Occupancy permits for events

Under the Building Act 1993, you need an occupancy permit for an event at a place of public entertainment, or to build a temporary structure. We administer occupancy permits, and enforce any permit breaches.

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There's a slightly different permit process for places of public entertainment and temporary structures. The main application form is the same, but occupancy permits for temporary structures also require siting approval.

Places of public entertainment

You need an occupancy permit to hold an event in a place of public entertainment. This is a building or place used, or intended to be used, for public entertainment or a public meeting. 

We define it as:

  • a public assembly building of more than 500 square metres, or
  • a place of more than 500 square metres which is enclosed or substantially enclosed, or where an admission fee or other consideration is needed.

These definitions could apply to a theatre, nightclub, hall, sports ground or large temporary structure.

For more information on when you need an occupancy permit, download our Places of public entertainment — legislation extracts (PDF, 74KB).

Entertaining on Council land

If you want to conduct public entertainment on Council land, you must contact our Recreation Department on 9524 3333 for approval. This is in addition to getting an occupancy permit.

How to apply

To apply for an occupancy permit for places of public entertainment, please complete our Places of public entertainment application form (PDF, 220KB) and pay the relevant fee. 

You also need to supply a site context plan showing existing buildings and other features, including fire hydrants and hose reels. The application form explains what other information you need to give us.

Please note: you need an occupancy permit regardless of whether building work has occurred. If building work has been carried out, you may apply to a relevant building surveyor. An appointed private surveyor may issue a combined occupancy permit under Divisions 1 and 2 of Part 5 of the Building Act.

Temporary structures

You need both an occupancy permit and siting approval for temporary structures.

The Building Regulations 2018 define a temporary structure as being a:

  • seating stand for more than 20 people
  • tent, marquee or booth with a floor area of more than 100 square metres
  • stage or platform with a floor area of more than 150 square metres
  • prefabricated building with a floor area of more than 100 square metres.

Building temporary structures

You must use qualified and registered building practitioner to build your temporary structure. Your registered builder can issue a compliance certificate, stating compliance with the conditions of the occupancy permit.

This may include requirements for fire extinguishers, exit and emergency lighting, and other safety measures.

How to apply

To apply for an occupancy permit for for a temporary structure, please first complete our Places of public entertainment application form (PDF, 220KB) and pay the relevant fee. In most cases the Victorian Building Authority will issue these permits.

After we issue this permit, the person responsible for building the structure must get a siting approval from us.

To apply for siting approval, please complete our Temporary structures siting application form (PDF, 174KB) and pay the relevant fee.

Please ensure you include the following with your siting application:

  • site plans
  • full details of the temporary structure(s)
  • a copy of the occupancy permit.

After you apply, we'll inspect the area within 48 hours and make a decision shortly after. In most cases our municipal building surveyor, under a delegated authority, grants this approval.