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Controlled activity approvals

Controlled activity exemptions

Use the controlled activity exemption e-tool to determine if you are exempt from requiring a controlled activity approval (CAA).

View of Sugarloaf bay from Harold Reid Reserve, Middle Cove, Sydney

You may be exempt from obtaining a controlled activity approval (CAA). Where work is not exempt, and works are located on waterfront land, you will need to apply for a controlled activity approval. Where work is exempt, you may still need to obtain other approvals required under relevant legislations.

Controlled activity exemption e-tool

The tool will help you to:

  • identify if an exemption applies
  • interpret the requirements and limitations of exemptions
  • send you an email containing your answers and a result.

How does the e-tool work?

The tool will ask you a series of multiple-choice questions. It will then determine whether an application is required for your works and will email you a report with your results.

Please keep a copy of the results in your records in case the Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) requests evidence in the future.

Go to the Controlled activity exemption e-tool


The Controlled activity exemption e-tool only applies to controlled activities on waterfront land – it does not apply to water access licences or water supply work and/or water use approvals.

Controlled activity exemptions in clause 36 of Schedule 4 of the Water Management (General) Regulation 2018 only apply within certain waterfront land shown in maps that are published on the department’s website.

The report generated by the e-tool is not evidence of compliance with the Water Management Act 2000. Water users are responsible for making their own assessment and should verify all relevant representations, statements, and information with their own professional advisers. Please read the disclaimer in the e-tool carefully before commencing any work on waterfront land.

More information about controlled activity approval exemptions

More information about controlled activity approval exemptions ·

Not sure about what you need?

We've developed the Water Assist tool to help you work out who to talk to and what steps to take to get the licences and approvals you need.