Investment approvals

Will your project involve foreign investors?

A foreign investor is:

  • an individual not ordinarily a resident in Australia
  • a company or trust not ordinarily resident in Australia
  • a foreign government.
Will your project involve foreign investors? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975

Foreign investments of a certain kind within defined thresholds require approvals from the Foreign Investment Review Board. Approvals are subject to national interest concerns.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Foreign Investment Review Board


Will your project involve capital expenditure over AUD $500 million?

Capital expenditure refers to expenditure to acquire, construct or upgrade fixed assets such as land, buildings and equipment.

Will your project involve capital expenditure over AUD $500 million? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Australian Jobs Act 2013

All major projects with capital expenditure of AUD $500 million or more will require an Australian Industry Participation Plan under the Australian Jobs Act 2013.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Australian Industry Participation Authority


Will your project employ foreign workers?

Foreign workers are employees from another country without:

  • Australian citizenship
  • New Zealand citizenship
  • Australian permanent residency.
Will your project employ foreign workers? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Migration Act 1958

All foreign workers will require the appropriate visa that allows them to work in Australia and in Commonwealth waters under the Migration Act 1958.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Home Affairs


If your project will have foreign involvement, will this include investment or third party contractual arrangements in Australia’s critical infrastructure or its supply chains?

The Australian and state and territory governments share the following definition of critical infrastructure:

‘those physical facilities, supply chains, information technologies and communication networks which, if destroyed, degraded or rendered unavailable for an extended period, would significantly impact the social or economic wellbeing of the nation or affect Australia’s ability to conduct national defence and ensure national security’.

Critical infrastructure provides services that are essential for everyday life such as energy, communications, water, transport, health, food and grocery, banking and finance, and the Australian Government. Secure and resilient infrastructure supports productivity, and helps to drive the business activities that underpin economic growth.

If your project will have foreign involvement, will this include investment or third party contractual arrangements in Australia’s critical infrastructure or its supply chains? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: The Security Of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018

If your project involves foreign involvement in Australia’s critical infrastructure through investment, third party contractual arrangements and supply chains, you must comply with this Act.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Home Affairs


Indigenous Approvals

Will your project impact on areas held by Native Title?

You can check if your area is affected by Native Title on the online register

Will your project impact on areas held by Native Title? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Native Title Act 1993

Activity on areas held by Native Title require approvals through negotiations with the affected title holders under the Native Title Act 1993.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: National Native Title Tribunal


Will your project affect areas or objects significant to Indigenous heritage?

Certain forms of Indigenous heritage are not protected:

  • objects with archaeological, scientific or historical interests
  • contemporary art
  • natural & intangible heritage.
Will your project affect areas or objects significant to Indigenous heritage? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984

Indigenous Australians can apply for a declaration under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 to protect significant Indigenous areas and objects. Declarations are rarely made but can override project approvals.

States and territories may also have their own jurisdictional Indigenous Heritage regulations.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


Location

Where will your project take place?

  • Land projects include activities occurring on, above and below Australian grounds.
  • Sea projects include activities occurring on, above and below an open body of water.
Where will your project take place? This field is required.

Road and airport approvals

Will your project involve heavy vehicles on roads?

Heavy vehicles are vehicles over 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass.

Will your project involve heavy vehicles on roads? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Heavy Vehicle National Law

Heavy vehicles may require approvals to operate on all roads (except in Northern Territory and Western Australia) under the Heavy Vehicle National Law. Approvals are granted by the class and type of vehicle.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: National Heavy Vehicle Regulator


Will your project be located around federally leased airports?

Check the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development for locations of federally leased airports.

Will your project be located around federally leased airports? This field is required.

Will your project impact the airspace within a 20km radius of an airport?

Activities and obstructions with an impact include:

  • permanent structures (buildings)
  • temporary structures (cranes)
  • activities causing intrusions (glare from artificial light or reflected sunlight, turbulence from stacks or vents, steam, other gases or other particulate matter).
Will your project impact the airspace within a 20km radius of an airport? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Airports (Protection of Airspace) Regulations 1996

All activities that may cause an obstruction within 20km of an airport or its protected airspace require approvals under the Airports (Protection of Airspace) Regulations 1996.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications


Will your project involve building or construction activities within an airport?

Building and construction activities include:

  • new buildings, terminal & hangers
  • civil works (runways, taxiways, roads & drains)
  • shop fit-outs.
Will your project involve building or construction activities within an airport? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996

All major building and construction activities within federally leased airports (except for Mount Isa and Tennant Creek) require approvals under the Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996. Minor activities, alterations and repairs do not require permits but notification must be given.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications


Maritime approvals

Will your project involve operating a vessel at sea?

Vessels are a craft for travelling on water.

Will your project involve operating a vessel at sea? This field is required.

