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Tuesday, 2 October 1984
Page: 1055

(Question No. 924)


Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment, upon notice, on 30 May 1984:

(1) Why is it necessary for a film crew to obtain permission to film in the Uluru and Kakadu national parks when such parks are said to be for the benefit and use of the general public.

(2) What is the procedure to film in a national park, given that permission is necessary for obtaining a permit.

(3) Who requires a permit, and who is responsible for the issue of these permits.

(4) What role will the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service play, if traditional Aboriginal owners give their approval to film in a national park

(5) Will a permit from the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service still be required.

(6) Is there a requirement for a permit to carry out aerial filming; if so, would the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment expound this requirement.

(7) Does the Minister anticipate that, at some stage in the future, a permit will also be required to take aerial photographs.

(8) Would the Minister explain the Government's views on filming in national parks, taking into account the problems which have occurred recently over filming in the Uluru National Park and Kakadu National Park.


Senator Ryan —The Minister for Home Affairs and Environment has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) National parks and wildlife regulations have been in force under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 since 1977, the year Uluru ( Ayers Rock-Mount Olga) National Park was proclaimed. Regulation 7 (1) provides that commercial activity shall not be carried out in a park or reserve without the consent in writing of the Director of National Parks and Wildlife. Regulation 7 (3) requires that the Director shall not give his consent unless he is satisfied that the carrying on of the commercial activity will be of benefit to the members of the public using the park or reserve, or will assist in the protection and conservation of wildlife or the protection and preservation of the park or reserve. Commercial filming may adversely affect the use of a national park by the general public, require the services of park rangers and park facilities at public expense, affect park values and cause disturbance to wildlife and other park assets.

(2) Anyone wishing to conduct commercial filming in Kakadu and Uluru national parks should apply to the Director of National Parks and Wildlife providing details of proposed filming programs in adequate time for consideration of the application before the proposed filming date. Where appropriate, the Director refers the application to the traditional Aboriginal owners or their representative bodies and the Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory. In these instances, the Director makes his decision after consideration of the advice and recommendations received.

(3) See (2) above.

(4) Under the national parks and wildlife regulations the approval of the Director of National Parks and Wildlife is required for all commercial filming operations in the parks.

(5) See (4) above.

(6) Aircraft movements within Kakadu and Uluru national parks are subject to regulations under the Air Navigation Act. Complementary regulations may be made under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975 to regulate the movement of aircraft over the park. Although a permit is not required to carry out aerial filming, film crews are strongly advised to comply with established guidelines.

(7) Regulation of aerial filming may be considered if such activity intrudes upon or adversely affects the use and management of the parks.

(8) The Government's policy is that commercial filming is permitted in national parks established under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act provided that filming complies with the Act and Regulations, administrative arrangements made under this legislation and any guidelines agreed with traditional owners. Problems have arisen only in a minority of cases where film companies have provided insufficient time for the necessary consultations to take place or have submitted proposals which are environmentally or culturally insensitive.