Film & photography
A permit is typically needed for:
- Fashion magazine shoots, TV programs, commercials, B-roll, student film projects and major studio productions.
- Public land includes outdoor areas such as footpaths, roads, parks and other open spaces.
PMNSW locations supports the Local Government Filming Protocol for location filming in NSW and is responsible for issuing permits for filming and photography activities across PMNSW owned or managed locations. All requirements of the Protocol must be met before a permit is issued and the activity is approved.
Amateur photographers are not required to pay a fee or gain a permit to photograph unless it involves additional activity such as blocking streets, constructing a set or additional parking. The Protocol provides guidance in processing high impact stills shoots.
This page provides you with information on how to apply for a permit in Place Management NSW locations of:
- The Rocks & Circular Quay Promenades
- Darling Harbour Precinct
- The Goods Line, Ultimo
- Ballast Point Park, Birchgrove
- Some areas of Pyrmont including, Darling Island Wharf, Metcalfe Park, Ballaarat Park, Pyrmont Bay Park, Pirrama Park Boardwalk and Waterfront Park
Ultra-low impact filming and photography includes a maximum of 1 camera, 1 light, 1 piece of sound equipment and 1 tripod. This activity is purely a piece to camera located in a park, open public space or footpath.
No other equipment is permitted under this type of application.
This application cannot be used where booking of a location is required.
No activities can be approved on any open roadways under any conditions of this application such as laneways or other areas where there is no usable footpath.
The production should not require parking, traffic control or road closures and it should not affect people walking, businesses or residents.
There is no application fee for an ultra-low impact application.
Low to High shoots are defined as follows:
- Low impact
- 11–25 crew, no more than 4 trucks and vans, minimal equipment and lighting, small unit base, usually 1–2 locations.
- Medium impact
- 26–50 crew, maximum 10 trucks, some equipment (including dolly, jibs), unit base, maximum 4 locations.
- High impact
- More than 50 crew, more than 10 trucks, significant construction, extensive equipment, large unit base.
Read the Things to know before you apply section of this page to ensure you have all the documentation you need prior to filling the form. You will not be able to submit your form if you do not have all of your shoot information available. Applications missing relevant shoot information required for review will be rejected.
Once your application is submitted the associated application fee as stipulated under the local government filming protocol must be paid. The application fee is non-refundable for cancellations or rejected applications.
Additional fees apply for:
- Any additional permits your shoot requires. E.g. Drones or Road & Temporary Footway Permits
- Shoots that need to be overseen by PMNSW representatives
- Street Parking
- Shoots requiring essential vehicle access
- Certain Unit Base locations may incur venue hire fees. Depending on the location venue hire fees may apply. Venue hire starts from $1,400.00 Inc. GST per day, per venue. Hire rates vary depending on location and usage.
All completed applications must be lodged with full and complete details, which are not subject to change. As a minimum, for all shoots the applicant’s public liability insurance certificate of currency must also be included.
Applications with missing or incomplete details will be rejected. This includes applications received inside the lead times specified in the Lead Times section.
Your application must include, but is not limited to:
- Dates and times including schedule of each shot or scene.
- Specific location list. Street or park names are required – broad areas cannot be approved.
- Full shot or scene descriptions (ideally with storyboard) of all different shots or scenes detailing what is being filmed and how, such as the equipment to be used.
- Specific equipment list, with details of scene specific equipment including but not limited to dolly and track, Steadicam, and 10K light. Stating ‘film equipment’ without further detail will not be accepted. This includes all special equipment including but not limited to cranes, cherry pickers, and tracking vehicles. Set dressing must be complete with what and where is being proposed (including details of removing any existing signs or assets). Pyrotechnics must include full details of what, where and how.
- Catering or unit locations. Details of where and what is required, including total infrastructure.
- Complete parking details with associated parking plans that state clearly on the plans:
- How many parking spaces are requested in each specific street (based on a standard parking space being 6m in length)
- Vehicle details, size, registration and contact person
- Times of proposed parking space barricading, including details of the licensed traffic company, which can only be conducted by a licensed ticket holder.
Your permit if approved by Place Management NSW does not provide you with permission to use any tenants buildings for your shoot, this includes internal & external facilities.
You would need to contact the tenant and any associated building management directly to arrange for hire or use of the location.
Each application requires a minimum of 2 business days lead time. It is recommended you allow yourself more lead time for your shoot planning.
