Taking photographs and filming on lands and waters managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) are encouraged as a passive recreation activity. Such activity helps to promote community awareness, understanding and support for nature conservation. And it's also rewarding. Often, these images are fine works of art that provide wonderful and long lasting memories.

Commercial filming

Professional photographers, agencies and businesses use our national parks and other reserves to obtain images to enhance commercial products for sale, or to use as settings for dramas, lifestyle programs or documentary films.

In all cases with filming in wild places, safety is imperative and, equally, the wildlife and environment must be left undisturbed. But with commercial filming, it's also important to ensure that the final image portrays the area in an appropriate way, and does not compromise any conservation, cultural or environmental management objectives.

For this reason, images and movies depicting improper use of a natural area (e.g. driving through 'fields' of wildflowers) or those that promote activities discouraged by federal or State government (e.g. cigarette advertising) will not be permitted.

Approvals

Regulation 108 of the Conservation and Land Management Regulations 2002 requires any photographer taking images or footage for commercial purposes on DPAW-managed lands to obtain lawful authority from DPAW. Non-commercial/private photography does not normally require lawful authority.

If supervision is required or the stills/footage is used for commercial purposes, a charge may be payable to the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

News of the day (television and print) and current affairs film crews are not required to pay a charge or obtain lawful authority. But in the interests of safety and courtesy to DPAW staff, they should contact the local DPAW office prior to filming.

If you also want to film marine mammals, whale sharks and rare fauna, and/or to capture animals in order to film them, special wildlife licenses are required, unless the activity is being conducted in conjunction with a person who is already appropriately licensed.

To apply for a lawful authority to conduct commercial filming or photography download the application form, fill it in and return the form (three pages) to The Licensing Officer.

To assist us in the proper assessment of commercial film applications and to approve lawful authorities in reasonable time, DPAW requests that all proposals be submitted at least two months prior to the expected filming dates. We are committed to consulting with Traditional Owners on issues and activities that affect their land and DPAW will include special conditions to a Commercial Filming Permit addressing cultural concerns, if they are identified.  Click here for the Commercial Filming and Photography Handbook.