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Vehicle permit fee exemptions for Rainbow Beach residents

Eligibility

Who is eligible to apply for the fee exemption?

A person whose principal place of residence is in Rainbow Beach is eligible to apply for a vehicle access permit fee exemption for the Cooloola Recreation Area.

What is a person’s principal place of residence?

The residential address where the person applying for the fee exemption lives for the majority of the year. This is the address typically recorded on the applicant’s driver’s licence. 

How is Rainbow Beach defined?

For the purposes of determining eligibility for a fee exemption, Rainbow Beach is the gazetted localities of Rainbow Beach and Inskip. This area comprises the mainland portion of the 4581 postcode. Refer to figure 1 which shows a map of the area defined as Rainbow Beach.

Map showing the localities of Rainbow Beach and Inskip.

Figure 1. Rainbow Beach comprising the localities of Rainbow Beach and Inskip. Residents within the area bounded by the dark black line are eligible to apply for a fee exemption.

Applying for a fee exemption for a vehicle access permit

What documents do I need to provide when applying for an exemption?

As part of the application process for obtaining a fee-exempt vehicle access permit, a Rainbow Beach resident must provide documents as evidence of their place of residence and vehicle registration. The documents that must be provided are:

  • a current drivers licence showing residential address details, and
  • the vehicle registration certificate for the vehicle to which the permit will be attached, and either:
  • an electoral enrolment card, or
  • one of the following documents for the property listed on the drivers licence:
    • a property lease agreement; or
    • a property valuation certificate from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines; or
    • a rates notice; or
    • a utility account.

How do I apply for a permit fee exemption for the Cooloola Recreation Area?

If you are an eligible resident of Rainbow Beach, you can apply for a fee exemption in the following ways:

Please note, your permit will be issued the same day if you apply online. However, your permit will take longer to be issued for applications processed manually.

How long will the fee exemption for a vehicle access permit be granted for?

Rainbow Beach residents must apply for a fee exemption for a Cooloola Recreation Area vehicle access permit each year when they apply for a new annual permit.

Why do Rainbow Beach residents qualify?  What about people in other areas?

Why do Rainbow Beach residents qualify for a fee exemption for a vehicle access permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area?

Rainbow Beach residents qualify for a fee exemption for a vehicle access permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area as the closest business centre and the associated services to this community at Tewantin and Noosaville are most efficiently accessed by traversing the recreation area.

I live at Rainbow Beach and qualify for a free vehicle access permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area. Can I get a fee exempt vehicle access permit for Fraser Island too?

No. A vehicle access permit is still required for Rainbow Beach residents visiting Fraser Island, unless the person qualifies for existing fee exemptions provided for under the Recreation Areas Management Act 2006.

I own a property in Rainbow Beach but I live elsewhere. Can I get a fee exempt vehicle access permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area?

No. You must purchase a vehicle access permit and pay the required fee should you choose to access your Rainbow Beach property via the Cooloola Recreation Area. In order to qualify for a vehicle access permit fee exemption as a resident of Rainbow Beach for the Cooloola Recreation Area your principal place of residence MUST be your Rainbow Beach property.

I live near Rainbow Beach at Tin Can Bay (or Cooloola Cove). Can I get a free vehicle access permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area?

No. Access to Tewantin via the Cooloola Recreation Area is not the most efficient way for Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Cove residents to access their closest business centre and services, as they are able to travel via a sealed road to Gympie.

I live at Noosaville or Tewantin. Can I get a free vehicle access permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area?

No. Only Rainbow Beach residents are provided with fee exemptions for the Cooloola Recreation Area, to facilitate their access to the businesses and services at Tewantin and Noosaville.  Residents of Tewantin and Noosaville are able to access these businesses and services without travelling through the Cooloola Recreation Area.

I live next to the Bribie Island Recreation Area. Can I get a free vehicle access permit for that area?

No. Bribie Island residents are able to access businesses and services without travelling through the Recreation Area.

I am a relative of a Rainbow Beach resident and visit often but I do not reside at Rainbow Beach. Am I eligible for this exemption?

No. Only Rainbow Beach residents are entitled to apply for an exemption.

Refunds for existing annual vehicle access permits

I am a Rainbow Beach resident and have already purchased a vehicle access permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area. Can I get a refund?

Yes, under some circumstances. A pro-rata refund will be available to Rainbow Beach residents who have 3 months of more left on their existing annual vehicle access permits for the Cooloola Recreation Area.

Pro-rata refund available

Validity of Permit (from 3 November 2014)

Applicable Refund

11-12 months

100% refund

9 months or more, but less than 11 months

75% refund

6 months or more, but less than 9 months

50% refund

3 months or more, but less than 6 months

25% refund

Less than 3 months

No refund*

*Rainbow Beach residents with less than 3 months remaining on their existing vehicle access permits for the Cooloola Recreation Area are not eligible for a refund. However they can continue to use their existing permit until it expires and then seek a fee exemption when applying for a new permit.

