Cool fact…
Sea surface temperatures around Heard Island during the summer are between two and four degrees celsius.

Permits

The Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Environment Protection and Management Ordinance 1987 (the EPMO) provides that a person may only enter the HIMI Territory (which includes the 12 nautical miles territorial sea) in accordance with a permit issued under that Ordinance, or during the course of an emergency, or in the performance of the duties of that person as an inspector appointed under the EPMO.

The EPMO also provides that a person may only carry out certain actions in the Territory in accordance with a permit issued under the EPMO. These actions include:

  • bring any organism into the Territory;
  • bring any dead poultry or poultry products into the Territory;
  • take, injure, remove or engage in conduct that results in death or injury to, or interference with any organism;
  • land an aircraft, drive a vehicle or sail a vessel;
  • leave any equipment, material or refuse;
  • introduce or remove any soil or other geological matter or engage in conduct that results in interference to any soil or other geological matter;
  • collect any material; and
  • engage in conduct that results in interference with any buildings, historical relics, equipment, supplies or survey markers.

A permit will not be issued to authorise a person to take, injure or otherwise interfere with any organisms, or collect any material unless:

  • the number of organisms of any species that may be taken or killed in that year by virtue of that permit and any other permit will be replaced by natural reproduction in the next breeding season; and
  • the activity is for providing specimens for scientific research, public education or other educational or cultural purposes.

An EPMO permit would also be required for the following activities, although it is likely that a permit would only be issued in exceptional circumstances:

  • engage in conduct that results in interference to the conduct of a scientific experiment that is the subject of a permit.
  • engage in conduct that results in a living organism that has been introduced into the Territory escaping in the Territory.

The following activities are prohibited in the Territory and will not be authorised by a permit:

  • the bringing into the Territory of any diseased organism or live poultry; and
  • mineral resource or fishing activity within the Territory.

Before a permit can be granted the proposed activity must undergo an environmental impact assessment. Depending on the activity proposed, there may be other environmental approval and permit requirements to consider. In particular, if you propose to conduct research that may disturb or interfere with seabirds or marine mammals, it is likely that you will require additional permits under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Also, proposals to conduct activities within the HIMI Marine Reserve, but outside the Territory, may require a permit under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000.

Proponents are encouraged to make early contact with the AAD regarding proposed activities at HIMI, and permit applications forms should be submitted no less than six to eight weeks prior to departure of the ship to the subantarctic.

All visitors to the Territory need to be fully self-sufficient and will be required to indemnify the Commonwealth from any liability arising from an accident, and where appropriate, to have suitable public liability insurance.

Proposed variations to permitted activities are required to go through a similar environmental assessment and permits process to the original application.

Permit-holders are generally required, as a condition of permit, to provide a report on compliance with permit conditions within 60 days after expiration of the permit. This requirement is additional to Antarctic Science Advisory Committee (ASAC) or Antarctic Animal Ethics Committee (AAEC) reporting requirements.

Permits or authorisations issued under the EPMO or the under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 will include a condition requiring compliance with the prescriptions of the HIMI Marine Reserve Management Plan.

Permit application forms [Word] are to be completed and returned to the Policy Branch of the Australian Antarctic Division, Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania 7050. Application forms should be submitted no less than six to eight weeks prior to departure of the ship to the subantarctic.

A permit report template [Word] is available for completing on expiry of the permit and is to be sent to the Policy Branch of the Australian Antarctic Division, Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania 7050 or via email to himi@aad.gov.au

For queries relating to the HIMI permits process, go to the Contact Us page of this website and choose the topic Permits. Queries in relation to tourist visits should also be directed to Tourism.

Permit Register Subject to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 an application may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for the review of a decision to grant a permit. This application may be made by or on behalf of a person whose interests are affected by the decision.

*Please note that not all permits will be included in the register if the Minister decides that it is not in the national interest to do so, could result in risk to the environment, or could adversely affect the commercial interests of a person who has been granted a permit.

Permit register

HIMI 2015-001, 28/4/2015 to 30/6/2017, James Fleming, AAD remote camera inspection and maintenance under AAP 3319 Implementation of the AADs regulatory functions.

HIMI EPMO 2015-16 4338 Investigator V01, 15/12/2015 to 1/4/2016, Prof Millard Coffin, Submarine Volcanism and Hydrothermalism around Heard and McDonald Islands

HIMI EPMO Cordell Expeditions signed 1/3/2016, 10/03/2016 to 30/04/2016, Dr Robert Schmeider, Radio operations and field science via MV Breaveheart

 

This page was last modified on 28 February 2005.