Application approval process
The National Capital Authority manages the national land within Canberra. NCA approval is required for events and all associated structures at these venues.
All event organisers should provide a completed Event Application Form. Event organisers may need to provide some or all of the following documents.
This list is an indication of requirements generally required for events. Additional requirements may be requested by the NCA that are specific to your proposed event. To ensure you are providing the correct documents, please speak with the Events Team.
- Works Approval Form - 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Site Map - with map showing placement of structures being erected on the site
- Music Licence - Any event on national land that incorporates the playing of commercial music must obtain a licence from the Australasian Performing Right Association and the Phonographic Company of Australia.
- Risk Management Plan - 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.
- Traffic Management Plan - for any events using roads with or without closures. Also relevant for lake based events. Traffic plans for road closures required from Event Organisers are produced in association with Roads ACT.
- 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.
- 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.
- ACT Dangerous Goods Unit Approval - With regard to restrictions on the use of explosives and/or pyrotechnics: (02) 6207 6353).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Evidence of Stakeholder Consultation - with neighbours, relevant authorities, AFP, etc
- Operations Plan
- Waste Management Plan
- Evidence of relevant ACT Government approvals - Liquor Licensing, EPA Approval etc
- Evidence of approvals from AFP, Emergency Services etc - For any relevant police support/approval: (02) 6126 9502
- 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.
Note: The issuing of Authority power/access keys and/or remotes incorporates a $25 bond.
Wanting to hold an event?
- Download and view the National Capital Authority's Events Policy.
- For Events within the Parliamentary Vista (Land Axis from Parliament House to the War Memorial), view the NCA's Parliamentary House Vista Heritage Management Plan and prepare to address these issues in your event application.
- For Lake Based Events, view the Lake Burley Griffin and Adjacent Lands Draft Heritage Management Plan.
- Select a preferred venue (a co-ordination and/or site meeting may be required).
- The Old Parliament House Tennis Courts - all booking enquiries for the hire of these tennis courts should be directed to email@example.com
What type of event is it?
- Private events include weddings, birthdays parties, engagement parties, vow renewals and farewells - Click here to register and check availability for private events on National Land
- Public, Commercial and Government Agency events/functions - Organisers of public or commercial events must use the Events Application Form available here.
Structures and vehicle access - additional approval required
You must obtain Works Approval from the NCA if you require any of the following for your event/function.
- tents, marquees, sun shelters
- vehicle access
- temporary sheds
- jumping castles, amusement rides (including slides and swings)
- platforms or stages
- scaffolding and/or towers for cameras or sound systems
- signage, flags and banners
- portable toilets
- pickets, stakes and fences.
A $110 works approval fee is required before your application will be processed.
No structures or vehicles may be erected/placed on site until your application is approved in writing by the National Capital Authority.
Site inspections are required if the event organiser intends to set up any structures or equipment at the venue. This may involve marking out of irrigation or landscape assessment.
Note: On receipt of you approval letter from NCA you will be advised if a site/irrigation mark out is required for your event. Please note it is the responsibility of the event organiser to arrange this with our contractor, at the event organisers cost.
Risk and Indemnity
- All events involve some degree of risk.
- Event organisers are required to complete a form indemnifying the Commonwealth or its agents against all claims that may result from the event. An indemnity form is available from the NCA.
- Event organisers will be required to show evidence of appropriate Public Liability insurance and may also be required to prepare a risk management plan.
Things To Note
- Parliamentary Zone. Major events may also require parliamentary approval. The Parliament House Precinct is managed by the Presiding Officers of the Parliament.
- Lake Burley Griffin Islands. Islands which can be booked for functions and events are; Aspen Island and Springbank Island. Events or functions on Springbank Island require the event organiser to arrange for their own transport to the island.
- Lake Burley Griffin. Applications for events on Lake Burley Griffin must be in accordance with the Lake Burley Griffin and Adjacent Lands Draft Heritage Management Plan.
- ACT Government Land. Several public parks and gardens along the foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin are managed by the ACT Government. Their approval is required to use the land for events. NCA approval is required for associated temporary structures.
- Weston Park
- Lennox Gardens incorporating Nara Park
- Black Mountain Peninsula
- Grevillea Park
- Yarralumla Bay
- Bowen Park
- Allow sufficient time for the planning and approval process.
- The NCA endeavours to handle all applications promptly but some applications require consultation with other agencies.
- Any road closures must be announced to the public via the press at least seven days before the event. These public notices are organised by the NCA.
- A $110 administration fee is charged for works approval for any events involving structures.
- Event organisers may be required to provide a bond to cover possible damage to the venue or its surrounds.
- Events may be charged a license fee or bond.
- Deposits are required for the loan of any NCA keys for gates, power and flag poles.
- An irrigation mark out may be required for a works approval, it is the responsibility of the event organiser to arrange this with our contractor, at the event organisers cost
Most venues have power outlets. A $25 deposit is required for the loan of any NCA keys for power use.
Event organisers are responsible for the cleanliness of the area during the event, as well as for clean-up afterwards. All venues must be left clean and tidy. If the waste management facilities are insufficient at your chosen site, additional facilities must be provided at the event organiser's expense.
The conduct of protests is covered in a separate Authority publication The Right to Protest - A Guide.
- Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Authorisation Form
- Download Guidelines to Planning an Event in the National Capital (577 Kb)
- Download Points to Address when Planning an Event (25 Kb)
Designated Areas Map
Information on the NCA's designated areas can be found here.