Parks Victoria supports universities, other research institutions and individuals to do research in parks, reserves, ports, waterways and on piers. We encourageand support research projects in nature.


Improved application process

Parks Victoria is currently improving its research application process making it easier to undertake research in Victoria’s parks and waterways.

As part of simplifying the application process, Parks Victoria will issue research permits for activities in all parks and waterways it manages (previously issued by DELWP). The new research permit, called an ‘Access Agreement for Research Activities’ will be managed through ParkConnect.

To minimise disruptions for researchers, all existing permits will remain valid. Pending permit applications or requests for amendments will continue to be processed and applicants will be contacted if additional information is required. 

New applications for an Access Agreement may take a up to 4 weeks. Once reviewed, Parks Victoria will send you the Access Agreement with relevant conditions to be signed.

Research activities requiring approval under the Wildlife Act or Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act will now require a separate permit from DELWP. To apply for these permits, go to Wildlife Research Permits (DELWP).

Volunteers and third parties working in partnership or on behalf of Parks Victoria may not require an Access Agreement. However, you still need to obtain the relevant permit(s) from DELWP if required. We encourage you to contact our Customer Service team to clarify – see contact details at bottom of this page.

We will update this webpage and ParkConnect as more information about the new process is available. 


Before getting started

Knowing which permit(s) you require can be complex as it depends on the type of research activity you plan to do and where. To help you understand what research permits you will need, together with DELWP, we’ve developed this Pre-Application Checklist. We recommend you complete it before you start your application to ensure you apply for the right permit, to the right agency and with the right supporting documentation.

When applying for an Access Agreement, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Name of the park(s) you wish to undertake research
  • Methodology/description of research
  • Map showing specific location points of where you wish to undertake research 
  • Certificate of currency/public liability insurance ($20 million): required for individuals and organisations
  • OHS/risk management plans
Whilst it depends on the complexity of the research activity, the average Access Agreement application should take researchers approx. 20-30mins to complete once you have all the required information to-hand.


Next steps


For more information, call the Parks Victoria Customer Service Team on 13 1963 (or +613 6145 0211 international calls) or email


What additional permits may I need?

Use this table to identify any additional permits you need to undertake research in Victoria's natural environment.

 If you are... Permit issued under... Contact...

 researching in a State Forest


Forests Act 1958  DELWP

 researching in Reference Areas

 Note: These are areas of high conservation value with restricted access. Only projects of minimal impact on biodiversity are considered. Allow extra time for the Reference Areas Advisory Council approval.


Reference Areas Act 1978  DELWP
  • removing an object for research
  • uncovering Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • researching an Aboriginal place or object
  • likely to harm Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • rehabilitating land at an Aboriginal place, including burial grounds


Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 First Peoples - State Relations (formerly Aboriginal Victoria)
  • growing, breeding or selling fish or bait commercially
  • obtaining prohibited/ out of season fish
  • carrying out an activity in a fishery
  • taking fish for any reason


Fisheries Act 1995 Victorian Fisheries Authority
  • taking protected flora specimens, samples, seed or propagation material
  • researching in protected communities, and/or
  • capturing, handling, releasing, marking or displaying of any fish, or invertebrates listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988


Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988  DELWP

 researching any of the following:

  • historic archaeological sites and artefacts
  • historic buildings, structures and precincts
  • gardens, trees and cemeteries
  • cultural landscapes
  • shipwrecks and relics
  • significant objects


Heritage Act 1995 DELWP

capturing, collecting or interfering with wildlife including:

  • fauna surveys or live capture and release
  • bird/bat banding (ABBBS), marking, radio tracking
  • tissue samples or dead specimens

    Note: Invasive procedures with wildlife require Animal Ethics Approval from the institution managing the research. Bird or bat banding requires approval from the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme.

    Important: Include Action Statements and Translocation Plans, consistent with Threatened Species concerns, in your application.

    Wildlife Act 1975
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