Skip to main content

Hold your event in the City of Whittlesea

If you are planning to hold a large event in the City of Whittlesea, you can find out what approvals you may need by following the advice below.


Events in the City of Whittlesea

Outdoor events within the City of Whittlesea provide the opportunity to support and celebrate contemporary cultural and community heritage, contribute to the City’s vibrancy, develop community wellbeing and allow people to enjoy our parks and open spaces.

You will find this guide particularly helpful for planning:

  • festivals
  • cultural celebrations
  • fetes
  • street parties
  • markets
  • fun runs
  • cycling events
  • concerts
  • parades
  • religious festivals
  • charity events
  • raffles or fundraisers

Planning your event

You should consider the following when planning an event:

  • time and date of event
  • budget
  • venue selection
  • Council approval requirement
  • target audience
  • proposed activities and attractions -– bands, performers, music, amusements, rides and stalls
  • provision of food and drinks – food vendors, community-run food stalls, serving of alcohol, permits required, access to water and power
  • number of people attending – size of the venue and sufficient parking
  • infrastructure requirements – the need for marquees, power, toilets, PA system and waste disposal
  • venue accessibility – accessible car parks, clear continuous pathways, accessible toilets
  • safety and risk
  • staffing and volunteers
  • equipment hire.

Event/site venue

Choosing a venue that suits your needs

We have a range of public parks, open spaces, sports reserves, pavilions and community facilities that are available for use by the public, upon request.

We recommend you choose a venue close to public transport and use your promotional material to encourage patrons to get to your event via train, tram, bus, bike or foot.

We may require you to complete an application and pay a bond for large events, to ensure the site or venue is returned to its original condition.

Check to see if Council approval is required for your event

You should think about the following when choosing a suitable venue:

  • Do you plan to use Council land for your event?
  • Is the event site or venue available and do you have permission to use it?
  • Does the venue or site you have chosen suit all your requirements?
  • What are the arrangements for getting into the site or venue and for leaving the site or venue?

Community facilities

You can book community halls, pavilions, sportsgrounds and community centres by emailing our Leisure Team.

Parks and open spaces

Our parks are available for all people to enjoy and cannot be booked. However, if you are planning a large event, phone our Event Approvals Officer on 9217 2170 to see if we can grant approval for the use of the space.

This approval does not provide you with exclusive use of the site. If the site is a public open space, you will be required to allow other members of the public to also have access.

For more information, see Parks and playgrounds.

Venue or site plan

For larger events it is vital that you have a venue or site plan so attendees, staff, volunteers, contractors and emergency services know where everything is. This will help you when applying for permits and with developing your safety management plan.

You may need to include:

  • entertainment areas, including stage location and amusement rides
  • food vendors and stalls
  • drinking water sites
  • permanent and temporary public toilets, including accessible toilets
  • information tent
  • first aid posts
  • parking, including accessible parking bays and pick up and drop off areas
  • entrances, exits and continuous accessible paths of travel
  • emergency access/egress routes and evacuation assembly points
  • restricted areas
  • rubbish and recycling stations bins

Venue signage

A large venue or site should include signage to indicate the location of:

  • information tent 
  • first aid posts
  • toilets
  • drinking water sites
  • parking
  • emergency exits and evacuation points

You might also consider signage to indicate different activity areas and programming on your stage.

Promotional signage 

Event organisers wishing to install promotional signage, such as event boards or Variable Message Signs (VMS), will need to obtain permission from Council, and/or VicRoads.  These signs may be placed at prominent intersections within the municipality.

Apply to display board signs

You must gain approval of your board sign prior to it being erected. To apply to display a board sign:

  1. Read through our guidelines:

Advertising signage on Council Land Guidelines (PDF - 100KB)

Advertising signage on Council Land Guidelines (Word - 231KB)

  1. Print and complete an application form
  2. Return your application form via email to

For more information about this process, contact our Events Team on 9217 2170.

