Certain activities are restricted or prohibited from being undertaken in a protection zone to minimise the risk of those activities damaging a cable installed in the zone.
In all three of the protection zones—Northern Sydney, Southern Sydney and Perth—the exploration for, or exploitation of resources (such as petroleum and minerals in the sea and on or under the seabed) must not occur unless certain conditions are met.
These conditions require the entity responsible for the exploration or exploitation activity to notify and consult each submarine cable operator within the protection zone about the planned activities and ensure that the efficient operation, maintenance or repair of a submarine cable is not damaged or impeded by such activities.
However, to the extent that the proposed activity relates to exploiting resources, the conditions require that the activity must not involve physical contact with the seabed (other than for the installation of cables or pipelines).
Full details of the restrictions and relevant conditions, as well as GPS coordinates that describe the boundary of each protection zone, are set out in the following instruments:
The boundary of each protection zone is also available in ESRI Shapefile format below:
Submarine cables outside protection zones
Potential explorers and lease or title holders should also note that the protection zone regime does not cover all submarine cables. A number of submarine cables have been installed outside declared protection zones.
All potential holders of exploration titles should ascertain the location of submarine cables in the vicinity of the proposed exploration area and contact relevant submarine cable carriers early in their planning processes to ensure that they do not inadvertently damage submarine cables.
Read more about submarine cable protection.