Commonwealth legislation

Defence Act 1903 Part VIA - Security of Defence Premises

The Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) is defined as a Defence Premise. Unauthorised entry to the WPA is an offence that is punishable by up to two years imprisonment, 120 penalty units or both. (Defence Act 1903, section 72TC)

Upon entry to the WPA, apart from areas covered by a Standing Permission, you may be asked by a defence security official to:

  • provide identification or evidence of your authority to be on the premises
  • undergo a limited search of your person or a search of your vehicle.

Defence Force Regulations 1952

The WPA was declared a Prohibited Area under the Defence Force Regulations 1952 for the ‘testing of war materiel’.  The access arrangements to the WPA administered under the Defence Force Regulations continue to apply to pastoralists, Aboriginal persons and traditional owners, the rail operator and the four existing mines as at 2014. Existing users do not need to apply for an access permit. The 1952 regulations were superseded by Defence Regulation 2016.

Defence Regulation 2016

Defence Regulation 2016 replaces three instruments made under the Defence Act 1903: the Defence (Personnel) Regulations 2002, the Defence Force Regulations 1952 and the Defence (Prohibited Words and Letters) Regulations 1957. The declaration and regulation of the Prohibited Area are now made under this legislation.

Defence Legislation Amendment (Woomera Prohibited Area) Act 2014

The 2014 legislation comprises the Defence Legislation Amendment (Woomera Prohibited Area) Act 2014 and Woomera Prohibited Area Rule 2014. The Act gives effect to the recommendations of the Final Report of the Review of the Woomera Prohibited Area (PDF). The Act is supported by the Rule which provides the detailed arrangements to give effect to the legislation.

This legislation only applies to new users seeking access to the WPA. New users need to apply for an access permit before they can enter the WPA.

Exclusion period determinations under the WPA Rule 2014 are published in the Federal Register of Legislation. The current determinations are: