A guide to Event Permits

Specific planned activities at your event may require permits or approval from local council or the relevant regulatory government department.

See the table below for permits or approvals that may be required at a community event:

Booking of Public Open Space

Are you planning to host an event at the Warrnambool Botanic Gardens, Lake Pertobe or the Civic Green?

Lake & Garden precinct  bookings must be made through Councils Infrastructure Services.

Are you planning to host an event at a sporting ground, recreation reserve or public space?

Sporting Grounds and Recreation Reserve bookings must be made through Councils Recreation Department.
Email : recreation@warrnambool.vic.gov.au


Temporary Road Closure/Traffic Control Application

Permit and Relevant Authority: Warrnambool City Council Infrastructure Services

Large community events, fun runs, walking parades that require full or partial closure of a road require a permit for the event to undertaken on a road reserve.

Submit an application for "Road Reserve Works/Events Permit" with supporting information and Traffic Management Plan.


Places of Public Entertainment (POPE)

Permit and Relevant Authority: Warrnambool City Council Building Services

Occupancy Permits / Temporary Structures

Public Entertainment is defined as an entertainment or meeting to which admission may be ordinarily gained by members of the public i.e. general community is eligible to attend the entertainment or meeting.

A Place of Public Entertainment (POPE) is defined as:

  • a building or
  • an enclosed or substantially enclosed place/venue or a place or venue for which some type of admission fee (money or otherwise) is charged for entry
  • where the building or place has an area greater than 500m2 and is being used to provided Public Entertainment.

Requirement for Occupancy Permit

Pursuant to sections 49 and 50 of the Building Act 1993:

  • a person must not conduct a Public Entertainment in a POPE unless an Occupancy Permit (OP) has been issued for the venue. Note: conduct is defined as having a direct financial interest in the proceeds or profits generated by the event.
  • The owner or occupier of a POPE must not for fee or reward permit the place to be used for the purpose of providing Public Entertainment unless an OP has been issued for the venue.

These requirements bind the Crown, State and Federal Governments and their agencies.

Please contact Council’s Building Services to determine if a POPE Occupancy Permit is required.

Pope Flow Chart PDF

Places of Public Entertainment

Temporary Structure Siting

Food Registration/Approval

Environmental Health Unit is responsible for monitoring food standards in public areas.

All temporary and mobile premises selling food (including drinks) must be registered or notified under the Food Act through the online state-wide registration and notification website FoodTrader.

Food businesses with an existing Victorian Food Act registration must lodge a Statement of Trade (SOT) with Council’s Environmental Health Unit. Once this has been provided businesses can operate under their existing registration.


Liquor Licences

Permit and Relevant Authority: Department of Justice

Application forms must be completed by unlicensed organisations or clubs wishing to trade on a one-off occasion such as fete, festival or sporting match.

•    Adhere to Liquor Regulation
•    Required to submit and Event Management Plan
•    Security personnel required for events involving alcohol (numbers dependant on size of event)

Note: Sale of alcohol requires a Food Act Registration


Tobacco Sales / Smoking at Events or Markets

Permit and Relevant Authority: Warrnambool City Council Environmental Health

Tobacco Sales are prohibited at events.

Smoking laws apply to sports facilities and buildings owned and managed by Warrnambool City Council. Under these new laws smoking is banned at these buildings and sports facilities at all times.

Under the Tobacco Act 1987

Food Fair
There is to be no smoking in the entire area of a food fair. This is if the main purpose of the event is to sell/market food such as a “cheese and wine festival” “bbq cook-off”. The name of the event may help to determine if it is a food fair or not.
Outdoor events / markets
There is to be no smoking within 10 metres of a food stall or a food van.
There must be no smoking signs in the smoke free areas. The sign must be visible when entering the area or be visible within the area.

View the Tobacco Act 1987 here.


Permit and Relevant Authority: Warrnambool City Council Environmental Health

Council’s Local Law 15 restricts the use of amplified equipment unless in accordance with a permit.

For large events an approved Noise Management Plan may be required to mitigate impact on surrounding occupants and residents. If required, advice can be provided by Council’s Environmental Health Unit on the required contents.
For music events compliance with the State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) is required.

Fireworks & Pyrotechnics

Permit and Relevant Authority: WorkSafe Victoria

A person must not conduct fireworks displays or otherwise ignite fireworks without a permit. Only licensed pyrotechnicians may be issued a permit.

In considering a permit application, an authorised officer may take into consideration:

  • Whether WorkSafe Victoria approval has been issued
  • Whether Country Fire Authority approval has been issued
  • Whether the application complies with Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations 2000, or other relevant legislation
  • The location of the proposed fireworks
  • The potential impact on residents
  • Other relevant matters


Stalls, Displays & Promotions

Permit and Relevant Authority: Local Laws unit

A person must not, without a permit, on any road or Council land:

  • Sell any raffle tickets or other similar items;
  • Fundraise by way of public approach or other similar activity;
  • Hold an information stall or display or
  • Any other such promotional activity.

Waste Management

Significant fines apply to littering offenders in accordance with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) regulations. Council’s Local Laws and Compliance Officers impose fines on behalf of Council, and the general public can also report offenders to the EPA. More information can be obtained fro the EPA website www.epa.vic.gov.au.

If there are large amounts of rubbish being generated from the operation of an event/celebration it is the responsibility of the Event Organiser to dispose of this rubbish.

Toilet Facilities

The number of toilets required will be dependant on the number of patrons attending the event, whether or not the event is licensed, the duration of the event etc. The number of persons should include the general public, participants, contractors, vendors and the event employees.

The general rule is:

  • 1 toilet/washbasin for every 200 female/male patrons or part thereof in a non licensed event.
  • 1 toilet/washbasin for every 75 female/male patrons thereof in a licensed event.
  • Urinals can be provided for males however at least 30% of the total required facilities my be closet pans.

One wheelchair accessible toilet is required for every 100 closet pans which means that most events will only require either one unisex disabled pan/washbasin or one male and one female pan/washbasin where facilities for males and females are provided separately.

Public Liability

Managing a public event includes ensuring the safety of event organisers, volunteers, contract staff, event staff and the public. It is imperative that all events held within the Warrnambool City Council have appropriate Public Liability insurance. Insurance cover should also include property and equipment.

Marine Safety

Marine Safety Victoria is responsible for determining standards and procedures for navigation and marine safety on State waters. Victorian waters include all inland waters including rivers, creeks, canals, lakes and reservoirs, as well as coastal waters up to 3 nautical miles offshore.

There are general rules for all waters in the State and local rules for specific waterways.

The rules are designed to provide a safe operating environment, to cater for the wide range of boating and water activities, to separate different activities where needed on the basis of safety and to reflect local conditions. The rules are detailed in the Vessel and Operating Zoning Rules for Victorian Waters. At times there may be a need to temporarily amend or modify vessel operating and zoning rules or restrict or prohibit vessel operation with respect to any boating activity that is held or to be held on specified waters.