Will your project involve operating a regulated Australian vessel?

A Regulated Australian vessel is an Australian vessel that is:

  • a passenger ship that is used for overseas voyages
  • a cargo ship of 500 gross tonnage or more that is used for overseas voyages
  • a mobile offshore drilling unit that is on an overseas voyage (other than a unit that is attached to the seabed), or
  • a ship that is capable of being used or is being used to carry both passengers and vehicles on inter-State voyages.

Please review the criteria on the Department of Home Affairs website

Will your project involve operating a regulated Australian vessel? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003

Operators of prescribed ship operations have particular security responsibilities, including assessing their own operations and having an approved ship security plan in place under the Maritime Transport and Offshore Facilities Security Act 2003.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Home Affairs


Will your project involve operating a regulated Australian vessel or a foreign vessel in Australian waters?

Regulated Australian Vessels

A Regulated Australian vessel is an Australian vessel that is:

  • a passenger ship that is used for overseas voyages
  • a cargo ship of 500 gross tonnage or more that is used for overseas voyages
  • a mobile offshore drilling unit that is on an overseas voyage (other than a unit that is attached to the seabed), or
  • a ship that is capable of being used or is being used to carry both passengers and vehicles on inter-State voyages.

Please review the criteria on the Department of Home Affairs website

Foreign Regulated Vessels

The ship operator of a regulated foreign ship are required to:

  • carry the required ship security records i.e. SSP, an International ship security certificate (ISSC), a continuous synopsis record
  • have a valid ISSC, an approved equivalent or an ISSC exemption
  • provide pre-arrival information to the Department of Home Affairs before arriving at an Australian port.

Please review the criteria on the Department of Home Affairs website

Will your project involve operating a regulated Australian vessel or a foreign vessel in Australian waters? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Navigation Act 2012

Certain ships require approvals to demonstrate the safety of both ships & seafarers and the management of marine environments & seafarer behaviour under the Navigation Act 2012.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Australian Maritime Safety Authority


Will your project operate a domestic commercial vessel in Australian waters?

A domestic commercial vessel is a vessel that is used for, or in connection with, a commercial, government or research activity.

Vessels are a craft for travelling on water.

Will your project operate a domestic commercial vessel in Australian waters? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012

All domestic commercial vessels in Commonwealth waters require approval to demonstrate vessel and seafarer safety under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012. Domestic commercial vessels within 3 nautical miles of the Australian coastline may require additional approvals from the relevant state or territory authority.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Australian Maritime Safety Authority


Will your ship transport cargo or passengers between ports in Australia?

Cargo includes any property loaded onto the ship and intended to be offloaded.

Passengers include any persons who is carried on board the ship with consent from the owner.

Will your ship transport cargo or passengers between ports in Australia? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012

All domestic movements of cargo or passengers on interstate and intrastate voyages must be approved under the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications


Will your vessel discharge oil or other marine environment pollutants as part of normal operation or is there potential for this to occur accidentally?

Marine pollutants include oil, chemicals, sewage, garbage and air pollution.

Will your vessel discharge oil or other marine environment pollutants as part of normal operation or is there potential for this to occur accidentally? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Protection Of The Sea (Prevention Of Pollution From Ships) Act 1983

Depending on the size and type of vessels involved, various operational plans may be needed to deal with operational and accidental discharges under the Protection Of The Sea (Prevention Of Pollution From Ships) Act 1983. In addition, certain record keeping requirements may apply for operations involving oil, bulk liquid cargoes and garbage removal.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Australian Maritime Safety Authority


Will your project involve fishing activities or impact an Australian protected fishery zone?

Fishing activities include:

  • commercial fishing
  • receipt of fish (processors, wholesalers & retailers)
  • scientific research.
Will your project involve fishing activities or impact an Australian protected fishery zone? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Fisheries Management Act 1991

All fishing activities in Commonwealth waters must be approved and demonstrate ecologically sustainable management practices under the Fisheries Management Act 1991.

Fishing activities within 3 nautical miles of the Australian coastline may require additional approvals from the relevant state or territory authority.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Australian Fisheries Management Authority


Offshore resources

Will your project involve exploring developing or producing offshore resources?

Offshore resources include underwater minerals, gas and oil deposits.

Will your project involve exploring developing or producing offshore resources? This field is required.

Will your project involve petroleum activities in Australian waters?

Petroleum activities involve the exploration, development & extraction of oil and gas.

Will your project involve petroleum activities in Australian waters? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Offshore Petroleum And Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006

All offshore petroleum activities in Commonwealth waters require approvals for each type of activity under the Offshore Petroleum And Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. Offshore petroleum activities within 3 nautical miles of the Australian coastline require additional approvals from the relevant state or territory authority.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority


Will your project involve mineral mining activities in Australian waters?

