Dredging and removal of quarry material in tidal water - Queensland


Quarry material on land under State tidal water is generally owned by the Queensland Government. To remove this material, you must apply for an allocation of quarry material (an allocation notice) and pay a royalty for the material removed.

This applies to:

  • extractive industry (e.g. for sand and gravel for construction purposes)
  • capital dredging associated with some form of tidal works (e.g. excavation of a marina basin, dredging of a new navigation channel)
  • maintenance dredging.

Removal can involve taking the material for sale, using the spoil for reclamation or fill above the high water mark, or removing the material for dewatering or another environmental purpose on land.

The purpose of regulating the removal of quarry material on Queensland's coast is to avoid potentially negative impacts on coastal resources such as degradation of water quality, changes to hydrodynamics of tidal waterways or loss of sediment that feeds coastal processes such as beach building.

You can request a standard, variation or site-specific application form by contacting the permit team using the details at the bottom of this page. 

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

In addition to an allocation notice, you may need a development permit before you can start removing quarry material under tidal water. Contact the State Assessment and Referral Agency in the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning for further information on development permit requirements.

If the development is an environmentally relevant activity, an environmental authority is needed as well.

Once you have an allocation notice, you can lodge these other applications.

Ongoing eligibility requirements

You must tell the Department of Environment and Science (DES) regularly what quantity of quarry material you have removed using the return notice form.

A royalty is generally payable for quarry material removed under an allocation notice but there are exemptions. Refer to the fees and royalties information sheet for more information.


The allocation notice remains in effect for up to 6 years, unless cancelled or suspended before the expiry date.


Application process


It is recommended that you arrange a pre-lodgement meeting with DES to help prepare your application.

To make your application, you will need to complete the 'General details for all applications (Form Part A) - ESR/2015/1663' and 'Allocation of quarry material application form - ESR/2015/1577'.

You can apply for an allocation of quarry material:

Your application must be accompanied by documentation such as plans and information about your proposed volumes and methods. Refer to the 'Allocation of quarry material - guideline' for details on what to include with your application and how DES will consider your application.


You can transfer all or part of your allocation of quarry material to another person.

Additional information

Moving material from one location to another within tidal water is not regarded as quarrying, but requires development approval for disposing of material in tidal water.

The Queensland Governments website has information on how to apply for a development approval.

The Guideline: State Development Assessment Provisions for State Code 8: Coastal development and tidal works provides guidance on addressing State Code 8: Coastal development and tidal works code (the code) in the State Development Assessment Provisions for coastal development and tidal works assessable under the Planning Regulation 2017. 

Administering agency

Department of Environment and Science

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Please use these contact details for help or more information:

Permit and Licence Management

Department of Environment and Science

Mailing address: GPO Box 2454
Phone: 1300 130 372
Email: palm@des.qld.gov.au
Website: Department of Environment and Science (Opens in new window)