Parks Victoria supports universities, other research institutions and individuals to do research in parks, reserves, ports, waterways and on piers. We encourage and 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 Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA)). The new research permit, called a ‘Research Activity Access Agreement’ is 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 Research Activity 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 DEECA. To apply for these permits, go to Wildlife Research Permits (DEECA). 

Registered/affiliated volunteer groups do not require an Access Agreement if the research activity is included in a Volunteer Activity Plan. Similarly, third parties working in partnership or on behalf of Parks Victoria do not require an Access Agreement. However, both groups still need to obtain the relevant permit(s) from DEECA, if required. We encourage you to contact our Customer Service team to clarify – see contact details below.

We will update this webpage and ParkConnect as more information is available. 

Call the Parks Victoria Customer Support Team on 13 1963 (or +613 6145 0211 international calls) or email


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 DEECA, 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 a Research Activity 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
  • Confirmation of OH&S plan (for organisations only)

Whilst it depends on the complexity of the research activity, the average Access Agreement application should take researchers approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete once you have all the required information to-hand.

Complete the Pre-Application Checklist

Apply for an Access Agreement from Parks Victoria

Apply for research permits from DEECA under the Wildlife Act or Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act.


What additional permits may I need?

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


 Research/ activity type Permit issued under Permit issued by
  • Research in a State Forest

Forests Act 1958


  • Research in a Reference Area

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  DEECA
  • 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
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
Victoria 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  DEECA

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

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


More information

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

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