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Planning and permits

Learn about the Harbour Trust’s planning framework, including how to obtain approval for works on and use of Harbour Trust land.

The Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Act 2001 and the Harbour Trust’s Comprehensive Plan and site Management Plans form the cornerstone of our planning framework. Scroll to learn more about how to apply for a planning permit (development approval), or a permit for a food business, commercial activity, liquor, commercial or filming photography. Additionally, you will also find information about current Harbour Trust tenders and expression of interest (EOI) campaigns.

    Commercial activitiesarrow
  • Individuals or organisations seeking to use Harbour Trust land for an activity that is commercial in nature must secure the approval of the Harbour Trust.

    A commercial activity includes (but is not limited to) an activity where the primary purpose is to make a profit; an activity where an individual (e.g. a sports coach, tour guide) is remunerated for providing a service; and free-of-charge activities, tours, courses or transport offered in conjunction with a commercial product or service.

    Examples of commercial activities can include orienteering, bike riding tours or lessons, creative and performing art classes, team building exercises and sports activity.

    How to apply for a permit

    To apply for a permit or license in regard to a commercial activity, please consult the Venue Use Guidelines (available below) and complete the relevant application or enquiry form.

    The Venue Use Guidelines outlines the criteria for obtaining a permit and helps applicants determine whether their proposed activity will be deemed a low, medium, or high impact undertaking. It also provides guidance on every step of the application process – from submitting a venue hire enquiry through to the approval and delivery of an event or activation.


    [Note: Receipt of an application by the Harbour Trust does not constitute a confirmed booking. A booking will not be confirmed in the Harbour Trust calendar until the application has been fully assessed and approval granted.]

    Filming and photographyarrow
  • The Harbour Trust offers low-impact and student filming and photography permits to shoot on Harbour Trust land. Our land is also available for wedding photography, media shoots, and medium to high impact filming and photography, including feature films, TV series, commercial and fashion shoots.

    For further information, see: Filming and photography

    Tenders and EOI campaignsarrow
  • The Harbour Trust is an agency within the portfolio of the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW). A range of work on our lands is undertaken by individuals and organisations that have been successful in submitting Australian Government tenders.

    Details of any key projects likely to be tendered this year will be compiled in AusTender’s Annual Procurement Plan List. For more information about our current tenders and expressions of interest (EOI) campaigns, visit the AusTender website.

    Tenderers and suppliers are required to abide by the Harbour Trust’s Supplier Code of Conduct.


Helpful links

If you are interested in the Harbour Trust's statutory plans and application processes, you may find the below links useful.