How can I apply for a refund for my existing annual vehicle access permit fee for the Cooloola Recreation Area?

Eligible Rainbow Beach residents may apply for a refund as either a credit to their ParksQ account or as a refund to a bank account or credit card. Refunds cannot be provided in cash. 

Refund applications may be made in the following ways:

Eligible residents are encouraged to use the online ParksQ booking system as this provides the fastest processing time. Note monetary refunds made by electronic funds transfer to a credit card or bank account are processed by an external agency and may take up to 6 weeks.

Read more about Vehicle Access Permit Fee Refunds for Cooloola Recreation Area (Rainbow Beach residents) (PDF, 102KB) (operational policy).

I am a Rainbow Beach resident and have already purchased a combined vehicle access permit for the Fraser Island and Cooloola Recreation Areas. Can I get a part refund?

No. The fee exemption does not apply to combined Cooloola and Fraser Island permits. You may apply for a fee exemption when you next apply for a vehicle access permit noting you will need to apply for separate permits for Cooloola and Fraser Island.

Other questions about how the fee exemptions work

I am a Rainbow Beach resident and want a vehicle access permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area and the Fraser Island Recreation Area. Do I need to apply for the fee exemption and vehicle access permit for Cooloola separately from applying for a vehicle access permit for Fraser Island?

Yes. You must apply for your fee exemption and vehicle access permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area, separately to your vehicle access permit for the Fraser Island Recreation Area.

If I purchase a combined vehicle access permit for the Cooloola and Fraser Island Recreation Areas, I get a discount compared to buying two separate permits. Will I still be entitled to a discount for a Fraser Island permit if I have a fee exemption for a permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area?

No. If you receive a fee exemption for a vehicle access permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area, there will be no additional discount for a separate vehicle access permit for Fraser Island. However, having to pay only for a Fraser Island permit still represents a considerable saving compared with the cost of a combined permit.

Can I use my fee-exempt vehicle access permit for the whole Cooloola Recreation Area, or only on the direct beach route between Rainbow Beach and Noosa North Shore?

You will be able to use your fee-exempt vehicle access permit for all parts of the Cooloola Recreation Area where a vehicle access permit is required. This includes the beach routes, the Freshwater Road and the Kings Bore circuit track.

I am a Rainbow Beach resident who received the fee exemption for the Cooloola Recreation Area and my principal place of residence has changed (I am no longer located in Rainbow Beach) before the permit expires, what should I do?

You should contact the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service via email qpws@npsr.qld.gov.au or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68) and arrange to surrender and return the vehicle access permit that you obtained with the fee exemption. You will then need to purchase a new vehicle access permit for the Cooloola Recreation Area if you still want to access the recreation area in your vehicle.

Is there a limit of vehicle access permit fee exemptions that can be supplied to a single household?

Each person whose principal place of residence is in Rainbow Beach, and who has a driver’s licence and has a registered motor vehicle suitable for use in the Cooloola Recreation Area, may apply for a vehicle access permit fee exemption. For example, two or more people from the same household could qualify for the fee exemption as long as they meet the necessary requirements.

Does the fee exemption for a vehicle access permit relate to a specific vehicle, and does that vehicle have to be registered in my name?

Yes. Each fee exemption for a vehicle access permit relates to a specific vehicle and you must provide proof that the registered motor vehicle is in your name, as well as prove that your current driver’s licence shows your principal place of residence as Rainbow Beach. 

I am a Rainbow Beach resident, and I travel through the Cooloola Recreation Area for work. Can I still get a fee exemption for my vehicle if it is registered under a business name?

Yes, you will need to provide evidence to support your application on the basis that you need to travel through the Cooloola Recreation Area to carry out your employment, trade, business or profession. This is a separate fee exemption category to that related to being a Rainbow Beach resident.

Can I get a fee exemption for more than one vehicle under a resident exemption category?

No. Only one (1) fee exemption for Cooloola Recreation Area will be provided to each Rainbow Beach resident that applies under the resident exemption category.

However, if you have a second vehicle registered under a business name, you can apply for an exemption under the fee exemption category relating to carrying out your employment, trade, business or profession, which has been available for some time.

My permit has been damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen. What should I do?

You can reprint your permit from your ParksQ online account. Alternatively, contact the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service via email qpws@npsr.qld.gov.au or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68) to obtain a replacement permit.

My name, address or the vehicle stated on the permit has changed. What should I do?

You can make your own changes through your ParksQ online account. Alternatively, contact the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service via email qpws@npsr.qld.gov.au or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

If I qualify for free vehicle access, why do I need to be given a permit?

Regardless of whether you are exempt from paying for a vehicle access permit fee or not, it is a requirement of the State when entering a recreation area that your vehicle be registered and a valid permit be attached to your vehicle indicating you have accepted the terms and conditions of entering the recreation area. Queensland Parks and Wildlife staff monitor vehicles in the Cooloola Recreation Area to ensure all vehicles have a valid permit.

More information

Find out more about permits to drive on national parks and beaches.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
26 June 2015

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