4. Operational Requirements

You must obtain permission if you wish to hold a community event in a public place including:

  • parks
  • reserves
  • streets
  • malls

4.1.1 Holding Events/Activities In Hawkesbury City Public Spaces

There may be a fee for the use of public space if that use limits public access to the facility and/or if the use is for commercial, profit-making, purposes.

Contact Infrastructure Services on 02 4560 4647 who will be able to advise on what features that venue may have eg. power, water, playground, BBQs etc.

Once you have booked the venue, you will receive an application form which requires you to provide detailed information of the nature of your event including:

  • the purpose of the event
  • the date
  • time
  • budget
  • expected numbers
  • power and water requirements

Further to the application form you will also be required to provide:

  • programme of activities
  • traffic management plan (section 4.1.2)
  • site map of the event area
  • risk assessment (section 4.3.4)
  • sample of promotional material and its distribution area
  • copy of this application should also be sent to emergency services including:
    • Police: Police Service NSW, Hawkesbury Local Area Command, 13 Mileham Street, Windsor 2756
    • Ambulance: Ambulance Service of NSW, 668 High Street, Penrith 2750

If you wish to book a Community Hall within the Hawkesbury City area view Community Facilities for hire or phone 02 4560 4444.  There is sometimes a cost involved with booking a Community Hall.

Windsor Function Centre is a Council-owned building managed by H & H Hotel Group.  Event organisers wishing to use the Function Centre will need to liaise with the Centre Manager on 02 4577 9399.  Booking fees apply, but community groups may apply to Council for a donation toward the cost.  See 2.1 Government Grants for information on Council's sponsorship program.

4.1.2 Traffic Management

Hawkesbury City Council has an information on Special Event Traffic.  This provides all the necessary information for submitting an application.  Applications must be submitted 6 months prior to the event after which a late fee will be charged.  If you have any queries regarding the procedure please contact the Design Engineer on 02 4560 4520.

The RMS publishes a comprehensive Special Events Manual in three parts (Version 3.4 last updated August 2006):

For more information phone 132 701 or go to the website at http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au and follow the links to: Using NSW Roads/useful downloads.

The RMS is not involved in events which only affect local roads.  A Local Traffic Management Plan (Local, State or Regional roads) must be prepared by the event organiser and submitted to Council.

When you fill in your application for an event permit you must provide details of any required road closure, what human resources you will provide to manage the closures, what equipment you will provide (eg. barriers/cones/signage) and a map of the road closure area.

It is a legal requirement that road closures are advertised to the public.  There are advertising costs associated with this which the event organiser will be required to pay.

Other requirements for a road closure may be:

  • installation of barriers and signs
  • marshals and appropriate clothing for them (eg. fluorescent or identifiable vests or t-shirts)
  • parking restrictions and associated signage (section 4.1.3 Parking)
  • advisory signage (section 3.5 Signage)
  • consultation with businesses and residents affected by the road closure (section 4.5 Consultation)

In addition, an application must be made to the RMS for a road licence permit to ensure that no roadworks will be undertaken on the day of your event.

4.1.3 Parking

Parking for public

Parking restrictions will not be changed for the purpose of providing free parking for those attending the event. However, some options for public parking are:

  • arrange to use local schools, churches, halls etc.
  • advertising local car parks as part of the event promotion
  • 'park 'n' ride' options if parking is far from the event
  • use of charter buses

Parking for event employees/participants:

  • arrange parking on nearby private properties
  • special 'event' parking area; these require a parking pass and marshals to staff the area
  • use of charter buses

4.1.4 Food Stalls and Permits

If your event is being held within Hawkesbury City Council local government area, you will need to indicate whether you intend to have food stalls at your event as part of completing your event application form.

Food handlers are required to abide by the NSW Food Act 2003.  Food handling guidelines for temporary events can be found on the NSW Food Authority website and provides a checklist for all necessary requirements.  The event must be registered with the council and NSW Food Authority.

Preparation of food for sale in any buildings, vehicles or stalls for public consumption must comply with guidelines set out in Council's Food Safety Guidelines for Charities and Community Organisations brochure.  Food vendors are encouraged to read the requirements of the Food Standards Code in collaboration with the said brochure.  Council runs a one-day Food Handling Training course, and it is recommended for both event organisers and food handlers.  For more information please contact Hawkesbury City Council Environmental Health Officer on 02 4560 4572.

If you have a large number of food sellers at your event, it is possible to engage the service of an Environmental Health Officer to talk to all your food traders about what standards are required when selling food to the public.

It is preferable that you use traders who have a Food Handling Hygiene Certificate.  Traders who do not meet certain standards may not be allowed to trade, which may limit the number of stalls you have at your event.  Council's authorised officers attend events to ensure standards are being maintained.

4.1.5 Liquor Licences

If you want to supply alcohol at your event, you will need to obtain a special liquor licence.  According to the Sale of Liquor Act, anyone supplying or selling alcohol outside of their residential property (eg. outdoor spaces and community halls etc.) requires a special licence.

Obtain liquor licences from the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.  Applications for one-off events can be applied for online at www.liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au.  All servers must have the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA).

There are costs associated with a special liquor licence.  In addition, you should allow at least 6 weeks when applying for your special licence as approval may need to be sought from various authorities.

4.1.6 Fire Permits

For advice or information on fires in the Hawkesbury City area contact the Fire Station at Richmond (02 4578 1222 between 12.30pm and 2pm.  Leave a message if unattended).

You may be referred to the Rural Fire Service, depending on the venue of the proposed fire.  Permits are required by the NSW Fire Service all year round, and by the Rural Fire Service in the bushfire danger period which runs from the end of October to the end of March.

For fire permits, contact Hawkesbury Rural Fire District during business hours 02 4560 6400 or your local fire station.

4.1.7 Amusement Equipment

Inflatables (eg. jumping castles) and mechanical rides (eg. merry-go-rounds) are a great addition to family events, and a number of local suppliers can be found in the Yellow Pages under Amusement Equipment.  Every amusement device must be compliant with the Australian Standard A53533 (1997), and every device must have a log book.  In addition, contractors supplying amusement devices must have a minimum of $10 million public liability insurance, and mechanical devices must have WorkCover registration.  You are advised to deal with contractors who are members of either the Australian Amusement Association or the Sydney Portable Rides Operators.

4.1.8 APRA licences

Under the Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968, composers of music have a number of rights which allow them to make a living from their creativity.  If you intend having any sort of music at your event, you will need an APRA licence which authorises the public performance of copyright music including:

  • radio
  • TV
  • CD/tape player
  • live artist
  • DJ

Licence fees vary according to the nature of your event.  Call 1800 852 388 email licence@apra.com.au or http://www.apra-amcos.com.au.

4.2 Site Map

If you are holding an event in a Hawkesbury City park, street, mall or facility you will be required to supply a site map of the event area. The map should indicate the location of all:

  • activities
  • toilets
  • first aid stations
  • food stalls
  • parking areas
  • lost persons facilities
  • access for disabled people, etc.

The map can also be used in the publicity for the event and to guide the event attendees and participants around the site on the day.

Infrastructure Services staff may be able to provide you with maps of many of the parks around Hawkesbury City on phone 02 4560 4647.

4.3 Insurance, Damage, Health and Safety

When organising an event, there are a number of factors to consider in relation to insurance, damage to property and health and safety issues.

4.3.1 Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance must be held by the event organiser to provide the organiser with some protection if someone sues as a result of injury or damage.  Without such a policy, you the organiser (whether an individual or a committee) would be personally liable.

The cost of taking out public and product liability has risen dramatically in recent times, and some events have been denied insurance all together.

You can improve your chances by showing the insurance company that you run your event very safely.  Include a risk assessment and safety checklist in your pitch to show that you are doing everything possible to minimise chances of a claim, including how you will respond to an emergency.  Showing that you have done training in event organisation, first aid, food handling etc. all indicate a high level of safety.

It will also help your case if you can show that all contractors, performers, stall holders etc. have their own public and product liability insurance.

Pooling and group buying are recommended as part of the solution for small organisations/events unable to obtain insurance.

NB. Don't be tempted to disguise the facts - as with any insurance policy, failure to disclose could relieve the insurer of any burden to pay, and remember that you cannot be insured against any negligence on your part.  The Insurance Council of Australia has established an information line and a website addressing current issues.  Phone 1300 728 228 or go to http://www.insurancecouncil.com.au.

