Application and assessment process

Adélie penguins on an iceberg near Casey station
Adélie penguins on an iceberg near Casey station (Photo: Todor Iolovski)

Scientific, management or recreational activities (including tourism and non-government activities) in the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic, organised from Australia or by Australians, must comply with all national and state legislative requirements. This may involve application for a permit and/or completion of an Environmental Impact Assessment.

The information contained within this section is provided as general guidance only, on the environmental protection requirements under Australian law. Australian citizens proposing to undertake activities in the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic will need to ensure that they are aware of all other legal requirements and that these have been satisfied before they depart for the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic. Some research activities could require a number of different permits in order to satisfy all Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) administered environmental requirements.

Forms and permits

View or download permit application and request forms, permit-holder report forms, or obtain more information about permits and permit fees:

If your activity is in the Australian Antarctic Territory and you intend to collect biological material for commercial or potential commercial purposes, you will need to negotiate a benefit sharing agreement with the Parks Biodiversity Science and Knowledge Management Section of the Department of the Environment and Energy.

Applicants who are not associated with the Australian Antarctic Programme, and who are collecting biological material which will not be used for commercial or potential commercial purposes, must complete a Statutory Declaration [Word] to that effect, and submit it with their application.

Application and assessment process

Applications for approval should be submitted a minimum of two months prior to departure for Antarctica, to allow adequate time for assessment by the Minister for the Environment and Energy or their AAD Delegate. AAD Permits staff are available to answer any additional queries via the contacts page.

  1. Project approval
  2. Location of proposed activities
  3. Activities requiring permits
  4. Assessment and evaluation
  5. Decision
  6. Undertake work and report