Confirmation on approvals are issued up to the last working day before the proposed shoot date.
Low to high impact
Each application must be lodged with a minimum of 5 business days lead time before the first shoot date or the first date of proposed barricading of parking spaces where applicable – whichever occurs first.
Shoots requiring drones, other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) &/OR Road & Footway permits for road closures and pedestrian holds require a minimum of 15 business days submission lead time.
Applications received outside of the minimum lead time may be rejected. While approval is possible for late applications in unique circumstances, late application fees will apply.
All film projects must have public liability insurance and a copy of the certificate of currency must be provided along with the application before any approvals can be provided.
All applicants are required to hold a minimum of $20 million AUD coverage.
Place Management NSW (PMNSW) generally do not allow drones to be flown within PMNSW managed areas for safety reasons. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) do not allow drone operations within 30m of any member of the public (CASR 101.238) which is largely unavoidable across all PMNSW managed locations.
For drone operation consideration you are required to hold the relevant Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approvals. Further information and licensing procedure queries can be directed to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority or phone 131 757.
If you intend to fly a drone over water, it is recommended that the launch and recovery to be conducted from a vessel. You would then only require CASA permission to operate in the restricted airspace https://www.casa.gov.au/drones.
This does not apply to Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour which is managed by Place Management NSW (PMNSW). Application for this space must be via PMNSW Teams.
PMNSW Drone Permit Assessment Administration Fee is $150.00 Inc. GST. This is a non-refundable permit assessment fee and does not constitute approval for equipment operation. This fee is additional to your Filming and Photography application fee.
Shoots requiring drones, other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) require a minimum of 15 business days submission lead time. Applications that do not meet this minimum lead time requirement will be refused.
To have a drone application assessed you will need to fill the relevant Low to High application form section. It is important to note that you will be required to submit a number of supporting documents at the time of application for your request to be reviewed.
Drone Application Required Supporting Information Required at the time of application is as follows:
- Flight Plan Map* including take-off, landing, and 30m radius
- Flight Risk Assessment* must be site specific
- Pedestrian Management Plan* showing exclusion zones
- Safety Management Plan* including Safety Officers details
- Current remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) operator’s certificate (ReOC)*
- Detail on your Aircraft model and take-off weight listed on company ReOC*
- Pilots current CASA Remote Pilot Licence (RePL)*
- Public Liability Insurance* that includes 3rd Party Liability (Aviation Specific)
The following additional documents may be required. If they are required the team assessing your application will contact you to request these documents
- Evidence of notification to Building Managers within 30m of any building within the flight path
- Camera package Information on Camera and other equipment in use
Applications that do not have the supporting documentation available will not be able to submit the application for review.
This applies to shoots with temporary rood closures, traffic management, vehicle or pedestrian hold activity.
Shoots that require road & footway permits for road closures and pedestrian holds require a minimum of 15 business days submission lead time. Applications that do not meet this minimum lead time requirement will be refused.
Place Management NSW Road & Footway Application for Temporary works registration form can be found HERE.
Permit application fees are outlined on the online form.
Place Management NSW Street Parking locations can be found HERE. We assess all parking needs for productions requiring access to on-street parking in our locations. You may purchase parking spaces for unit and essential vehicles and keep a section of kerbspace for example, to use for filming.
Applications must show the exact parking locations on a clear map and provide the registration details of vehicles parking on-street. Please note, flexible or unlimited parking permits are not available. Barricading/reserving of parking may be required in some areas, which must be carried-out by authorised traffic controllers.
Place Management NSW precincts are also surrounded by several parking stations where you can book paid spaces direct with the operators
An essential vehicle is one that must be part of your shoot. This would apply to vehicles that are part of the shoot content such as a vehicle being photographed for a car manufacturers campaign or a link truck requiring line of sight to the filming location.
Vehicles that are not deemed as essential on review of your request will not be permitted access to pedestrianised public domain areas.
If you require access to pedestrianised public domain areas additional fees apply for ranger team escort and vehicle movement assistance. Ranger assistance is $72.00 per hour with a minimum 4 hour call out applicable per shift. Hours required will be determined on review of your application information.
A member of Place Management NSWs teams will email you with the conditions to be met. You must have a copy of your email and any conditions outlined with you when filming.
Low to high impact
A member of Place Management NSWs teams will contact you. We may require revisions or changes, but we will work with you throughout the process.
