Legislative requirements (including Macquarie Island)

Any project activity conducted by a project team, or someone on behalf of the project, in Antarctica, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, or during Marine Science, is subject to environmental laws and is likely to require an authorisation or permit from the Department of the Environment and Energy.

Any project activity at Macquarie Island is subject to approval by the Tasmanian Government.

Applicants wishing to conduct research in the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic need to be aware of, and comply with, all national and state legislative requirements.

National environmental legislative requirements for the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Most activities require environmental authorisation and certain activities require permits, such as for entry to Antarctic protected areas, entry to the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands, use of helicopters, disturbance on foot, vehicle or aircraft or other interference with seabirds and marine mammals, sampling, import and export of specimens, introduction of non-indigenous species, use of weapons, etc. may be offences under national laws, unless the activities have been assessed to identify the impact it is likely to have on the environment and/or authorised in a permit(s).

Detailed information on environmental impact assessment and permit requirements are available in the Environment section of the AAD website. This site provides relevant downloadable forms and has links to other related sites.

Applicants must be aware of, and have satisfied, all environmental legislative requirements before departing for the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic.

State environmental legislative requirements for Macquarie Island Nature Reserve

Macquarie Island is part of the state of Tasmania. In accordance with Section 37 of the National Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002, Macquarie Island Nature Reserve (including its surrounding waters to three nautical miles) is declared a Restricted Area to which the public has no general right of access. Pursuant to Regulation 11 of the National Parks and Reserved Land Regulations 1999, a person must not enter or remain in the reserve unless the person is granted authority by the Director, or the person is accompanied by an authorised person. Special Management Areas are declared from year to year to further protect vulnerable species, vegetation communities or sites extremely vulnerable to human disturbance.

Permits for scientific research on Macquarie Island are required, and are issued by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. The application form and guidelines are available from the DPIPWE website.