupation permits

Occupation permits will only be granted if the chief executive is satisfied that your proposed use of the land meets the requirements of the relevant legislation and policy.

Occupation permits for state forests in Queensland may be granted for a variety of purposes, including:

  • water infrastructure, such as pipelines, artificial waters, water storage areas and dams
  • educational and scientific facilities
  • public infrastructure
  • recreational facilities
  • communication facilities
  • other purposes (including coal seam gas activities).

The department assesses applications for occupation permits to confirm the proposed use is appropriate to the site.

An occupation permit will not be granted over state forests and/or timber reserves if the proposed use:

  • is inconsistent with the management principles for the area
  • would endanger or destroy any special values attached to the area
  • would have an adverse impact, directly or indirectly, on Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Partnerships (QPWS&P) management or the rights of other lawful users of the area (including native title rights and interests).


Lodgement is completed through Online Services.

To apply for an authority, register for Online Services or log in to Online Services if already registered.

How to complete the application

  • Complete your permit application using Online Services (see above). Note: Applications cannot be printed and submitted by post or email.
    • You can save a partially completed application through Online Services and submit it at a later date. If you are having trouble completing the application, contact us at parkaccess@des.qld.gov.au.
  • Choose your authority type or choose the existing authority to action. This will dynamically change the questions in your application about your proposed authority.
  • Provide your:
    • applicant details, including an email address
    • details about the activities you plan to conduct, including attachments of supporting information such as maps and photographs (if available).
  • Include:
    • a detailed outline of all intended activities within the state forest or timber reserve and describe the site within that area where you wish to conduct activities
    • an environment management plan
    • a survey plan, authority plan or A4 map.
  • Ensure that you have appropriate insurance, where required, according to departmental policy prior to commencing the authorised activity. Read the Operational policy – Insurance and indemnity requirements for QPWS authorities (PDF, 227KB) for more details.
  • Pay the relevant application and permit fees (if applicable) online using Visa or MasterCard. Note: Annual rental fees apply to occupation permits.
  • Submit your application via Online Services for assessment.

New occupation permits

Before making a formal application for an occupation permit, phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68), or email QPWS.Estate@des.qld.gov.au to discuss your proposal with regional staff.

Expired occupation permits

If you have an expired occupation permit, a new permit may be issued after a reassessment of the occupancy.

Further information

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