You may need to provide further documents, like traffic control plans, pedestrian control plans, roads occupancy licences or NSW Police approvals.
If your application is successful, a permit will be issued that lists approved details and conditions. You must have the permit onsite at all times while filming.
Any additional permit approvals will be included in your successful application notification.
A member of Place Management NSWs teams will contact you by email. Depending on the changes required, you may need to re-apply.
The application fee is non-refundable for rejected applications.
Filming activities on public land may need to be approved by NSW Police to discuss traffic control, user-pays police personnel and working around other activities that may be planned in the area at the same time.
Police must also be notified if the filming project involves firearms, police uniforms or any other law enforcement-related props.
Before you start filming you may need to letterbox drop the area around your location letting the neighbours (business/residential) know about your production plans. You need to do this at least 5 days before the shoot for standard filming/parking activities and at least 14 days before for road closures.
A copy of the notification letter needs to be provided in your application submission for review & approval by Place Management NSW (PMNSW) before it is distributed.
Your PMNSW contact can provide advice about the specific area that needs to be notified and any additional requirements.
If parking is approved by us, you must:
- Park only in nominated areas with an approved parking permit
- Ensure the location and parking of production vehicles meets Place Management NSW and any police requirements
- Ensure production vehicles don’t arrive earlier than the time stipulated in the permit
- Ensure the parking permit is clearly displayed on each vehicle for the duration the vehicle will be parked in the street
- Not move or tow-away any private vehicle from the filming site
- Keep normal access for motorists and pedestrians through the filming unless otherwise approved.
Fees and lead times are determined by the size of your production.
|People onsite||< 10 crew||11-25 crew||26-50 crew||> 50 crew|
|Vehicles onsite||0 trucks / vans||< 4 trucks / vans||4 - 10 trucks / vans||> 10 trucks / vans|
|Construction or site builds||No impact on public or tenants||No construction||Some construction||Significant construction|
|Equipment in use||Handheld or tripod camera with sound recorder||Minimal equipment (e.g. lighting / playback, etc.)||Equipment used (e.g. dolly, jibs, trucks, medium sized cranes, etc.)||Extensive equipment|
|Unit base requirements||All vehicles legally parked in existing parking areas||Small or no unit base required||Unit base required||Large unit base required|
|Locations requested||Usually 1-2 locations||No more than 4 locations||> 4 locations|
|Late Application Fee (if accepted):||N/A||$550||$1,100||$1,100|
|Bond (GST exempt):||$0||$0||$1,000||$5,000|
|Permit issued:||No - email notification||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Once your application is submitted the associated application fee as stipulated under the local government filming protocol must be paid. It is non-refundable for cancellations or rejected applications.
Additional fees apply for:
- Any additional permits your shoot requires:
- PMNSW Drone Permit Assessment Administration Fee $150.00 Inc. GST.
- Place Management NSW Road & Footway Application for Temporary works registration form can be found HERE. Application fees are outlined on the online form.
- Other permit fees may apply.
- Permit fees are non-refundable permit assessment fees and do not constitute approval for equipment operation.
- Shoots that need to be overseen by PMNSW representatives or require additional services:
- Security, Rangers, Site Representative or cleaning staff: $72.00 per hour, minimum 4 hour call out applicable per shift
- 10% loading for call times commencing between 4am and 6am; 15% loading for call times commencing between 10pm and 4am; 250% loading for public holidays.
- Hours required will be determined on review of your application information
- Upon request, other services such as site alteration, equipment provision, maintenance, etc. will be charged as per approved quotes.
- Place Management NSW Street Parking Locations
- Place Management NSW Street Parking locations can be found HERE
- Parking spaces are $85.00 Inc. GST per space, per day based on a regular vehicle size space (6m).
- Shoots requiring essential vehicle access
- If you require access to pedestrianised public domain areas additional fees apply for PMNSW representatives escort and vehicle movement assistance. PMNSW representative assistance is $72.00 per hour with a minimum 4 hour call out applicable per shift. Hours required will be determined on review of your application information
- Certain Unit Base locations may incur venue hire fees.
- Depending on the location venue hire fees may apply. Venue hire starts from $1,400.00 Inc. GST per day, per venue. Hire rates vary depending on location and usage.
Once an application is received and processed, cancellations will only be accepted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
No refund of fees, additional to the application fee, will be issued for cancellations that are received less than 5 working days before the first shoot date.
The application fee is non-refundable for cancellations or refused applications.