Queensland Government's Business and Industry Portal provides the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS), which reduces red tape by making it easier for business to discover and obtain the licences associated with starting or operating a business.
ABLIS provides you with tailored business licence and information including:
Business Development - Infosheet 3 provides further information on licences that might be relevant to your tourism business.
ABLIS is an online resource from the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games. It assists you to identify the licences that are applicable to your specific business needs.
There are many regulatory requirements affecting tourism. These range from local government regulations through to general safety issues such as fire and rescue.
Licenses and regulations exist to protect tourism businesses, visitors and the community. They enforce safe and responsible practices and ensure compliance with insurance, tax and other obligations.
Below are some of the key pieces of legislation that currently affect tourism operators in Queensland:
Queensland is leading the Australian charge against unethical inbound tour operators (ITOs) and tour guides with the Tourism Services Act 2003 which aims to stamp out unfair practices in the tourism industry. The Act specifically seeks to ensure all ITOs and tour guides operate in an ethical and professional way, and in the best interests of their clients.
The Office of Fair Trading provides more information on how tourism businesses advertise their prices.
Provision for the licensing of travel agents in Queensland and the regulation of the conduct of business as a travel agent is covered by the Travel Agents Act 1988. It provides access to the travel industry compensation fund by consumers entitled to compensation under this Act.
The Queensland Governments, New Tobacco Laws - Nobody Smokes Here Anymore are Australia's toughest anti-smoking laws. Changes took effect from the January 1 2005. Additionally two new laws were introduced and have been effective since the January 1 2010. These demand smoke-free cars with children, smoke-free pedestrian malls and smoke-free public transport waiting points to minimise public concerns about exposure to tobacco smoke in crowded areas.
Alcohol restrictions in Indigenous Communities exist in Queensland. Restrictions on the type and quantity of liquor that can be brought into various remote Indigenous communities are being gradually implemented in Queensland. This is an early intervention strategy to address alcohol-related crime and violence in Indigenous communities. For more information, visit the Meeting Challenges Making Choices website.
There are also key pieces of legislation relating to the environment that can impact on your business.
Nature Conservation Amendment Act 1994 provides for the establishment and management of all forms of terrestrial protected areas including National Parks, Conservation Parks and Forest Reserves. It covers Commercial Operating Permits and Commercial Activity Agreements. The Act includes
the Nature Conservation (Whale and Dolphin) Conservation plan (1997) that governs the number of licenses and the conduct of the whale watching industry in Queensland marine parks.
Marine Parks Act 2004 covers the establishment and management of Marine Parks in Queensland waters. It provides for commercial permits and activity agreements for commercial tourism operators.
Four recreation areas currently exist under the Recreation Areas Management Amendment Regulation 2010, Green Island, Fraser Island, Bribie Island and Moreton Island. The act regulates and collects fees for camping, vehicle access, group activity and commercial operating permits and the new commercial activity agreements.
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 and Torres Strait Cultural Heritage Act 2003 place a duty of care on all people not to harm or degrade indigenous cultural heritage. While tourism is a relatively low impact industry anyone undertaking infrastructure development, particularly in natural areas, must be vigilant to exercise their duty of care in respect of these Acts.