Mineral mining activities involve the exploration, development & extraction of minerals (other than petroleum).

Will your project involve mineral mining activities in Australian waters? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Offshore Minerals Act 1994

All offshore mineral mining activities in Commonwealth waters require approvals for each type of activity under the Offshore Minerals Act 1994. Offshore mineral mining activities within 3 nautical miles of the Australian coastline require additional approvals from the relevant state or territory authority.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources


Environmental approvals

Will your project have a significant impact on the environment?

The matters of national environmental significance protected under national environment law include:

  • listed threatened species and communities
  • listed migratory species
  • Ramsar wetlands of international importance
  • Commonwealth marine environment
  • world heritage properties
  • national heritage places
  • the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
  • nuclear actions
  • a water resource, in relation to coal seam gas development and large coal mining development.

Significant impact depends on the sensitivity, intensity, value, quality, duration, magnitude and geographic extent of actions.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Significant Impact guidelines 1.1 provides guidance on actions that are considered significant to protected matters under the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Will your project have a significant impact on the environment? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

If your project may pose a significant impact on the environment you will need to notify the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment under the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Within certain geographical and ecological properties, all activities are automatically considered matters of significance.

Bilateral environmental assessment agreements are in place for all states and territories. For impacts on land or within 3 nautical miles from the coastline refer to your relevant state or territory authority.

For more information see the fact sheet

Relevant authority: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


Will your project involve the disposal or abandonment of waste and other matter at sea?

Waste and other matter includes all materials other than operational discharges from ships (sewage & galley scraps).

Will your project involve the disposal or abandonment of waste and other matter at sea? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981

If your project may pose a significant impact on the environment you will need to notify the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment under the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Within certain geographical and ecological properties, all activities are automatically considered matters of significance.

Bilateral environmental assessment agreements are in place for all states and territories. For impacts on land or within 3 nautical miles from the coastline refer to your relevant state or territory authority.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


Will your project disturb the protected zone around registered shipwrecks?

You can find the location of these protected zones on the Australian National Shipwreck Database.

Will your project disturb the protected zone around registered shipwrecks? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018

All activities which disturb or damage the protected zone around shipwrecks in Commonwealth waters must be approved under the Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018.

Shipwrecks located within 3 nautical miles of the Australian coastline may require additional approvals from the relevant state or territory authority.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


Will your project disturb the protected zone around submarine cables?

The protected zones for submarine cables are located along the coast of NSW and WA.

Will your project disturb the protected zone around submarine cables? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Schedule 3a To The Telecommunications Act 1997

All activities which disturb or interfere the protected zone around submarine cables in Commonwealth waters must be approved under the Telecommunications Act 1997.

Certain activities are prohibited around the protected zones.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Australian Communications and Media Authority


Will your project involve activities with radioactive materials?

Activities with radioactive materials include:

  • constructing, operating & de-commissioning radioactive facilities
  • possessing, processing & disposing of radioactive apparatus or materials.
Will your project involve activities with radioactive materials? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: The Australian Radiation Protection And Nuclear Safety Act 1998

All Commonwealth activities related to or involving radioactive materials are strongly regulated under the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998.

States and territories may also have their own jurisdictional radioactive material regulations.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency


Will your project emit large amounts of greenhouse gases or consume large amounts of energy?

Large amounts of greenhouse gases and energy include:

  • 25,000 or more tonnes of carbon dioxide
  • 28,000 or more megawatt hours of electricity
  • 2.8 million or more litres of fuel.
Will your project emit large amounts of greenhouse gases or consume large amounts of energy? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: National Greenhouse And Energy Reporting Act 2007

Organisations that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases or consumes large amounts of energy may need to report their emissions under the National Greenhouse And Energy Reporting Act 2007. Organisations are responsible for determining their reporting obligations.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Clean Energy Regulator


Medicinal Cannabis

Will your project involve research, cultivation, manufacturing or the production of cannabis for medical purposes?

There are three types of licences under the Narcotic Drugs Act that relate to medicinal cannabis:

  • medicinal cannabis licence authorising cultivation or production or both
  • cannabis research licence authorising similar process for research purposes
  • manufacturing licence authorising the manufacture of a drug or product.

The Office of Drug Control (ODC) provides the three types of licences that relate to the cultivation, production and manufacture of medicinal cannabis.

Will your project involve research, cultivation, manufacturing or the production of cannabis for medical purposes? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Medicinal Cannabis

If your project involves the cultivation, production or manufacture of cannabis for medicinal and related research purposes you must obtain a medicinal cannabis licence.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Office of Drug Control


Import and export

Will your project involve importing or exporting goods?

Imported goods are goods brought into Australia.

Exported goods are goods sent out from Australia.

