How do I apply for a new boat permit?

Please download and complete the application form and submit via email to boatpermits@nca.gov.au. There is no fee for a boat permit. Please include in your application a photo of your boat, motors, HIN or VIN and photographic evidence of your safety equipment (including bailing bucket, paddle, torch, fire extinguisher and anchor/rope). The permit form is found here.

How do I apply for a renewal boat permit?

Existing annual boat permits are automatically renewed before 1 July each year. A letter and permit sticker will be sent to your address. There is nothing required from you to arrange this. If your contact details have changed, please contact the NCA via boatpermits@nca.gov.au

Is my petrol powered vessel permitted?

C1 permits (coaching, rescue and judging) – Use of petrol motors is permitted.

C2 permits (general use) – Petrol motors do not have to be removed from boats but, except in the case of an emergency, they are not permitted to be used on the Lake. Auxiliary (electric) motors are allowable on the Lake.

C3 Permits (Lake management and special interest) – Petrol motors are permitted subject to special conditions.

C4 Permits (commercial use) – Petrol motors permitted subject to conditions.

Do you need a permit for non-powered watercraft?

Non-powered craft such as sailing boats and canoes do not require a permit to go onto the Lake.

What is the charge for an NCA boat permit?

There is currently no charge for NCA issued boat permits.

Can I have my fishing boat on the Lake?

Yes, but please remember the following when fishing on the Lake:

  • You must apply for a boat permit if your fishing vessel is powered. You must only use auxiliary (electric) motors whilst on the Lake
  • A permit is not required for non-powered watercraft (kayaks, canoes, etc.)
  • Lake Burley Griffin is classified as “open waters” meaning you may fish all year around
  • You must comply with the Fisheries Act 2000 when recreational fishing in the public waters of the ACT. More info is found here
  • The exclusion zone at Scrivener Dam is not available for fishing, all other areas on the Lake are non-restricted
  • Please be aware of the Recreational Policy and Traffic Flow Guide

How do I get a boat permit for Lake Ginninderra, Lake Tuggeranong, Kingston Harbour, and Molonglo River above Lake Burley Griffin?

The NCA regulates Lake Burley Griffin only. Please contact Access Canberra for boat permits for Lake Ginninderra, Lake Tuggeranong, Kingston Harbour, and Molonglo River above Lake Burley Griffin.

I have a coaching/rescue/judging boat for an upcoming event, do I need a permit?

All powered boats require a permit to go onto the Lake. Coaching, rescue and judging boats are permitted to use petrol motors and require drivers to be licenced with boat licences. Temporary permits are available for short term use such as for events.

For coaching, rescue and judging boats, please apply for a C1 permit. Please download and complete the application form and submit via email to boatpermits@nca.gov.au. There is no fee for a boat permit. Please include in your application a photo of your boat, motors, HIN or VIN and photographic evidence of your safety equipment (including bailing bucket, paddle, torch, fire extinguisher and anchor/rope).

The permit form is found here.

How do I apply for a commercial boat permit?

A Section 33 (Commercial) Licence Agreement application must be submitted to the NCA if you wish to conduct any of the following activities on, or on the shore of the Lake:

  • Selling, or offering for sale, food, drink or other articles or goods
  • Letting, or offering to let, on hire bicycles, boats or other articles
  • Carrying, or offering to carry, passengers, articles or goods in or on a boat for fee or reward
  • Carrying on the business of boat repair

For more information and links, please click here.

Are additional approvals required to the boat permit?

When using a powered boat on the Lake, you may also need to comply with Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) – Domestic Commercial Vessel (DCV) National System. Depending on your vessel you may require additional approvals to the boat permit.

Do any of the below apply to you:

  • Is your vessel used in connection with a commercial activity?
  • Is your vessel used in connection with a government activity?
  • Is your vessel used in connection with a research activity?
  • Will your vessel be used at any point in the above mentioned activities?
  • Do you receive money from the operation of your vessel?
  • Is the vessel owned by a secondary or primary school and being utilised by people who are not students at the school?
  • Is the vessel owned by a community group and being utilised by people who are not members of the community group?
  • Is your vessel used in connection with enabling trainees to obtain licences that are needed to meet legislative requirements (i.e. boat licences, diving licences)?
  • Is your vessel used as a volunteer search and rescue vessel?

If you meet any of the criterion in this section and are uncertain if you are subject to the National Law, please contact AMSA on the National System Hotline on 1300 517 246: national.system@amsa.gov.au for assistance in determining your obligations under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012.

Last reviewed: 10 May 2021

Lake Burley Griffin