Science and Research

hoya aldrichi Christmas Island

Access to biological resources in Commonwealth areas

For the purposes of accessing biological resources, Commonwealth areas include:

Note: Territory Land in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is not a Commonwealth area. Coastal waters of Australian States and the Northern Territory (to three nautical miles from an agreed baseline) are not Commonwealth areas.

The Protected Area Policy and Biodiscovery Section within the Parks Australia Division of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities manages access to genetic and biochemical resources found in native species in Commonwealth areas.


To access biological resources in most Commonwealth areas you need to apply for a permit.

To access biological resources in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, please contact the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. To access biological resources in the Australian Antarctic Territory, please contact the Australian Government Antarctic Division.

Please note: Depending on the type of research you are planning to do, you may need to obtain additional permits issued under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act or regulations. For information on other permits that may be required go to


In December 2005 the Australian Government introduced regulations to facilitate access to, and regulate the use of, its native genetic and biochemical resources: