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To report a serious incident to DPC, as required by Section 85(2) of the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000, licensees should phone the serious incident report no: (08) 8463 6666.

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Persons who hold an existing access permission under the Defence Force Regulations 1952 should contact the Woomera Test Range on +61 8 8674 3370 or email woomera.enquiries@defence.gov.au to discuss access to the Periodic Amber Zones 1 or 2 during the upcoming exclusion periods.

Woomera Prohibited Area

The Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) covers an area of 122,188 square kilometres approximately 450km NNW of Adelaide. The WPA is a globally unique military testing range and a key asset in Defence capability development. The WPA is also an area of potential economic importance in terms of its natural resources – and some mining is already conducted in the WPA. The Government favours multiple land use in the WPA to the maximum extent possible.

The WPA has been declared a Prohibited Area under Part VII of the Defence Force Regulations and is used for 'the testing of war material' under the control of the Royal Australian Air Force.

The Director Woomera Test Range has authority, on behalf of the Commonwealth, to control all access to the WPA. All persons wishing to access any part of the WPA (Stuart Highway excluded) must obtain prior approval.

In addition to obtaining an Exploration Licence, companies considering undertaking exploration in this area
also need to:

  • sign a 'Deed of Access' between the holder of the exploration licence(s) and the Commonwealth of Australia, and
  • request permission to access the WPA for each exploration activity.

Under new management framework arrangements within the WPA, Defence remains the primary user of the area. The WPA has been divided into Green, Amber and Red access zones, each offering different levels of access or time share to non-Defence users.

A detailed map, including licence overlays and GIS data is available from the South Australian Resources Information Geoserver (SARIG).

Access Zones

Green – Infrequent Defence Use

Non-Defence users may be required to evacuate up to an annual cap of 56 days, in blocks of 7 days duration. Non-Defence users may not need to be evacuated during the course of the year, depending on the frequency and type of testing being conducted in the Green access zone.

Users who are resident in the WPA will be given a minimum of 6 months notice of any evacuation periods. Users who do not have a permanent presence in the WPA will be given no less than 14 days notice.

Amber - Periodic Defence Use

Non-Defence users may be required to evacuate the Amber access zone completely, in blocks of 7 days duration, for 140 days per year in the south-eastern area of the WPA (Defence Periodic User Zone 1) and 70 days per year in the corridor (Defence Periodic User Zone 2). Complete evacuation means no non-defence personnel and activity on the site.

Non-Defence users in the Amber access zone will be notified of the evacuation windows for the coming financial year every March. This is to assist commercial planning by providing a clear indication of when non-Defence users will and will not be able to access the WPA.

Red – Continuous Defence Use

The frequency of Defence use of the Red access zone, the associated safety and security requirements, and the complexity of managing use, means that no additional non-Defence users will be admitted to the Red access zone.

The one exception will be geological survey conducted by the South Australian Government in collaboration with Commonwealth government agencies.

Exclusion periods

The Amber Zone exclusion periods are published in March of each year showing the access restrictions which apply during the following financial year (i.e. 1 July to 30 June).

Restrictions that may take place in parts of the Green Zone are notified at least 6 months in advance for resource production permit holders and a minimum of 21 days prior to the activity for all other users.

More information: www.defence.gov.au/woomera/exclusionperiods.htm

Remaining exclusion period for the 2016-17 financial year

Amber Zone South-Eastern Corner (Defence Periodic Use Amber Zone 1)
  • 14 May – 30 June 2017
Amber Zone Centre-line Corridor (Defence Periodic Use Amber Zone 2); note that this includes a section of the Anne Beadell Highway
  • 11 June – 30 June 2017

Exclusion periods for the 2017-18 financial year

Amber Zone South-Eastern Corner (Defence Periodic Use Amber Zone 1)
  • 01 July – 14 July 2017
  • 09 October – 09 December 2017
  • 25 February – 31 March 2018
  • 13 May – 30 June 2018
Amber Zone Centre-line Corridor (Defence Periodic Use Amber Zone 2)
  • 01 July – 14 July 2017
  • 12 November – 09 December 2017
  • 25 February – 31 March 2018
Green Zone (Infrequent Use Amber Zone)
  • 11 June – 14 July 2017 [Note: The exclusion period beginning on 11 June 2017 has now been extended and will remain in place until 14 July 2017] 
    More information, map and coordinates (PDF)

Public right of access

Separate to the Green, Amber and Red access zones, there is a public right of access to the north-south railway and the Stuart Highway through the WPA. This access is subject to Defence closing the railway and highway when required.

Procedure for entry into the WPA

Access to the WPA for exploration and mining is governed by a permit issued by the Woomera Prohibited Area Coordination Office (WPACO)

Companies seeking access for exploration activities to the WPA must:

  • Hold a licence or lease issued by the South Australian Department of State Development.
  • Obtain a Resource Exploration Access Permit (Form W001) or Resource Production Access (Mining) Permit (Form W002).
  • Ensure that all persons entering the WPA under the permit hold an Approved Person Status (Form W003) or are an Escorted Person (W004).
  • Request access permission for each instance of access to the WPA using the Access Form (W007).

Applicable forms can be downloaded from Woomera Prohibited Area Coordination Office (WPACO)

Woomera Restricted Airspace (WRX) - new spatial layer available on SARIG

The WRX layer available from the South Australian Resources Information Gateway shows the restricted airspace above the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) and forms part of the RAAF Woomera Test Range (WTR). The layer is a helpful tool when planning to conduct airborne surveys and other airspace-related activities over the WPA.

The layer is divided into individual Restricted Areas (blocks). One or a combination of Restricted Areas can be activated (i.e. airspace above that portion of the WPA becomes restricted) when testing of war material is taking place during an exclusion period.

For more information about the WRX contact WTR on +61 8 8674 3370.

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Further information contacts

Woomera Prohibited Area Coordination Office (WPACO)

Phone:1300 727 420
International: +612 6265 4448
Fax: (02) 6265 5878 
Email:WPACO@defence.gov.au

Address:

WPA Coordination Office
Department of Defence
PO Box 7901
Canberra ACT 2610

Woomera Test Range Operations Office

Phone:08 8674 3370
International:+618 8674 3370
Fax:(08) 8674 3217
Email:woomera.enquiries@defence.gov.au
Address:Woomera Test Range
PO Box 157
Wommera SA 5720

For more information, contact:

Mr Joe.Zabrowarny
General Manager
Licensing and Legislation
Energy Resources Division

+61 8 8463 3203
Joe.Zabrowarny@sa.gov.au
Mr Shane Farrelly
Manager
Licensing and Legislation
Energy Resources Division

+61 8 8463 3216
Shane.Farrelly@sa.gov.au