Organise an event on Council land

This guide helps organisers to plan events that take place on Council land. You can use it to see if your event needs Council approval or other permits to go ahead. Council land includes parks, gardens, sports grounds, footpaths, roads and carparks.

Timeline – Allow at least 12 weeks to organise an event on Council land in Boroondara. 

COVIDSafe events

Organisers of public, community, or business events must make sure they comply with the Victorian Government’s COVIDSafe settings. Visit the Victorian Government coronavirus website for details. 

Does my event need Council approval?

You need Council permission if your event:

  • has more than 50 attendees, including artists, staff, contractors and volunteers
  • plans exclusive use of rotundas at Alexandra Gardens or Canterbury Gardens
  • uses temporary structures, such as marquees, portable movie screens. staging, a PA system or toilets
  • is catered by an external supplier
  • includes inflatables or a petting zoo
  • includes the sale of products or market stalls 
  • includes fireworks or pyrotechnics 
  • plans to close a road, or use a carpark or footpath 
  • needs vehicle access to open space
  • charges a fee

If any of these items apply to your event, use this guide to help you through the booking and approval process.

If none of these items apply, you can hold your event without further permission from Council.

Contact us for support with your event

We offer several services to assist with event organising in Boroondara. 

Community organisations

Depending on the nature of your event, you may be eligible for a community grant. Learn about our grants program and see if you are eligible.


Contact our events officer on (03) 9278 4595 or email [email protected]

Creative and cultural organisations

Contact Boroondara Arts on (03) 9278 4770 or email [email protected].

Trader associations and businesses

Contact Local Economies on (03) 9278 4879 or email [email protected].

Find a venue - We have a large and diverse range of venues for hire. From every size of hall to gorgeous gardens, you're sure to find something perfect for your event.

You need to follow this step if your event is in one of our parks, gardens or sportsgrounds.

At least 2 months before the event.

To book a park, garden or sportsground

  1. Browse our website to see which venue has the best facilities for your event.
    View parks and gardens |  View sportsgrounds
  2. Check the venue is available on your proposed event date:

If your date isn't available, contact the Sports and Events team on (03) 9278 4595 for other options.

  1. Request a booking using the relevant system.
    We ask for the date, time, location, number of guests and purpose of your event in the booking request.

Central Gardens

We'll respond to confirm and let you know if we need more information.

Go to the next step.

Prepare an event plan, if requested

At least 2 months before the event.

After reviewing your booking request, we may ask for an event plan and running schedule.

Event plans

An event plan gives an overview of the event and lists all the items that need consideration. 

The plan also lists the actions you need to take to deliver each item.

The size, scope and complexity of the event determines the level of detail you need to include.

Running schedules

Event plans must include a running schedule that shows:

  • the event start and finish times
  • arrival (bump-in) and departure (bump-out) times and details of equipment
  • vehicle access arrangements (as authorised by Council)
  • the order and timing of activities such as speeches or performances
  • arrival and departure times for VIPs, related security plans and backstage details
  • the name and contact details of the host or master of ceremonies.

Send the schedule to your team and any contractors before the day of the event.

Example of an Event Running Schedule

Time Activity/Action Responsible Company
8:00am Bump In commences Event Manager Event Organiser
8:30am Marquee Delivery Site Manager Marquee Company
9:30am Portaloo delivery Site Manager Portaloo Hire Company


Have you been asked to prepare an event plan?

Check if your event includes temporary structures

At least 2 months before the event.

Your event plan must include:

  • details of temporary structures such as marquees, amusement rides, inflatable structures, generators, food vans, stages, seating or cool rooms
  • evidence that you have applied for any approvals or permits needed for the temporary structure.

Temporary structures must be weighted down with sandbags or water weights.

We don't allow structures to be pegged or staked in the ground as this may damage our underground irrigation systems.

Marquees at an event

Example of weighted-down marquees

    Permits for temporary structures

    The following prescribed temporary structures require approval from the Victorian Building Authority:

    • a stage or platform exceeding 150sqm
    • a tent, marquee or booth with a floor area greater than 100sqm
    • a seating stand that accommodates more than 20 people
    • a prefabricated building with a floor area exceeding 100sqm.