In order to gain approval for a board sign, it must:

  • advertise a local educational, cultural, political, religious, social or recreational event
  • not be held for commercial purposes
  • be no larger than 5 square metres in area
  • only be externally illuminated
  • not have sponsor advertising or identification exceeding 10% of the area of the sign.

In selecting your preferred sites, please consider the positioning of your sign/s and the impact they may have in obscuring, and therefore impeding, the view of road users.  Any sign incorrectly installed, which creates a safety hazard will be removed, regardless of whether permission has been granted.

Only three signs may be displayed on each approved site. The sign/s should not be installed more than four weeks before the event date and should be removed on the first working day after the event has been presented.

Any event seeking to use VMS boards to promote an event will need a Planning permit. VMS boards being used as part of a Traffic Management Plan (TMP), or as a condition or requirement of a Memorandum of Authorisation (MOA) do not require a separate planning permit as these signs will only be used to direct and assist traffic flow. 

If the promotional signs (static or VMS) are to be installed on major arterial roads, a permit application must be submitted through VicRoads seeking approval.

Promote your event on our website

We publish community events through our website, provided they meet the following guidelines:

  • are one-off or annual events, rather than regular year-round meetings (if you're a community group you can add details of regular meetings to our online Community Directory)
  • are held within the City of Whittlesea or deemed relevant to our residents
  • are free, non-profit or fundraising activities (rather than commercial ventures), or are funded or sponsored by the City of Whittlesea.

There are no fees to add your event to our Events Calendar.

Note: Publication on our website does not authorise you to hold your event, and you must ensure you have all relevant permits and approvals.

Car parking

When choosing your event site it is important you consider how people will get there.

It is essential that you consider whether there is enough parking on or near the site, to provide safe access to the venue.

You should encourage patrons to come to your event on public transport by promoting the options.

If there is not enough parking at the venue, there may be an area nearby that can be used for overflow parking. If you are using overflow parking you will need to include information about it in your promotional material and also provide signage on the day. Changes to parking may require you to seek and obtain consent from the relevant authority.

You should reserve some parking spaces in the venue parking area for those who cannot manage the walk from the overflow car park to the event.

Organisations can be employed to manage traffic and parking at your event. Some service organisations, such as SES and Rotary may be able to do this for a donation.

For information about parking and traffic management call us on 9217 2170.

Event permits and requirements

Marquees and staging

You should consider whether you need to put up temporary structures such as stages, large marquees, or stalls at your event.

If you require any of the abovementioned infrastructure, you may need to hold an occupancy permit for a Place of Public Entertainment (POPE).  A POPE may be required if these structures exceed a particular size or if you are charging an entry fee to your event.  As outlined in the Building Act 1993, a POPE may apply even if you plan to use an existing building as your event site / venue.

Once you have completed Council’s online application form, you will be advised if you require a POPE or any other regulatory permits.

If it is deemed that your event will require a POPE, you will need to complete and submit a POPE application form and pay the nominated fee.  Within the application, you will need to describe your event and produce a scale map indicating:

  • the size of marquees and seating stands
  • number of toilets on site
  • areas where water is provided
  • emergency arrangements including emergency management plans
  • provision of safety officers and site-specific arrangements.

Read Building Practice Note from Victorian Building Authority about requirements for obtaining an occupancy permit for a POPE.

Filming permits

If you are planning to conduct any commercial filming, including still photography, within public gardens, reserves, roadways or footpaths in the City of Whittlesea, you need to obtain a filming permit.

Student and non-profit filming also requires a permit, but no fee applies.

Download a permit form below.

Food and drink

If you are planning to sell food and drink, or organise food vendors at your event, they need to register under the state-wide registration and notification system called Foodtrader.

This is an online system for businesses and community groups to register with their principal Council (this is the Council where the business name is registered) as well as providing notification to the Council where the event is being held. 

