The Process of Planning an Event

Event organisers should

  • VIEW the NCA Events Policy and Heritage Management Plans relevant to your chosen event site
  • CONTACT the National Capital Authority's Events Team at or on (02) 6272 2901
  • DISCUSS the suitability of various venues and availability of booking
  • SELECT a preferred venue
  • SUBMIT a completed Event Application Form
  • COMPLETE an Application for Works Approval Form if the event involves structures to be erected (Pre-Event inspections may be required)
  • PREPARE a Risk Management Plan upon request by the NCA
  • PROVIDE a copy of insurance for the event organiser/organisation upon request by the NCA
  • LIAISE with other agencies (ACT Government, Australian Federal Police, emergency services) if required

The NCA will then

  • ISSUE a permit and/or works approval
  • ADVERTISE any relevant Road Closures
  • REQUEST feedback on the venue, our services and the success of your event.
  • INSPECT the site post event for any damage to the site and adjacent areas

General Information

When planning an Event on national land consider

To ensure that the planning and eventual outcome of your event is successful, there are a number of procedures that you may be required to address. These include, where applicable, the following:

  1. A permit for the Use of Unleased Land. The Authority, on receipt of the relevant required documentation, will issue the client with a permit approving the conduct of the event.
  2. An Indemnity Form. An indemnity form must be signed by the relevant event organiser/organisation. This form is available from the Events and Outreach Unit of the National Capital Authority – (02) 6272 2919).
  3. Works Approval Application. An application must be made for any works (including signage/banners, water buoys, etc) in Designated Areas. An application for works approval normally incurs a $110 administration fee which, if required, is payable on application.
  4. Relevant maps. Maps/diagrams showing the layout and area(s) that the event will geographically occupy (including, if relevant, any routes, vehicle parking areas, assembly and dispersal points, proposed road closures and placement of signage/banners) are to accompany the Works Application, as well as any appropriate material showing and describing all the proposed works. It is the responsibility of the event organiser to contact the Authority's Estate Unit prior to the erection or placement of any approved event-related works for an on-site pre-event inspection and layout brief.
  5. Public Liability Insurance. To cover ALL aspects of the event (including activities that fall under the umbrella of the event); the minimum required sum is, in most cases, $10,000,000 (ten million dollars); however, some events may require a higher figure.
  6. An Event Risk Assessment. Unless informed by the Authority otherwise, All events involving the public as participants and/or spectators are required to have a relevant and appropriate risk management plan in place.
  7. Financial Bond. Where there is a possibility of damage to Commonwealth Land/property events may be subject to a bond. Charges will apply for any necessary post-activity clean-up carried-out by the Authority.
  8. Australian Federal Police co-ordination. For any relevant police support/approval: (02) 6126 9502.
  9. A Lake and/or Road Closure Public Notice. A road and/or Lake closure notice (with regard to an event's relevant road and/or Lake closures, and/or the employment of explosives and/or pyrotechnics) must appear in the Canberra Times newspaper at least 7 (seven) days in advance of the activity. It is the responsibility of the Authority to publish and pay for any road/Lake closure notices. However, it is the responsibility of the event organiser to request the relevant closures, supply the Authority with the necessary locations, dates and timings, and to liaise with Roads ACT for a road management plan, as well as the placement and cost of explosives/pyrotechnics notices.
  10. A road closure management plan. It is the responsibility of the client to contact Roads ACT ((02) 6207 6601) with regard to the production of a road closure management plan.
  11. Environment ACT approval. With regard to event-related excessive noise standards – including early/late noise activity: (02) 6207 9777. Contact should be made with Environment ACT at least 8 weeks prior to the event date.
  12. ACT Dangerous Goods Unit approval. With regard to restrictions on the use of explosives and/or pyrotechnics: (02) 6207 6353).
  13. Liquor Permit. A liquor permit is required from the ACT Office of Fair Trading's Registration and Client Services Unit for the sale of liquor (including an extension of an OFF liquor licence) on Unleased National Land. The Unit ((02) 6207 0568) will require an Authority letter of approval to sell liquor on the Land (the Office of Fair Trading requires three (3) working days to process the permit).
  14. Security Personnel. Event organisers wishing to employ security personnel for an event must ensure that the personnel are registered with the ACT Office of Fair Trading's Registration and Client Services Unit ((02) 6207 0568).
  15. A permit for the use of motorised powerboats on Lake Burley Griffin. Applications for powerboat permits are available from the Authority's Estate Unit ((02) 6271 2897).
    Further details may be obtained from the Authority's National Capital Promotions Unit Events Officer on (02) 6272 2919.


The issuing of Authority power/access keys and/or remotes incorporates a $25 bond.

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