    If you intend to erect any of these items, complete the Application for Siting of Prescribed Temporary Structure.

    A permit fee applies. Allow 10 weeks for processing.

    For queries, contact the Sport and Events Team on 9278 4595

    Approval for larger marquees

    We allow one 3m by 3m shade structure to be erected at no cost. Additional marquees or a marquee bigger than 9 square metres require Council approval.

    View marquee sizes and fees

    For approval for additional or larger marquees, email [email protected].

    Will you be erecting temporary structures at your event?

    Plan for appropriate sound levels and toilet facilities

    At least 2 months before the event

    Sound levels

    Your Event Plan must include details of the type of sound equipment you plan to use. Live acoustic music is allowed in our parks, gardens and sportsgrounds.

    However some venues do not allow amplified music or a public address (PA) system.

    If you are unsure whether your sound equipment is suitable to your venue, call the Sports and Events team at 9278 4595.

    Musician playing acoustic music

    To reduce noise pollution, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) recommends limiting outdoor events to these times.


    Times to hold an event

    Monday to Thursday

    7:00am - 10:00pm


    7:00am - 11:00pm

    Saturday and Public Holidays

    9:00am - 11:00pm


    9:00am - 10:00pm

    Refer to the EPA Victoria website for more information about how to minimise the impact of noise to the community.

    Toilet facilities

    It is the event organiser’s responsibility to ensure that adequate toilet facilities are in place.

    The number of toilets to provide depend on crowd numbers, event duration, guest gender and the service of alcohol. You should also consider facilities required by children, the elderly and people with a disability.

    Use the following guidelines to determine the number of toilets required at your event.

    Events without alcohol

    Number of guests

    Toilets for men


    Hand basins for men

    Toilets for women

    Hand basins for women

    Less than 500






    More than 1000






    More than 2000






    More than 3000






    More than 5000






    Events where alcohol is available

    Number of guests

    Toilets for men


    Hand basins for men

    Toilets for women

    Hand basins for women

    Less than 500






    More than 1000






    More than 2000






    More than 3000






    More than 5000






    Duration of events

    Shortening an event reduces the number of toilets you need.

    Duration of event

    Quantity required

    8 hrs plus


    6-8 hrs


    4-6 hrs


    Less than 4 hrs


    You may require portable toilets to ensure that adequate facilities are available. As these are temporary structures, they may require a permit.

    Find out about permits for temporary structures and equipment

    In your event plan, add sound equipment and toilet facility details. Then go to the next step.

    Check what Council permits and other approvals your event needs

    Your event plan should include any impacts your event may have on roads or parking areas and must include information on the activities it includes.

    At least 2 months before the event.

    Don't forget you can contact us for help with your application any time.


    Fees for Council-issued permits vary depending on the event and who is holding it. 

    We don't charge fees to registered charities and not-for-profits. The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) must register your organisation to qualify.

    Getting permission for activities at your event

    Use this information to check what permissions you need for different activities associated with your event.

    Event activity

    How to get permission

    Close a Council-controlled road (laneway or side-street), footpath or carpark

    Fees apply

    You may need a permit and a traffic management plan. 

    To apply, you need:

    • documented proof of $20 million Public Liability insurance 
    • a site plan
    • a letter for businesses and/or residents affected by the event

    Apply for a road and/or footpath occupancy permit now


    Close a major or arterial road

    Check if the road is arterial using VicRoads maps of declared roads.

    If it is, you need permission from VicRoads to close it.

    Learn more about events and apply for permission from VicRoads.


    This includes raising funds, getting pledges or increasing public awareness for:

    • local, national or international community organisations
    • local churches
    • schools
    • not-for-profit clubs

    You may need to apply for a permit to Occupy Council Land. 

    To apply, you need:

    • proof of $20 million Public Liability insurance 
    • a site plan
    • a letter for businesses and/or residents affected by the event

    Apply for a fundraising permit now


    Fees apply

    Film or take photographs for commercial purposes 

    Fees apply

    Perform promotional activities

    Fees apply

    You may need to apply for a permit to Occupy Council land. 

    To apply, you will need:

    • proof of $20 million Public Liability insurance 
    • a site plan
    • a letter for businesses and/or residents affected by the event
    • the right fee for your activity

    Apply for a busking permit now

    Apply for a filming permit now

    Apply for a promotional permit now

    Hold an event in an enclosed space

    Fees apply for:

    • Consent for Prescribed Temporary Structure
    • Occupancy Permit for a Minor POPE

    If your event is: 

    • open to the public (not by invitation)
    • on a site larger than 500 sqm that is in any way enclosed

    you may need to apply for an Occupancy Permit for a Place of Public Entertainment (POPE). 

    Community organisations don't need a POPE if:

    • it is a ticketed event
    • there are no more than 5,000 people attending at any one time

    Apply for Siting of Prescribed Temporary Structure and/or Occupancy Permit for a POPE now

    Notify Public Transport Victoria (PTV)

    You'll need to contact PTV if you are planning to have more than 5,000 people at your event.

    Learn more about events and their impacts on public transport from PTV.

    Will the event impact roads, footpaths or car parks?

    Check if the event complies with food and alcohol regulations

    At least 2 months before the event.

    Your event plan should indicate whether there will be food, beverages or alcohol at the event, and confirm you and your traders have applied for the appropriate permits and licenses.

    You don't need permission to serve food or drinks to your guests for free. 

    But traders who sell food or drinks at the event must register with their Council (except Class 4 traders, who must notify their Council).

    Cupcakes on sale

    Permits and registrations for food traders

    As the event organiser, you need to:

    • make sure that all temporary and mobile food traders are registered with their Council using Streatrader the state government’s online system
    • obtain and keep copies of all your traders’ registration certificates (except Class 4 traders)
    • inform traders of all classes that at least 10 days before your event, they must lodge a Statement of Trade via Streatrader citing the date and Boroondara location where they will be trading
    • check whether food outlets will be located in a car park or street
      If they are, apply for a Permit to Occupy Council-Controlled land
    • check whether any of your traders will be selling alcohol
      If they are, they need to obtain Temporary Limited Licence (TLL) from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation 
      Processing a TLL can take at least 8 weeks.

    Smoking and tobacco

    As per the Tobacco Act 1987, smoking is banned in all outdoor eating areas. Various additional controls apply to public events, based on the number of food vendors onsite.

    View Department of Health and Human Services tobacco fact sheets and guidelines.

    Food vans

    Some vehicles pose a risk to grass, watering systems and surfaces and may not be permitted in our parks.

    If there will be food vans at your event, include the details in your Event Plan, so that the Event Officer can advise on whether they are allowed at the venue.

    To prevent noise pollution in residential areas, it’s important that the person in charge of the vehicle adheres to EPA regulations for mobile vendors.You can find these in the EPA Victoria Noise Control Guidelines.

    Alcohol and visitor behaviour

    To reduce disorderly behaviour at events where alcohol is sold or served, we recommend:

    • arranging for accredited security officers to be on site, near where people are drinking
    • organising to provide water, free of charge.

    Find out more

    Contact us with any questions about food and alcohol at your event.

    Will there be food, beverages or alcohol at the event?

    Plan for responsible waste management

    At least 2 months before the event.

    In the event plan, provide a Waste Management Plan that describes how you will manage rubbish and recycling at your event.

    The Waste Management Plan should include:

    • plans for reducing litter on and adjacent to the site (including communications before and announcements during the event)
    • plans for delivering and collecting additional wheelie bins and skips for both landfill and recycling, and contractor details
    • numbers and site locations of both landfill and recycling bins
    • plans for signage and bin labelling
    • communications, direction and support provided to stallholders and food vendors about the use and disposal/recycling of plastic bags, cups and utensils, and polystyrene, as well as the encouragement of the investigation and use of alternatives
    • details of team members allocated to cleaning the site after the event – removing all litter and cleaning up any spills or breakages
    • the person with overall responsibility for waste management and cleanup
    • event day contact details for people responsible.

    How much waste will my event generate?

    Expect to generate one litre of waste per person per meal.

    This varies with the type of event. Food and wine events may generate more waste per person than other events.