Will your project involve importing or exporting goods? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Customs Act 1901

Businesses are able to import and export goods subject to biosecurity (under the Biosecurity Act 2015) and taxation (under the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999) and customs clearances under the Customs Act 1901. Depending on the nature of the goods and regardless of value, importers might need to obtain permits to clear certain imported goods from customs control.

Importers are required, amongst other things, to ensure that imported goods are correctly labelled. Goods that are conditionally prohibited from export may not be exported unless all necessary export permits are obtained from the relevant permit issuing agency or agencies.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Home Affairs


Will your imports or conveyances pose a biosecurity risk?

Imports that pose a biosecurity risk include:

  • animal & plant products
  • equipment & machinery
  • samples & specimens.

Conveyances that pose a biosecurity risk include the vehicles & vessels used in transport.

You can check your biosecurity requirements on the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON).

Will your imports or conveyances pose a biosecurity risk? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Biosecurity Act 2015

All imports and conveyances that arrive within 12 nautical miles from the Australian coastline or its external territories are assessed under the Biosecurity Act 2015. If imports or conveyances are assessed to be biosecurity risks, they will not be allowed to enter Australia and may be destroyed at your expense.

States and territories may also have their own jurisdictional biosecurity regulations.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


Will you be importing goods destined to become products for human or animal consumption?

Food products are items intended to be eaten or taken into the body. These include ingredients used to make consumable products as well as stockfeed.

Will you be importing goods destined to become products for human or animal consumption? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Imported Food Control Act 1992

All imported food products must satisfy both biosecurity under the Biosecurity Act 2015 and food safety requirements under the Imported Food Control Act 1992 to be allowed into the country.

State and territory regulators undertake inspection activities and have responsibility for monitoring all imported food that is available for sale.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


Will you be exporting prescribed goods?

Prescribed goods include:

  • dairy & egg products
  • meat & fish products
  • fruit & vegetable products
  • grain, hay, seed, straw & plant products
  • live animals
  • organic products.
Will you be exporting prescribed goods? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Export Control Act 1982

All premises, including fishing vessels, where prescribed goods are prepared for export must be registered under the Export Control Act 1982.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


Will you be importing or exporting cultural objects?

Cultural objects include:

  • art works
  • historical artefacts (technology & artefacts)
  • natural objects
  • fossils and skeletal remains.
Will you be importing or exporting cultural objects? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Protection Of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986

The movement of significant national cultural objects across Australian borders requires approvals under the Protection Of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986. Certain cultural objects will require additional approvals from the host country, while others are prohibited from leaving Australia.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications


Space Activities

Will your project involve undertaking activities in the Australian Space Industry?

Certain civil space activities are prohibited unless appropriate approvals are obtained in accordance with the Space Activities Act 1998 and the Space Activities Regulations 2001. The space activities that require approvals include:

  • a launch of a space object from Australia
  • a launch of a space object by an Australian national outside of Australia
  • a launched space object, launched from within Australia or elsewhere, being returned to a place anywhere in Australia
  • a person operating a launch facility in Australia.
Will your project involve undertaking activities in the Australian Space Industry? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Space Activities Act 1998

Space activities conducted in Australia, as well as those conducted overseas involving Australian interests, require approvals under the Space Activities Act 1998.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources


Radiocommunications

Will your project require radiocommunication technologies?

Radiocommunications include radio transmissions and transmitters for the purpose of measurement, astronomical and meteorological observations and the operation of lighthouses, lightships, beacons and buoys.

Will your project require radiocommunication technologies? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Radiocommunications Act 1992

A permit may be required to operate radiocommunications equipment near astronomical and meteorological around electronic signalling operations.

Under the Radiocommunications Act 1992, there are legislative and policy measures to protect the ARQZWA, including the Radiocommunications (Mid West Radio Quiet Zone) Frequency Band Plan 2011 and Radiocommunications Assignment Licensing Instruction MS 32.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Australian Communications and Media Authority


Will your project require radiocommunications equipment within the Australian Radio Quiet Zone Western Australia (ARQZWA)?

The ARQZWA is located about 350 km north-east of Geraldton. Radiocommunications include equipment such as satellite telephones, mobile telephones and CB radios. See fact sheet.

Will your project require radiocommunications equipment within the Australian Radio Quiet Zone Western Australia (ARQZWA)? This field is required.
Applicable regulation: Radiocommunications Act 1992

A permit may be required to operate radiocommunications equipment near astronomical and meteorological around electronic signalling operations.

Under the Radiocommunications Act 1992, there are legislative and policy measures to protect the ARQZWA, including the Radiocommunications (Mid West Radio Quiet Zone) Frequency Band Plan 2011 and Radiocommunications Assignment Licensing Instruction MS 32.

For more information see the fact sheet.

Relevant authority: Australian Communications and Media Authority