All temporary food premises trading at your event, including stalls and mobile food vans, are required to have a Food Act registration from their principal Council, which is purchased annually.  For each event they wish to trade at, the food vendor must submit a Statement of Trade through Foodtrader.  This must be lodged at least five working days prior to trading.

Do your part for the environment

We encourage event organisers to make events free of polystyrene packaging and plastic items including balloons, straws and plastic bags.

We also request that food vendors supply food and drink using minimal packaging, that is also recyclable. Also encourage people to bring their own reusable coffee cup and drink bottle.

Notify your food vendors that the following items should not be used:

  • products with excessive packaging, such as individually packaged condiments and pre-packaged sugar
  • polystyrene containers and cups
  • balloons, plastic bags and plastic straws.


If you are planning to sell alcohol at your event, you will need to contact the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) to obtain a Temporary Limited Liquor licence and pay a licence fee.

You will need to follow their conditions, which may include notifying police, fencing in an area and ensuring staff and volunteers have completed training in responsible serving of alcohol.

For more information, phone VCGLR on 1300 182 457, or visit their website.

Music and performance

If you are playing live or recorded music you must be licensed by the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA).

Our local laws state that amplified sound and music must not interfere with the quiet enjoyment of any other person using Council land or a public place.

As organisers you need to monitor the level of noise at your event.

For more information about APRA licensing, phone APRA on 9426 5200 or visit the APRA website.

For more information about noise guidelines, visit the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) website.

Footpath trading

If your event includes any commercial activity on the footpath you need to abide by our Footpath Trading Policy, which covers the requirements for obtaining a Footpath Trading Permit. This permit carries a fee and requires 5 working days for processing of an application.

Footpath trading is the use of footpaths for commercial activities such as outdoor dining and the display of goods. Footpaths less than 2.5m wide may not be used for footpath trading.

Find out more about Footpath Trading Permits

Amusement rides

If you are planning any kind of amusements or rides, you will need to ensure that the providers of the equipment have:

  • public liability insurance to the value of $20 million
  • maintained their rides as the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017.

You must provide your contractors records to prove this. If you are planning on bringing any type of amusement ride on to Council-owned land, you are required to first obtain approval via our events approval process. You may be required to pay a bond.

Find out more about safety regulations on the WorkSafe website.

Fundraising activities

If you are having any fundraising activities at your event you will need to apply for a fundraising permit at least eight weeks prior to your event.

Find out more about fundraising permits

You will also need to register with Consumer Affairs Victoria before you can begin fundraising unless you are exempt. There is no fee to register as a fundraiser. For more information, phone Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 558 181 or visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.


Public liability insurance is necessary for public events. The amount of cover that you will need will depend on your activities. A minimum of $20 million in coverage will be required for all events being presented in the City of Whittlesea and a copy of your public liability insurance must be submitted with your application for event approval.

Applications who fail to provide evidence of their current cover will not have their application assessed. You may need to provide us with proof that your public liability insurance is current.

For more information about event insurance, visit the Our Community website.

Road closures and traffic management

You need to consider whether your event will require road closures or will affect traffic or public transport routes.

Access a map of transport routes in the area

It is a legal requirement to notify PTV of an event that is likely to impact on public transport. Once you've submitted an event notification form to PTV, they will establish the overall impact to public transport, and determine the impact on public transport operators. PTV require notifications be submitted 120 days before your event and can impose fines on events that impact public transport and have failed to submit the necessary notification.

If your event requires a temporary road or footpath closure, or you want to erect directional signage on roads or footpaths, you must seek and obtain consent from the relevant road authority. To find out the relevant road authority, see Road maintenance.

If your event involves a local road closure, you will need to have a Traffic Management Plan drawn up by a traffic management company or authorised person and submit it to our Engineering and Transportation Department for approval 12 weeks before your event.

The plan needs to outline:

  • who you or your organisation represents
  • why and when you wish to hold the event
  • details of the location for the event and road closure required
  • what routes and streets will be involved
  • a contact name, address and telephone number
  • how the road closure will be managed (a traffic management company or qualified individuals)
  • where signage will be placed to inform the public.

