Development guidelines

We have clear guidelines for use in assessing developments proposed within or adjoining national parks, aquatic reserves and marine parks.

Guidelines for developments adjoining OEH land and water

These Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) guidelines (PDF 121KB) apply to applications that may impact on adjoining areas managed by OEH, namely land acquired, reserved or dedicated under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act). Such land includes national parks, nature reserves and other types of conservation lands protected by the NPW Act.

Incursions onto these lands are not permitted. If the planning authority thinks that the development is likely to have any other impact on adjoining OEH lands, it should consult with the relevant National Parks and Wildlife Service park operations branch. In this situation OEH expects the planning authority to:

  • undertake further discussions with the proponent to modify the proposal to avoid adverse impacts
  • apply conditions to the planning approval to mitigate adverse impacts
  • refuse the proposal if significant adverse impacts remain unavoidable.

Guidelines for activities within OEH land and water

OEH authorisation

Most proposals within OEH-managed areas require OEH authorisation under the NPW Act or the National Parks and Wildlife Regulation 2009, as well as an environmental impact assessment, before they can be carried out.

For information about obtaining authorisation, contact the relevant National Parks and Wildlife Service Park park operations branch.

Preparing a review of environmental factors

A review of environmental factors (REF) is an environmental impact assessment for activities proposed on land reserved under the NPW Act. All proponents should use:

Preparing a conservation risk assessment

Some activities proposed in parks don’t require a REF.

Such ‘exempt development’ is defined under various state environmental planning instruments. The most common of these instruments are the Infrastructure State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) and the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

For exempt development OEH requires the proponent to provide a conservation risk assessment (CRA) instead of a REF. OEH must approve the CRA before it can authorise the development.

For further information on undertaking a CRA, contact the relevant National Parks and Wildlife Service Park park operations branch.

Preparing a sustainability assessment

Proposals seeking a lease or licence to undertake activities on-park must be accompanied by a sustainability assessment (in addition to a REF or CRA).

To produce such an assessment, proponents must refer to the following documents:

Meeting the Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards

Building or infrastructure works within OEH-managed areas may need to be certified to show that they comply with the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian standards. The construction assessment procedures explain how to get works certified.

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Guidelines for developments adjoining land managed by the Office of Environment and Heritage

These guidelines are for use by councils and other planning authorities when they assess development applications that may impact on land and water bodies managed by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).

PDF 0.1MB