    1,000 people = 1,000 litres of estimated waste
    Divide 1,000 by 240 litres (per wheelie bin)
    Hire 4 wheelie bins (2 recycling and 2 landfill) … plus one more to be sure.

    If you expect more than 100 guests and are serving food or alcohol, you will probably need to hire additional wheelie bins for landfill and recycling.

    Food and beverages outdoors

    Serving food or beverages increases the amount of waste to manage.

    Sustainability principles for greener events

    All events generate some waste. However, there are many ways to run a 'zero waste event' such as:

    • providing or asking attendees to bring their own reusable plates, cups, napkins and cutlery
    • providing jugs of water/drinks or supply a drinking fountain with reusable cups
    • avoiding single-use plastics, such as straws, plastic condiments, water bottles, plastic bags, coffee tubes and balloons  
    • setting up a station with clear signage to collect all organic waste to go to compost or into your green waste bin
    • having recycling bins with very clear signage
    • using 100% recycled plastic bin bags

    By planning ahead and incorporating waste management initiatives into your event you will be helping to protect our environment and waterways from littering.

    Attach your Waste Management Plan to your event plan. Then go to the next step

    Prepare a letter for nearby residents and businesses

    At least 2 months before the event.

    In your event plan, include a copy of the written notice you will send to nearby residents and businesses notifying them of your upcoming event.

    A copy of this notice is required if your event needs a Permit to Occupy Council Land or a Road and/or Footpath Occupancy Permit. (See step 5 of this guide to learn more about these permits.)

    You also need to include the date you will distribute the letter and how many you will send in your plan.

    The letter should contain the following details:

    • the name of the event organisers
    • the name, date and location of the event
    • the purpose of the event
    • number of audience/participants expected
    • details of any disruptions to residents and businesses
    • details of any road closures or changed traffic conditions or changes to public transport services (if applicable)
    • a contact name and number for further information or queries.

    We will review the letter as part of your request.

    Create a draft letter for nearby residents and businesses. This is the last item to attach to your event plan.  Then go to the next step to see what other items you may need to submit to Council.

    If requested, prepare a Risk Assessment and Emergency Management Plan

    At least 2 months before the event.

    When you submit your venue booking request, the Events Officer may ask you to provide a Risk Assessment Management Plan and an Emergency Management and Evacuation Plan.

    It is the responsibility of the event organiser to provide a safe environment for volunteers, contractors, staff and the public.

    Risk Assessment Management Plan

    Your Risk Assessment Plan should identify all the hazards that could befall your event, whether environmental, physical, chemical or organisational.

    It should also cover details surrounding an event cancellation procedure.

    You should provide details of how you will manage these situations, including how you will communicate with all of your stakeholders and patrons. 

    Download the Risk Assessment and Management Guide (DOCX, 29.6KB).

    Emergency assembly point signage

    Emergency Management and Evacuation Plan

    An Emergency Management and Evacuation Plan should identify:

    • the event's Emergency Coordination Centre and contact phone numbers
    • the nearest Emergency Response Providers, with a list of contact details
    • the Emergency Management Team members’ roles and responsibilities and contact numbers
    • the number of first aid service providers, their location on site and communications protocols
    • the number of staff or volunteers on the site
    • protocols for communicating, managing and actively directing the response to any fire, medical, security and safety-related incidents
    • evacuation protocols and people responsible, including arrangements for helping the elderly, children, and people with a disability
    • locations of emergency vehicle access points
    • emergency exits
    • size and timing of any scheduled and approved fireworks display.

    You’ll find further advice in Worksafe's 'Advice for managing major events safely' guidelines.

    Crowded places assessment  

    It is a requirement that all large events review their risk and event management in line with the Federal Government’s document Australia’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism

    The Federal Government also provides a Crowded Places Self-assessment Tool for event organisers to complete.

    Have you been asked to provide Risk Assessment and Emergency Management Plans?

    Take out public liability insurance, if required

    At least 2 months before the event.

    When you submit your venue booking request, the Events Officer may instruct you to take out public liability insurance cover for the event period.

    If so, you'll need to notify the insurer of the event date and declare the City of Boroondara as an interested party.