Council will then send you correspondence outlining any issues you must address and the information you must provide before the event can take place.

You will need to hold a public liability insurance policy for at least $20 million to insure all parties against any actions, costs, claims or damages that may arise from the event.

You may also need to write to directly affected residents and businesses, notify emergency services providers and take out a public notice in the local paper.

If you are running a competitive cycling event please contact Victoria Police - Road Safety Awareness and Information Unit on 9247 5754 for specific advice and guidance.

Learn more about obtaining approval for on-road cycling events.

Other information and guidelines about managing traffic in and around your event can be found in the Safe Work Australia Traffic Management Guide.

Event amenities

Electricity and power

If your chosen site does not have a power supply, you may need to bring in generators or use battery-powered appliances.

You will need to consider how much power you will require for your event, for example, a large PA system and lights may require 3-phase power. Not having enough power to run your event, or having generators in the wrong place, can cause major issues including power outages and damage to equipment.

You should know what power each electrical appliance will draw when planning for your power needs.

Generator companies will often assist you in working out your requirements. You may require a qualified electrician on-site to assist with the use of the generator and all your electrical needs.

View Energy Safe Victoria's guidelines


You should ensure there are enough toilets on site.

Outdoor events require the ratio of 1 toilet to every 200 people, plus 1 toilet with wheelchair access and baby change facilities.

If there are not enough toilets on site you will need to hire portable toilets. There are a range of portable toilets available.

First aid

You may need to provide first aid at your event. You should contact a first aid provider and request they attend your event. You may need to pay a fee.

You should determine how many first aiders and first aid locations you need, depending on how many people are coming to your event and what activities are occurring. Your first aid provider can advise you.

Waste management

We are committed to minimising the impact of community and Council-run events on the environment. We encourage all events to be free of polystyrene packaging, and plastic items such as balloons, straws and bags.

It is your responsibility as the event organiser to ensure that all waste is disposed of correctly.

Community groups can use our community bin trailer at their event, which includes bins for rubbish and for recyclable materials, and appropriately labelled bin lids.

Here is a list of items that should be avoided at your event:

  • products with excessive packaging (individually wrapped condiments and pre-packaged sugar)
  • polystyrene containers and cups
  • balloons, plastic bags and plastic straws
  • plastic water bottles

Here is how you can reduce waste at your event:

  • use re-useable plates, cups and cutlery (rather than disposable)
  • supply food/drinks in minimal packaging that is also recyclable
  • use paper lanterns, bubbles, flags or bunting instead of plastic balloons
  • use paper straws instead of plastic straws
  • when your selecting food vendors for your event, consider what packaging and serving items will be used and how it's disposed
  • give preference to vendors who use packages made of vegetable products, such as cornstarch plates and cutlery. These are compostable and are broken down easily when disposed of.
  • encourage visitors to your event to BYO drink bottle, coffee cup and bag
  • place garbage and recycling bins side by side and use signage on bins to assist patrons to sort waste properly

Taking these actions will help to minimise the waste sent to landfill - and contamination in the recycling bins - and could also save you money.

When deciding which food vendors you will have at your event, consider asking them a few questions about the sustainability of their packaging and serving items.

Give preference to vendors who use packaging made of vegetable products, such as cornstarch plates and cutlery. These are compostable and are broken down easily when disposed of.

Safety, security and risk management

All events need to be run safely and planning what you will do in case of an emergency or if something goes wrong is essential. Some aspects of your event may present more risks than others and should be given special consideration. These might include, but are not limited to:

  • alcohol
  • electrical safety
  • temporary structures
  • lost children
  • crowd demographics
  • weather conditions
  • potential crowd crush
  • vehicle access and movement
  • gas safety

The Victorian Guidelines for Planning Safe Public Events have been developed through the collaboration of multiple agencies. The document presents the best practice for organisers in planning and executing events across Victoria.