Public liability insurance must be held by the event organiser to provide the organiser with some protection if someone sues as a result of injury or damage. Without such a policy, you the organiser (whether an individual or a committee) would be personally liable.

4.3.2 Indemnity

The event organiser is required to agree to meet any claims made against Hawkesbury City Council as a result of the event.

4.3.3 Damage Bonds

You may be required to pay a bond to cover potential costs of repairing any damage and undertaking any clean up work, if the area is not left in the way it was found.

The bond amount will depend on the area you are using and the scale of activities you are undertaking. You will be required to pay the bond prior to the event, at least two weeks, so be sure to include it in your budget (2.7 Operating a budget)

4.3.4 Risk Assessment

The event manager/applicant must undertake a Risk Assessment of the event to be conducted including pre-event preparations. This assessment must identify potential hazards and the procedures that need to be implemented to eliminate or control those hazards.

The event manager/applicant is responsible for ensuring that procedures are followed and that they comply with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000.

4.3.5 OH & S - Legal obligations The organiser is regarded as the employer

Even where event organizers are acting in a totally voluntary capacity, they are is still regarded under the ancillary provisions to the Occupational Health & Safety Act as being employers and therefore subject to the Act.  This is the case with both large events, e.g. New Years Eve celebration, and small, eg. flower festival. Unpaid volunteers are regarded as employees

The provisions of the Occupational Health & Safety Act extend to people at the workplace who may not necessarily be covered by a strict Contract of Employment.  This covers people who might be expected to attend the event.  In the case of a public parade, spectators and people such as those who are working in stalls would be regarded as "persons at the workplace" and therefore the Event Organiser would be required to ensure compliance with the Occupational Health & Safety Act & Regulations. The route or location of the Event count as premises

Premises has an extended definition and includes anywhere where there exists an employer/employee relationship as defined above. Visitors to the premises

Includes event patrons, spectators and contestants and entrants.  Anyone present at the event with lawful intent, ie. not intending to commit a felony, is be regarded as a visitor to the premises.

4.4 Schedule/Checklist

It is important to have a schedule or checklist of all the things that need to be done and their deadlines. This will include:

  • Making sure that all equipment has been properly maintained, is in good working order and is operated by people who know what they are doing
  • Checking your power supply and access
  • Drawing up a plan for the delivery, set up, pack-down and return of equipment
  • Keeping a list of what has been borrowed or hired from who and where
  • Security. Keep an eye on things on the day. There is nothing worse than having the equipment you hired or borrowed walk off during the day. If possible, it is wise practice to leave a little extra in the budget for repairs after the festival, as wear and tear will occur and you may be in the position of having to pay for it

4.5 Consultation

If you have followed this guide from the beginning you will have consulted with all people likely to have an interest in the event, including those who may have issues or concerns.

Road closures, parking restrictions and traffic control will affect resident access to their properties and may also impact on workers accessing their place of business or customers accessing commercial properties and shops.

Before implementing road closures, traffic control or parking restrictions, you will need to work out how you will maintain effective access for local residents and businesses affected by the event.  It may be that there are short delays for residents accessing their street or they may be able to access it from a different way.  You could provide residents with special passes which allow them easy vehicle access to their properties.  If you are restricting parking in their street, you may need to provide alternative resident parking nearby.

If your event is likely to affect a business area, it's best to limit the event time to a day or time of day when the businesses are not open.  That way your event will not impact on their trading and won't prevent them from conducting their business.  Alternatively, you could design the event to get the local businesses on board.  Perhaps they could set up stalls in the street or cafes/restaurants could extent their trading hours.

The best way to communicate the details of your event to those who may be affected by it is to deliver a letter to all the resident/businesses within the impact area.  If the area is small, you could deliver the letter personally. However, if the area is large, you could get the letter delivered by a professional agency.  Australia Post and some private contractors can deliver to specific streets and localities.  The letter should include:

  • name of the activity
  • name of the organiser
  • general nature of the activity
  • duration of the activity including set up and pack down periods
  • organiser's contact details before and on the day of the event (including mobile phone numbers)
  • relevant contact details for appropriate local Council officers

Page ID: 7279