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 adjacent to national parks and other reserves

These Guidelines for developments adjacent to land we manage apply to any development applications or proposals that may impact on areas we manage, namely land reserved or acquired 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.

Encroachments or incursions onto these lands are not permitted.

If the planning authority thinks that the development is likely to have any impact on lands reserved or acquired under the NPW Act, it should:

  • consult with us via the contact details for the relevant park
  • undertake further discussions with the proponent to modify the proposal to avoid adverse impacts on lands reserved or acquired under the NPW Act
  • apply conditions to the planning approval to mitigate adverse impacts
  • refuse the proposal if significant adverse impacts remain unavoidable.

Guidelines for activities within our acquired or reserved land and water

Authorisation

Most proposals within areas we manage areas require authorisation under the National Parks and Wildlife Act or Regulation, 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 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, we require the proponent to provide a conservation risk assessment (CRA) instead of a REF. We 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 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). Refer to the assessment criteria for the matters to be considered and guidelines on how to prepare an assessment.

Meeting the Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards

Building or infrastructure works within areas we manage 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.

Contact us

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

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Developments adjacent to National Parks and Wildlife Service lands

Guidelines to guide consent and planning authorities in their assessment of development applications that are adjacent to land managed by National Parks and Wildlife Service.

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