Many marine parks and reserves in Western Australia are popular for recreational boating and nature-based tourism. As boat ownership continues to increase, the Parks and Wildlife Service is working to manage the increasing demand for moorings in marine parks and reserves to ensure public safety, while minimising impacts on the environment. 

Moorings play an important role in protecting areas with high conservation value such as coral reef and seagrass. Well-designed moorings minimise the need for anchoring, therefore reducing anchor damage.  

Moorings also provide better access to locations of interest, such as dive sites, as well as an improved level of security and safety for vessels. 

Moorings in each marine park or reserve are managed in accordance with the management plan for that park or reserve, and a mooring plan. The Parks and Wildlife Service also applies the corporate policy in relation to moorings. 

A moorings plan will be prepared for each park and will be released as a draft for public comment. 

Types of moorings 

The Parks and Wildlife Service manages three types of moorings: 

private moorings: owned and maintained by individuals, organisations or commercial operators 

public moorings: owned and maintained by the Parks and Wildlife Service and are available for public use free of charge on a first-come, first-permitted basis in accordance with conditions that are displayed on the mooring 

rental moorings: owned and maintained by the Parks and Wildlife Service and are available for public use under a rental mooring licence. 

Installation, ownership and use of moorings 

You need permission from the Parks and Wildlife Service to install, own and/or use a mooring in marine parks and reserves (that is, lands and waters to which the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 applies). 

Please contact the Parks and Wildlife Service’s relevant district office if you wish to apply to install, own and/ or use a mooring in a marine park or reserve. You will also need to fill in an application form (see Downloads below). 

If you are a licensed commercial operator, authority to install, own and/or use a mooring would be incorporated into your commercial operations licence.  

Moorings contractors 

Installation of a mooring must be conducted by an approved mooring contractor (see Downloads below). 

If you are interested in becoming an approved mooring contractor, you will need to provide the following information to the Parks and Wildlife Service. 

  1. A brief summary of the organisation’s qualifications and experience in installing, maintaining and inspecting moorings (written references may be requested). 
  2. A copy of the insurer’s certificate of insurance clearly showing current insurance cover and amounts for General, Professional and Third Party Liability Insurance cover, with Third Party Public Liability Insurance coverage to conduct mooring inspections of at least AUD $10 million. (A copy of the current certificate will need to be provided on an ongoing basis.) 
  3. Survey details of the vessel/s being used in the operations. 

Where permission has been given by the Parks and Wildlife Service to install a mooring and you are contracted to install and/or inspect and/or carry out works to maintain a mooring, you are requested to inform the relevant marine park coordinator on when and where you will be working, to ensure smooth operations on the day. 

More information 

Contact the Tourism and Concessions Branch with queries about moorings authorisations and licences 

Contact the relevant Parks and Wildlife Service district office to discuss moorings in a particular marine park or reserve: 

  • Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park – Walpole office – 08 9840 0400 
  • Ngari Capes Marine Park – Busselton office – 08 9752 5555 
  • Shoalwater Islands and Marmion marine parks – Swan Region office – 08 9206 4795 
  • Jurien Bay Marine Park – Jurien office – 08 9688 6000 
  • Shark Bay Marine Park – Denham office – 08 9948 2226 
  • Ningaloo Marine Park – Exmouth office – 08 9947 8000 
  • Barrow Island and Montebello Islands marine parks – Karratha office – 08 9182 2000 
  • Rowley Shoals, Eighty Mile Beach, Lalang-garram / Camden Sound marine parks – Broome office – 08 9195 5500 
  • North Kimberley Marine Park – Kununurra office – 08 9168 4200