Consent applications for Research category includes all applications to enter the Special and Controlled Areas for research or formal studies by individuals and organisations including universities, government agencies, and commercial research projects. This includes all types of research including scientific, historic, archaeological and other cultural research.

Where WaterNSW sponsors research either by funding or in kind, we will enter a research agreement with the relevant research partner and consent will be issued as part of the research agreement. You do not need a separate application for access in these circumstances. You will need a separate consent application where the primary researcher engages a contractor or another researcher not identified in the original research agreement.

Additional information required

The consent application must address and meet the standard criteria AND provide the following information to the satisfaction of WaterNSW:

  • A written proposal outlining the research objectives and how they will be met
  • Details of the proposed activities involved in the research, including a description of the activity, the research design and methodology

Other licences or permits

You must attach copies of all required research permits with your consent application, or written statements from the relevant agency/s that a permit is not required for this research. This may include permits to collect or disturb native flora, fauna or aquatic species under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 or the Fisheries Management Act 1994. If your research involves collecting flora or fauna specimens, you must detail the extent of the collection and its expected impact. You must also identify any impact on endangered or threatened species, or communities listed under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act, or other significant communities or species.

If the research impacts on any aspect of Aboriginal cultural heritage, you may need an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit (AHIP) under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. If you want to research Aboriginal cultural heritage, you must also show evidence that you have consulted with the relevant Aboriginal community, or describe how you will consult with them. This must be consistent with the Code of Practice for Archaeological Investigation of Aboriginal Objects in NSW, Department of Environment and Heritage, September 2010 and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Consultation Requirements for Proponents, Department of Environment and Heritage, April 2010 (see for details).

Any research that could affect a known or potential heritage item may need authorisation under the Heritage Act. If you think your research may affect a heritage item, you must contact WaterNSW's Planning and Assessments Team before submitting a consent application to discuss appropriate assessment and the relevant approval process (see also Approvals under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979).


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Tuesday 15 June