If you want to run an aquatic event, competition, exhibition or any other activity that affects the general public's use of navigable waters, you'll need an aquatic licence. You could face a penalty for having the event without the appropriate licence.
Aquatic licences are for temporary events, and must be applied for at least 6 weeks before the event or activity starts – even earlier for more complex events or activities.
You can apply for an aquatic licence online.
Applications must be made at least 6 weeks before the event or activity starts – even earlier for more complex events or activities.
What you need
- full details of the event type, location, date(s), times and number of vessels involved
- a detailed map of the location showing areas of operation
- exclusive use requirements (if applicable)
- an Aquatic Activity Operational Plan detailing safety procedures, rescue craft, qualified personnel in attendance, communications procedures, a risk register and a risk management plan acceptable to Transport for NSW (see Aquatic Activity Operational Plan Template – DOC)
- evidence of community and stakeholder consultation appropriate to the type, scale and location of the aquatic activity (as determined by Transport for NSW)
- written authorisation from other relevant agencies or consent authorities (like local councils or the Marine Parks Authority)
- written authorisation from the occupier or trustee of any foreshore land intended to be used in connection with the proposed activity
- evidence of affiliation with, and sanction of, the Australian Power Boat Association (power boat races only)
- evidence of affiliation with, and sanction of, Ski Racing Australia (water ski events only)
- a copy of the Work Cover Risk Assessment (fireworks events only)
- the details of the applicant or nominated representative, including proof of identity
- proof of identity for the organisation/company to prove legal status (note that an aquatic licence is not issued to a business name)
- written authorisation for any nominated representative acting on behalf of an organisation on that organisation’s letterhead
- evidence of not-for-profit status (if applicable)
- any additional documentation requested by Transport for NSW during assessment of the application, such as a noise assessment report or environmental assessment report.
How to apply
- Check the eligibility requirements.
- Following the guidelines set out in the Aquatic Activity Operational Plan Template – DOC, create your own operational plan and risk assessment.
- Select the 'Apply online' button.
- Log in or create an account.
- Complete the online application form.
- Upload the required documentation.
- Read and confirm the declaration.
Last updated: 22 August 2022