Work Permit

To apply for a Work Permit you need to provide the purpose of your work and the locations, time periods and work type. Work type include:

  • General
  • Essential activity
  • Mining
  • Tourism
  • Media (see below)
  • Research (see below)

Mining and Tourism Permits are issued to organisations with existing NLC Land Use Agreements or applications for a Land Use Agreement.

Who can apply?

  • People who want to access Aboriginal land for work purposes 
  • Mining companies sending staff to work sites 
  • Lessees and licensees, i.e. businesses, government and non-government organisations with a Land Use Agreement, who are sending staff, contractors or agents to Aboriginal land for work purposes 
  • Contractors and sub-contractors undertaking work on Land Use Agreement areas 
  • Tour group operators taking tourists on organised tours on Aboriginal land including intertidal waters 
  • People and organisations wanting to undertake research on Aboriginal land 
  • Journalists and bloggers who want to access Aboriginal land to write stories or news items 
  • Photographers and filmmakers wanting to make visual or audio recordings on Aboriginal land 
  • Anyone who wants to access Aboriginal land for business development, commercial research and development, or business negotiations  

How to apply?

You can now manage your permits online. We encourage you to register for the NLC permit system. This will make your permit process faster and more efficient. To apply for a Work Permit:

For guidelines on how to use the Permit Administration System (PAS) see: How to use PAS.

Application process

Your application for a NLC permit must specify the purpose of your visit, the dates, places and access routes, and your vehicles, passengers and accommodation. The NLC will consider your application and seek approval from relevant traditional Aboriginal owners.

Please allow up to 10 days for processing and contact us about access restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. If we require additional time to consider your application, we will let you know, eg complex applications, such as some research and media applications.

Media Permits

While Aboriginal land is privately owned, Aboriginal people recognise that it is important for media professionals to have access to their communities as long as cultural sensitivities (e.g. sacred sites, periods of mourning) are respected and appropriate behaviour is observed.

Applicants involved in commercial projects, such as films, documentaries or books, are advised that the NLC requires a minimum of 10 days’ notice to process an application.

If the project is likely to involve a significant impact on Aboriginal people’s privacy and property, then more working notice may be required to allow time for all relevant traditional owners to be consulted. In many instances, an application will cover a geographical area involving a number of different traditional owners and each must be consulted. 

Please download this form:

Protocols for Media on Aboriginal Land

To apply for a media permit select Work as the Permit Type and then Media as the work type.

Research Permits

People and organisations wanting to undertake research or conduct surveys on Aboriginal land are required to provide detailed information before a permit can be considered. Please include the nature of the research, the methodology, proposed publication details and the benefits to the traditional owners. The information you provide will be presented to relevant Traditional Owners and their resulting directions will be conveyed back to you.

Please download these forms:

Protocols for Research on Aboriginal Land 

Research Application Supplementary Form

To apply for a research permit select Work as the Permit Type and Research as the work type.