(Updated from a Report Originally Published in September 1996)
A Report to the ANZECC Working Group on National Park and Protected Area Management
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, February 2000
About this document
User-pays systems have been adopted, to varying degrees, by conservation agencies in all Australian states and territories. Fees are charged for entry to protected areas, camping, recreational facilities, interpretive services, leases and licences, commercial activities and other facilities and services.
Revenue objectives vary according to the type of facility or service. Conservation of natural and cultural resources is generally regarded as a community service obligation and a user-pays system is not applicable. For commercial activities with little or no relationship to the agency mandate, such as the establishment of communication facilities or grazing licences, the revenue objective is at least total cost recovery or full economic rent. Charges for visitor services reflect a balance between the community service obligation (supported by the agency) and user-pays revenue.
This benchmarking-best practice project has:
- researched systems of user pays revenue operating in states and territories of Australia;
- investigated other options for the operation of user pays systems;
- analysed the data collected; and
- developed recommendations for best practice in user-pays revenue systems.