Frequently Asked Questions - 2018 EOI Process for Water based Activities Licences

Process status and timeline

What are the project stages and timelines?


The project is being developed through seven (7) stages. As of July 2018, the stages are expected to occur as follows:
• Stage 1 Inception: June-July 2018
• Stage 2 Scoping and direction: July-August 2018
• Stage 3 Consultation: July-August 2018
• Stage 4 EOI documents and process: July-August 2018
• Stage 5 Expressions of Interest: August-September 2018
• Stage 6 Evaluation: September-October 2018
• Stage 7 Issue and appeal: October-November 2018


What stage is the EOI process up to?


Stages 2, 3 and 4 are underway with scoping and consultation occurring to make sure the new licences and EOI process respond to Government requirements and community expectations. The formal consultation period ends on Friday 10th August, with feedback being sought through a survey or directly by email to

When do licences start?


Licences are expected to take effect on Saturday 15th December 2018 to coincide with summer school holidays.


What activities are covered by the licences?

The licences are expected to apply to human-powered water-based activities which operate on a fee-for-service basis. They include instruction and organised groups for surfing, kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddling, and the hiring of these craft.

Why do we need licences?

Victoria’s tour operator licensing system provides a consistent legislative framework for licensing commercial tourism and commercial recreation activity on public land and waters. Licensing provides land managers and government with assurances that tour operators and activity providers are:
• implementing risk management measures associated with tour or activity
• meeting relevant safety standards
• complying with environment protection conditions.

For further information for tour operators and recreational activity providers refer to the DELWP website at

What guidance/rules are being followed?

The Government has recently released revised guidance material in May 2018 which has enabled the Barwon Coast Committee of Management Inc. (BCCM) to now progress the licence renewal process. These include:
• Revised Competitive Allocation of Tour Operator Licences Guidelines (the Guidelines); and
• A Policy Update - Licensing System for Tour Operators and Activity Providers on Public Land in Victoria

Both of these documents are available on the DELWP website at

Why are existing licences being extended?

Existing operators will have their licences extended until 14th December to ensure bookings can be honoured and services provided to the community.

How long is the licence term?

Licence terms are being considered as part of the scoping and consultation process. It is expected that the licence terms offered will be around 5 years and will be subject to an annual review, though this may change.

Further information on licence terms can be found on the DELWP website at

EOI process

Why a competitive process?

The Barwon Coast foreshore is subject to increasing demands and has limited capacity to accommodate all activities. The new Guidelines outline that land managers may, as a last resort, restrict the number of licences available for a particular activity or location to protect natural values, cultural values, public access or public safety. This is particularly relevant where demand exceeds the capacity of the site or resource.

Two popular sites within Ocean Grove foreshore were competitively allocated for the peak period in 2012 EOI process and 2 other Ocean Grove foreshore sites competitively allocated for the peak period in subsequent years, so 4 sites to be competitively allocated again in 2018.

How can I apply for a licence?

BCCM expects to issue an invitation to Express Interest in obtaining a licence in late August 2018. Applying for a licence will involve completing the relevant EOI documentation when it is available, providing requisite information and paying an application fee. The issue of appropriate fees is currently being worked through.

Why is certification needed?

Government now requires that for businesses to obtain licences for longer than one year, they must meet standards set out in specified external accreditation programs. This approach uses the certainty from a longer licence as an incentive to encourage higher operating standards across the industry through take-up of accreditation programs.

For further information please refer to the new DELWP Guidelines at:


Who are you working with?

BCCM are working with a range of partners relevant to water-based activities such as Surf Lifesaving Victoria, the Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club, Surfing Victoria, DELWP and existing licensees.

A workshop was held with existing licensees and other key stakeholders to reflect on the last EOI process and operations over the past licence period in July to inform BCCM thinking for the next licence cycle. The Summary Notes from this workshop are now available. Click here to see them. 

Who are you consulting with?

BCCM has recently published a survey on our website and are seeking feedback from everyone interested in the coast until Friday 10th August.
Where can I provide comment?

You can provide comment by completing the survey at or by sending us a more detailed submission to

What happens to my feedback?


All feedback will be collated into a Consultation Summary Report which will be presented to BCCM and inform the development of the new licences. Where possible, all feedback will be incorporated.


Who is directing the project?

The EOI process is overseen by all committee members of BCCM. A Steering Group comprising members of BCCM provides guidance to the Project Team and Evaluation Team and advises all members of the committee. The day-to-day running of the project is managed by the Project Team comprising staff and a consultant.

When does the EOI process start?


An invitation to express interest is expected to be issued at the end of August, with a 4-week period for EOIs to be developed and submitted. Final details will be resolved in the coming weeks.