To film in Hunter region locations, you will need a Licence. Review the information on the right to determine which requirements apply to your production, or contact us.

All film licence applications will now be submitted via the new Screen Hunter portal, providing real-time status updates on your licence!

All productions to occur within the Hunter’s Council areas (including Stockton Sand Dunes, National Parks and Wildlife Services locations and the Maitland Gaol) should:

  1. Undertake a full technical survey of the film site
  2. Complete our Film Production and Photography Application Form and attach the following:
  • Location plan (including any required traffic management and parking arrangements)
  • Public Liability Insurance Certificate for a minimum of $20 million (you will be required to add the landowner as an ‘interested party’ to your public liability cover)
  • Evidence of production budget (for feature film applications only)
  • Drone / UAV documentation (if required)
  • Road closure requires a minimum of 14 days public notification

A minimum 5 Business days turnaround on all applications (ideally please allow 10 working days).

In addition to filming permission, your production may require further supporting licenses or approvals.

Please Note: Licence (Administration) Fee is non-refundable if you do not proceed to filming after an application has submitted.

Applications received that fall short of the standard processing time will incur a FAST TRACK FEE of $500+gst in addition to standard licence fees. The Fast Track Fee does not guarantee licensing will be cleared by your chosen early shoot date however, it covers cost of administration to work towards this.
Once you have read and understand the below information please visit our applications portal to apply.


All film projects must have public liability insurance.
A copy of the certificate of currency must be provided with all filming applications.

  • Stills shoots, news crew-style shoots, short films, documentaries, student films and children’s productions require $20 million coverage
  • TV commercials, dramas, mini-series and films with budgets under $50 million require $20 million coverage.
  • Films with budgets greater than $50 million require $30 million insurance coverage.
  • The Local Government Area Councils must be noted as an ‘interested party’ on your insurance cover for all filming activities in the Hunter region. Click here to view interested party details.

All film projects must notify business and residential neighbours of production plans in advance. Download a template and speak to our Film Contact Officer for further advice.

We assess all parking needs for productions requiring access to on-street parking. You may be allocated or purchase parking spaces for unit and essential vehicles and keep a section of kerb space for example, to use for filming.

  • All filming applications must show the exact parking locations and restrictions on a clear map, and provide the registration details of vehicles parking on-street. Please note that flexible or unlimited parking permits are not available. Barricading/reserving of parking may be required in some areas, which must be carried-out by authorised traffic controllers.
  • In areas where parking is in high demand such as residential or business areas, you will need to relocate your unit base and transport your equipment to the film site. Please ask about suitable unit bases if you require further information.

If parking is approved, you must:

  • Park only in nominated areas with an approved parking permit
  • Ensure production vehicles do not arrive earlier than the time stipulated in the permit (particularly in residential areas)
  • Prominently display the parking permit on each vehicle for the duration the vehicle will be parked in the street
  • Not move or tow-away any private vehicle from the filming site
  • Maintain normal access for motorists and pedestrians through the filming unless otherwise approved.

Filming activities on public land may need to be approved by NSW Police in relation to traffic control, user-pays police personnel and working around other activities that may be planned in the area at the same time.

Police must also be notified if the filming project involves firearms, police uniforms or any other law enforcement-related props.

Unsure if you need police approval? Contact us.

Evidentiary Requirements

The flying of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone for commercial purposes in Australia is regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). All productions employing a UAV or drone for commercial purposes must supply the following documentation with any filming / photography application:

  • CASA-issued UAV operators certificate (UOC)
  • CASA-issued remote pilot certificate (RPC) for each proposed operator
  • Local Airport/aerodromes
  • Formal approval from RAAF if filming over Stockton Sand Dunes
  • Aviation-specific public liability insurance certificate
  • Flight risk assessment
  • Pedestrian management plan with clear illustration of proposed pedestrian exclusion zone illustrated (30m of take-off / landing unless otherwise specified in UOC)
  • Flight plan if operations are to deviate out of the 30m ground exclusion zone once airborne (maximum altitude must not exceed 400ft or 123m)

Additional Approvals

Further approvals are required for all operations conducted:

  • Within 3 nautical miles or 5.5kms of an airport or the RAAF base (CASA approval)
  • At night requires (CASA approval)
  • Within restricted airspace (approval from the controlling authority)
  • Within military airspace (RAAF and CASA approval)
  • Out of visual line of sight (CASA approval)
  • Within 30m of a member of the general public (CASA-issued operator’s exclusion)

Unauthorised Commercial Use

Any operator found to be operating in breach of a Screen Hunter-issued approval, CASA conditions, or operating without appropriate approvals will be stopped and reported to the RAAF and CASA for further action.

Further information and licensing procedure queries can be directed to CASA or the RAAF.


Please find below a downloadable reference guide which explains how to operate RPAs within Williamtown Airspace. In addition, please visit the CASA website which concisely lays out the regulations for commercial flight of RPAs above and below 2KG.


COVID Restrictions as mandated by the NSW Government must be adhered too, and may impact shoot requirements e.g. number of cast and crew on-site cannot exceed current gathering rules as at the date/s of your approved shoot. Some locations may be closed to the public as part of COVID restrictions. Please ensure the location/s you wish to shoot at are accessible for the date/s you wish to film.
Please refer to the current NSW Government Covid-19 advice on the morning of your shoot date/s to ensure your cast and crew are in adherence with up-to-date restrictions: