Who requires a permit?
A film permit is required for television, feature films, commercials, documentaries and music videos as well as photography undertaken as part of a trade or business. Major amateur (e.g. student) productions which are considered likely to require exclusive use of a visitor site or may cause damage to the environment also require a permit.
News related media coverage of issues located on public land and most amateur filming or photography for personal interest do not require a permit. Filming activities assessed as 'low impact' may have the requirement for a permit waived. Low impact filming activities are defined by these criteria:
- a filming activity involving six or fewer people including all production crew and talent;
- no more than one camera, one tripod, and handheld sound recording equipment;
- public safety is maintained at all times and public pathways, footpaths and roads are not blocked; and
- the filming organiser has completed a risk assessment and identified the risks of personal injury, property damage or environmental harm associated with the filming activity to be low.
To determine whether a permit application is required contact our Customer Service Centre on 13 61 86.
Victoria's public land is vast and often remote, with numerous safety risks which users need to take into account. If the filming activity is assessed as low impact and does not require a permit, you should still carry appropriate public liability insurance to provide coverage in the event of personal injury or property damage.
View State forest areas suitable for filming on the Forest Explorer website.
How do I apply for a filming permit?
Contact our Customer Service Centre on 13 61 86.
You will receive a response within five business days of receipt of your application, if complex arrangements for your filming activity are required it may take longer to respond to your permit request.
Filming permit fees and bonds
Fees may be charged to cover costs related to permit administration and supervision of the filming activity. We recognise three levels of potential impact from filming projects: low, medium and high impact.
We assess the potential impacts of a filming proposal against the following criteria. The highest impact rating determines the level of impact category of the filming proposal and the corresponding administration fee/bond (see next table).
|Filming Proposal and Land Attributes||Low impact||Medium impact||High impact|
|Filming requirements||up to 6 cast and crew||7 - 30 cast and crew||> 30 cast and crew|
|up to 5 vehicles||6 - 10 vehicles and single oversized vehicle||> 10 vehicles and multiple oversized vehicles|
|Estimated risk of impact to environmental, historical and cultural site value||No large structures or equipment||1 - 5 large structures/equipment||> 5+ large structures/equipment|
|Located in General Management Zone||Located in Special Management Zone||Located in Special Protection Zone|
|Impact on public recreational use and forest facilities||1 day of filming/ site occupancy||2-5 days of filming/ site occupancy||5+ day of filming/ site occupancy|
|Occupying a low Levels of Service1 site type (LOS 4-6)||Occupying a medium Levels of Service site type (LOS 3)||Occupying a high Levels of Service site type (LOS 1-2)|
1 Corresponds to visitor numbers
|Fee detail||Low impact||Medium impact||High impact|
|Administration||N/a||$120 minimum to $960 maximum.||$960 minimum|
|N/a||Administration fee charged at $60 per hour, minimum 2 hour charge. Additional administration fee (if applicable) for each hour or part thereof in excess of 2 hours|
(Minimum 4 hour call, supervisory staff not available at all locations)
|N/a||$75.00 per hour per staff member|
|Late processing Applied to applications received with less than 7 days' notice||$150|
|Bond**||N/a||$2,000||$5,000. This may be varied upwards where DELWP determines a higher bond is required to protect sensitive assets/areas|
* Charged if departmental supervision of filming is a condition of permit or if applicant requests departmental staff be present during filming.
** Where there are concerns regarding the potential impact of filming activities on the environment, cultural features or other public land assets, a bond may be imposed as a condition of permit to offset any potential damage.
Any fees or bonds are payable before commencement of filming at the site.
Public liability insurance
DELWP must receive evidence of public liability insurance that comprehensively covers your legal liabilities in relation to your filming activities for all film permits. Proof of certificate of currency to a minimum amount of A$10 million that is relevant to your production and names the Secretary to the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning on the policy is required.
Filming Approval Act 2014
In 2014 the Victorian Government passed new legislation to standardise the process for obtaining commercial filming permits on public land managed by local councils and state government agencies in Victoria.
The Filming Approval Act 2014, effective 1 March 2015, provides a framework for the approval of filming permits. It outlines eight film friendly principles and guidelines for commercial filming on public land in Victoria.
Visit the Film Victoria website for more information.
Page last updated: 16/07/21