Who requires a permit?

A film permit is required for:

  • television
  • feature films
  • commercials
  • documentaries
  • and music videos
  • business photography
  • major amateur (e.g. student) productions which likely require exclusive use of a visitor site, or may damage the environment.

Who does not require a permit?

No permit is required for:

  • news media coverage of issues on public land
  • most amateur filming or photography for personal interest
  • low impact filming activities

Low impact filming activities include:

  • six or fewer people including all crew and talent
  • one camera, one tripod, and handheld sound recording equipment
  • public safety is maintained and public pathways, footpaths and roads are not blocked
  • the filming organiser has completed a risk assessment and identified the risks of personal injury, property damage or environmental harm as low

Victoria's public land is vast and often remote, with safety risks to consider. Low impact filming that does not require a permit, should still carry appropriate public liability insurance.

View State forest areas suitable for filming on our Mapshare 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 your require complex arrangements it may take longer.

Guide to Filming and Photography on DEECA managed land (PDF, 3.3 MB)
Guide to Filming and Photography on DEECA managed land (accessible version) (DOCX, 1.5 MB)

Filming permit fees and bonds

Fees cover costs related to permit administration and supervision of the filming activity.

We class filming activity into three categories - Low, medium and high impact.

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 hours. 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 DEECA determines a higher bond is required to protect sensitive assets/areas

* Charged if departmental supervision 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 a condition of permit.

Any fees or bonds are payable before filming at the site begins.

Public liability insurance

We must receive evidence of your public liability insurance. This must:

  • cover your liabilities in relation to your filming activities for all film permits
  • show proof of certificate of currency to a minimum of A$10 million that is relevant to your production
  • name the Secretary to DEECA on the policy

Filming Approval Act 2014

The Filming Approval Act 2014:

  • standardises the process for obtaining commercial filming permits on public land managed by councils and state government agencies in Victoria
  • provides a framework for approving filming permits
  • outlines eight film friendly principles and guidelines for commercial filming on public land in Victoria.

Visit the Vicscreen website for more information.

Page last updated: 26/09/23