Nature conservation

Parks, reserves and protected areas

Development guidelines

OEH has clear guidelines for use in assessing developments and activities within OEH-managed parks and reserves, or in adjoining areas.  

Guidelines for developments adjoining OEH land and water

Guidelines for developments adjoining land and water managed by the Office of Environment and Heritage (PDF 121KB) are available for use by councils and other planning authorities when assessing development applications that may impact on areas managed by OEH, namely land acquired, reserved or dedicated under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act). That includes national parks, nature reserves, and other types of conservation lands protected by the NPW Act.

Where the planning authority is of the opinion that the development is likely to have adverse impacts on adjoining OEH lands, it should consult with the relevant National Parks and Wildlife Service Park Operations Branch, and consider:

  • further discussions with the proponent to modify the proposal to avoid impacts
  • conditions that could be applied to the planning approval to mitigate impacts
  • refusal of the proposal if significant adverse impacts remain unavoidable.

Guidelines for activities within OEH land and water

Preparing a conservation risk assessment

Proposals to undertake 'exempt development' within OEH-managed areas may still require OEH approval under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 or National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009.

It is OEH policy to require proponents to submit a conservation risk assessment (CRA) prior to any approval being granted. For further information on undertaking a CRA, contact the relevant National Parks and Wildlife Service Park Operations Branch.

Preparing a review of environmental factors

A review of environmental factors (REF) is an environmental impact assessment for activities on land reserved under the NPW Act. The Guidelines for preparing a Review of Environmental Factors provide information on how to undertake an REF. The guide should be used by all proponents.

A Review of Environmental Factors template (DOC 427KB) for the REF is also provided.

Preparing a sustainability assessment

Proposals seeking a lease or licence under s.151 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 must be accompanied by a sustainability assessment (in addition to an REF or CRA). The assessment must address the criteria (PDF 249KB) adopted by the Chief Executive of OEH. Proponents should also refer to the sustainability guidelines for more information.

Meeting Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards

Activities involving building or infrastructure works within OEH-managed areas may require certification to demonstrate compliance with the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian Standards.

Proponents should refer to the construction assessment procedures for more information.

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Page last updated: 06 September 2017