Water-based Activities Licences

Water-based Activities Licences

In June 2018, the Barwon Coast Committee of Management initiated the development of an Expression of Interest (EOI) process intended to deliver 5-year licences to run commercial user-fee water-based activities (human-powered), including surf schools, within designated zones on the Barwon Coast from late 2018. 

Important things happening now


As part of the scoping process we are seeking feedback from community and stakeholders.

Respond to our survey by 10 August 
Send us a submission by 10 August

Register your interest in applying for a licence

If you are interested in being allocated a licence, please register your interest by email to office@barwoncoast.com.au until 27th August.

Importance of water-based activities

Commercial water-based activities are an important part of the coastal experience and require a licence or permit from land managers. Human-powered commercial activities include surf schools, kayaking, canoeing, standup paddling, and the hiring of these craft.

Local context

Barwon Coast Committee of Management has sought to develop a comprehensive process that recognises the local context and responds to new and existing State Government requirements. Competition for access and space on the coast continues to increase, driven by well-known factors such as the growth of local towns and regional cities such as Geelong, changes in user behaviour and expectations and the increasing popularity of the region’s beaches for recreation and events. This results in pressure on natural assets and built infrastructure, and reinforces the need to properly manage activities and provide fair and equitable access to our beaches and coastal areas, particularly in peak season.

New licences

​The granting of Tour Operator licences is guided by Government policy. In May 2018, Government released two important documents which add to the guidance land managers for issuing licences, and which Barwon Coast is adhering to:

Policy Update - Licensing System for Tour Operators and Activity Providers on Public Land in Victoria
Guidelines: Competitive Allocation of Tour Operator Licences

Further information is available through the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning website.

Expressions of Interest

The EOI process is currently being scoped and developed, and community feedback is being sought through a survey and submissions. An open invitation to apply is expected to be issued in late August 2018.

All EOI documents will be available through Tenderlink.

Further updates will be provided here as the project progresses.

Registering interest

Parties who are considering applying for a licence are encouraged to register their interest to ensure they are notified once the EOI invitation is issued.

Please email office@barwoncoast.com.au to register your interest by 27th August 2018.


To assist BCCM with scoping the new licences, BCCM is seeking feedback from the community and stakeholders.


We have created a survey to assist in providing feedback. Click here to access it.

For more detailed feedback, please feel free to email us at office@barwoncoast.com.au

Consultation closes on Friday 10th August.

Key stakeholders

A workshop for current licence holders and other key stakeholders was held on 23rd July at Barwon Heads. Click here for a Summary Report from that workshop.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for some answers to frequently asked questions on Water Based Activities Licences