    The insurer should issue you with a certificate of currency showing a minimum of $20 million coverage.

    Do you need to take out public liability insurance for your event?

    Get permission for fireworks or pyrotechnics, if required

    At least 2 months before the event.

    Setting off fireworks is illegal in Victoria unless the operator holds a Licence to Use Fireworks as a Pyrotechnician. These licenses are issued by WorkSafe. 

    For more information, see guidance on using fireworks from WorkSafe, or call 1800 136 089.

    Notify us

    Email a copy of your operator’s license and the notification to discharge fireworks that was lodged with Worksafe to [email protected].

    You will also need to provide a copy of the operator's Public Liability insurance certificate of currency. 

    If permission is granted by us, a fee will be charged.

    Will your event include fireworks?

    Prepare a site plan if requested

    At least 2 months before the event.

    When you submit your venue booking request, we may ask for a site plan.

    A site plan is a detailed drawing or image of an event site with the locations of all important facilities clearly marked.


    The site plan may include:

    • accessible paths, car parks and toilets, amusement rides and inflatables
    • drinking water locations, emergency vehicle entry points and access routes
    • entrances and exits, site office and/or operations centre, fire extinguishers and first aid posts
    • food vendors and stalls, marquees and parking
    • generators or power boxes
    • an information point and a site for lost children or lost property
    • stages

    Download an example of a site plan (299.46KB).

    Help preparing a site plan

    Contact us for more information or help preparing your site plan. 

    Have you been asked to prepare a site plan?

    Send your initial and then final event documentation to Council

    When should I do this?
    Submit initial documents at least 2 months before the event.
    Submit copies of permits and final documents at least 2 weeks before the event.

    Submit initial event documents

    At least 2 months before your event, send the documentation you've gathered to your Council contact.

    In the email message, list any permits or approvals you have applied for that are still pending.

    We'll review and advise of:

    • any information you still need to provide
    • any permits or approvals you still need for your event.

    Submit final event documents, including copies of permits and permissions

    At least 2 weeks before the event, email your final event documentation to your Council contact.

    Include any additional information we've asked you to provide, as well as copies of any permits, certificates or licenses you need for your event.

    Council approval

    We will review your event documents and, as long as there are no items outstanding, approve your request to hold the event.

    Booking fee and bonds

    If you're booking one of our venues, you'll receive an invoice for the venue booking fee when your event is approved.

    • If the event poses a risk of damage to the venue, Council may also request an event bond.
    • If you require vehicle access to the venue, Council will charge a key bond.

    View fees for open space hire.

    When Council invoices you for venue hire, you may also be asked to pay a bond.

    Type of bond

    Bond amount

    When is this refunded?

    Event bond

    Requested when aspects of the event pose a risk of damage to the park.

    Minimum $200 up to the amount, as per risk calculated

    The bond is refunded in full 4 weeks after the event if the site is left in the same condition it was prior to the event.

    Key bond

    Required if you are provided with a key for access to the venue.


    The bond is refunded when the key is returned

    Submit your initial, and then final documentation and pay the invoice. Then go to the next step.

    Event day, venue inspection and bond refund 

    When do these activities occur?
    In the event lead-up, on the day and 4 weeks afterward.

    Event lead-up

    In the 2 weeks leading up to the event, remember to deliver copies of your approved notification to nearby residents and businesses, giving them the opportunity to attend, or avoid, the event.

      Day of the event

      On the day of the event, ensure that staff members and volunteers:

      • manage waste responsibly
      • know what to do in case of an emergency
      • comply with food and beverage responsibilities
      • adhere to any conditions set out in permits related to the event.
      Guests enjoying music at a local park

      Post-event venue inspection and bond refund

      After the event ends, Council will inspect the event area to ensure the park, garden or sportsground is left in the same way it was prior to the event.

      • If the site is clean and undamaged, your event bond will be refunded.
      • Where there is waste or damage, we may need to retain funds to cover cleanup or repairs.

      If you paid a key bond, this is refunded when you return the key.

      We wish you a successful event.

      You can exit the guide

      Clean park

      If the venue is clean and undamaged, we will return the full value of your bond.