You have a ‘duty of care’ to the people who attend your event, your staff and volunteers, and any other participants, such as performers or contractors and liability may arise if this duty is breached and there is injury or damage to property.

As an event organiser, you should put together an event management plan detailing the processes and procedures and the trained support in place to act in case of an emergency. The plan should include:

  • contacts for the event
  • details of all permits, permission and compliance notices as required
  • an evacuation plan for the site or venue detailing:
    • evacuation points
    • assembly points
    • emergency services’ locations
    • fire extinguishers' location
  • what you will do in case of:
    • lost/found people
    • medical emergency
    • fire at the event
    • lost property
    • bomb or other threat
    • extreme weather
    • electrical safety
    • complaints

You should nominate wardens and safety officers for your event. Safety officers are responsible for the safe operations of fire safety equipment, evacuation processes, safety barriers and exits.

You should also consider whether you require security guards or crowd control during the event or if you will be leaving equipment on-site overnight.

Find out more about occupational health and safety certificates on the WorkSafe website

Accessible to all

You should consider whether your event will be accessible to all the community, particular people who:

  • have limited mobility
  • have a hearing or visual impairment
  • may need some other assistance at your event

We have developed a user-friendly guide to help you make your event accessible to everyone. For a copy of this guide or other accessibility advice, call our Access Team on 9217 2170.

Notify those who may be affected

It is good practice to inform the affected residents in the community and emergency services about your event.

Groups you may need to inform about your event include:

  • individuals or residents who may be affected (eg. those living within a 200m radius of the event site) 
  • Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV)
  • Country Fire Authority (CFA)
  • Public transport operators
  • Public Transport Victoria
  • Victoria Police
  • SES
  • Ambulance Victoria
  • VicRoads

Parks and open spaces

Our parks are available for all people to enjoy and cannot be booked. However, if you are planning a large event, phone our Event Team on 9217 2170 to see if we can grant approval for the use of the space.

This approval does not provide you with exclusive use of the park, as it needs to be accessed and used by the general public as well.

We may require you to pay a financial bond.

Find out more about local parks and playgrounds

Extreme weather conditions

You should plan what you will do if extreme weather conditions are predicted and consider whether your event would go ahead.

Extreme weather conditions can affect the ability of even the best planned events to go ahead. Such conditions could be a heat wave, high winds, total fire ban, heavy rain, electrical storms or a Code Red bushfire threat.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issues weather predictions that include information on wind, temperature, rain, flood and fire danger. When extreme weather conditions are forecast weather warnings are announced on the BOM website, TV and radio news.

If extreme weather conditions are forecast you should consider modifying, postponing or cancelling your event depending on:

  • the severity of the conditions
  • recommendations from emergency services
  • the activities planned at your event
  • inherent risks on the site

For example, in the case of a heatwave you might make the following modifications to ensure your event is safe:

  • provide extra shelter and shade
  • provide extra water to patrons
  • provide extra sunscreen
  • provide first aid to treat any cases of heat stress
  • ensure your workers and volunteers have extra breaks
  • ensure your workers and volunteers are wearing appropriate clothing such as hats and long sleeved shirts
  • ensure there is information about symptoms of heat stress freely available

November to April is declared a Fire Danger Period by the Country Fire Authority (CFA). During this time there are restrictions on what activities can occur in the CFA-controlled areas.

On days of Total Fire Ban you may need to cancel or modify activities that involve naked flames such as barbeques. Alternatively, you could apply to Fire Rescue Victoria or the Country Fire Authority for a permit for exemption (Section 14 or 40 Permit).

On days declared as Code Red by the Fire Authorities, events in bushfire-prone areas should be cancelled or postponed.

For more information, visit the following websites:

Community grants

The City of Whittlesea’s Community Grants are available all year round. The grants are available to people in the City of Whittlesea to support local events.

Visit the Community Grants page for further information.

For further information and advice about running events in the City of Whittlesea contact our Event Team on 9217 2170.

Find out about