Access Agreement for Research Activities (replaces Research Permit)

Access Agreements for Research Activities are an important way to allow research on public land while protecting important natural and heritage values.

To improve the user experience and make it easier to undertake research in Victoria’s parks and waterways, Parks Victoria is changing our research permit process.

Parks Victoria will now issue Access Agreement for Research Activities in all parks and waterways it manages, rather than DELWP. The new Access Agreement for Research Activities replaces “Research permits” issued under the National Parks Act and will be managed through ParkConnect. 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: https://www.vic.gov.au/wildlife-research-permits 

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.  

We will update ParkConnect as more information about the new process becomes available.

What is an Access Agreement for Research Activities (ex-Research Permit)?

An Access Agreement for Research Activities authorises researchers to access parks and waterways we manage to carry out research. An application for an access agreement must:

  • be consistent with Parks Victoria management objectives, and legislative requirements, and
  • address all safety, environment, and heritage risks

Why do I need an Access Agreement for Research Activities?

An access agreement exempts the researchers from certain park rules that would otherwise prevent them from conducting the research in a park or waterway. It also ensures that risks to park values, safety and park management operations that might arise from the research activities are managed.

Who applies for the Access Agreement?

The ‘Initial Researcher’ applies for the access agreement on behalf of the organisation. The application does not have to list all the researchers involved, and approved agreements do not need to be amended if the researchers involved changes at a later stage.

How long does it take?

Your application for an access agreement may take a minimum of 4 weeks to assess. If your application is successful you will then be sent an access agreement with relevant conditions to be signed by an authorised representative of your organisation.

How do I apply for a permit?

Begin by gathering your information.

Step Action Why do I do this?
1 Identify:
  • locations
  • species, or
  • issues and interests
To assess your application:
  • assemble all the information, and
  • identify if you may need other permits.
See: What kind of Permit do I need? (Access Agreements for Research Activities)
2 Complete your:
  • OH&S Risk Assessment & Mitigation Plan
  • Maps
  • Work Plans
This information is required for you to work legally in parks under an access agreement. Application assessment considers your approach to:
  • mitigating risks, and
  • causing minimal impact within the environment.
3 Complete the application
Log in or register for the first time
Your answers ensure that the impacts of your research are assessed correctly.
4 Add any Additional Researchers:
  • names, and
  • email addresses

Additional Researchers receive an email notification that they've been added to the list

What happens next?

Your invitation may be accepted or rejected based on the review of the application.

Enter your planned activities

When the Access Agreement is approved, a researcher must log in and enter the planned activities. Planned activities must be approved by the Area Chief Ranger before researchers may access parks and reserves to undertake research.

Role of the Area Chief Ranger

Area Chief Rangers will consider planned activities and:

  • provide information about accessible roads and tracks and if conditions are safe for vehicle access
  • establish emergency procedures and communications procedures in the event of an emergency
  • confirm for your specific fieldwork location and any access points to that location that there are no:
    • scheduled prescribed burns, animal control program and/or plant control programs
    • bush fires currently burning
  • allow for an on-site induction by Parks Victoria staff if required.