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NCA events policy

The National Capital Authority (NCA) is responsible for regulating the location and conduct of events on public national land. Areas of public national land available for events include the Parliamentary Zone, Commonwealth Park, Kings Park, Anzac Parade, Aspen Island and Lake Burley Griffin.


This policy provides a framework for the regulation of events held on public national land.


This policy recognises that the NCA:

  • designates the appropriateness of the national capital as a place for significant national and international events
  • encourages the use of public national land as a place accessible to all Australians
  • consults with key stakeholders to ensure the effective regulation and co-ordination of events on national land


Prior to approval by the NCA, all events will be required to satisfy the Assessment Criteria for Events, the Works Approval Assessment Criteria (where necessary), Conditions of relevant Heritage Management Plans and the Planning Checklist for Event Organisers.

Assessment criteria for events

Applications for events on national land will be assessed against the following criteria prior to determining final approval:

  • the organiserís capacity to stage and manage the event
  • venue capacity and impact of the event on the venue and surrounds
  • public safety
  • stakeholder consultation including the workings of national institutions
  • public access to the surrounding areas and amenities
  • heritage issues
  • a range of other matters specific to the event may also be considered by the NCA as required

The level of detail required for the approval of an event will be commensurate with the nature and scale of the event.

Assessment criteria for works approval

The key criteria used by the NCA when considering an application for an event related works approval on Designated Land (as defined in the National Capital Plan) are as follows:

  • type and scale of structures
  • public access and/or safety
  • duration of an event
  • permanence of structures
  • impact on the landscape and other assets
  • the use of vehicles
  • endorsement from the Presiding Officers (for works on Federation Mall)

Structures that impede public access will not generally be approved unless it is related to a commercial event where exclusive use has been granted.

Works approval will be approved for the minimum period required for the event.

Structures that have the potential to damage Commonwealth assets will not generally be approved. Engineerís certificates and detailed plans may be required for large structures.

Event related vehicles driven or parked on public landscape areas should be minimised as they are likely to damage the landscape and pose a potential hazard to the public. Spectator vehicles must be legally parked in designated parking areas.

A works approval fee of $25.00 applies for event related works applications.

Planning checklist for event organisers

A checklist of appropriate plans, consultation and approval requirements for an event have been developed by the NCA to guide event organisers when planning an event. Suitable venues for various activities on national land are detailed in the NCA events and venues fact-sheets.

Major events on national land checklist

Event proposal (submitted to the NCA)

  • event application form
  • event proposal

Consultation and planning

  • ACT Policing
  • Roads ACT
  • EPA
  • Emergency Services ñ Fire Brigade and Ambulance
  • Workcover
  • Office of Fair Trading and liquor licensing, security staff etc
  • Neighbours, Cultural Attractions and Businesses
  • Stakeholder briefing

Event plans (submitted to the NCA)

  • Risk management plan
  • Event operations plan
  • Emergency plan
  • Security plan
  • Event schedule 
  • Event contact list
  • Public Liability insurance

Event approvals

  • Regulatory agencies (as above) ñ evidence of approvals to be submitted to the NCA
  • Traffic management plan
  • NCA Road Closure or Lake Closure
  • Licence agreement or Permit
  • Financial bond and Licence fee (if applicable)

Works approval

  • Works approval form
  • Maps
  • Engineers certificates/structural diagrams

Event establishment

  • Pre- event inspections
  • Liaison with horticultural contractor

Post event

  • Post event inspection
  • Site rectification works
  • Debrief with stakeholders
  • Bond reconciliation

Commercial events

The NCA charges for the exclusive use of national land for the purposes of commercial events. Fees are charged to recover costs associated with the administration and management of national land. This will also include a bond that has been determined based on the level of risk that damage could occur to Commonwealth assets.

Conditions of use

Conditions of use relating to events on national land are issued through a permit under the National Land Ordinance 1989 or through a licence agreement (commercial events). A range of conditions of use may apply depending on the venue, the size and the complexity of the event. Conditions may relate to:

  • Safety, public health and risk management including cancellation of events due to safety issues Insurance and indemnity Works approval for structures
  • External approvals such as ACT Government regulatory agencies
  • Environmental protection and waste management
  • Parking and traffic management
  • Public access
  • Landscape and asset protection
  • Maintenance of Heritage areas


Event - an organised gathering of people that uses a specific venue and involves the installation of structures (works) and changed venue/traffic/parking/conditions.

Commercial Event - an organised event that requires exclusive use of an area and applies charges for entry to the event with the clear intention of making a profit.

Temporary Structures (Works) - includes any structure that is built and/or fixed to the ground.

Related legislation

  • Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988
  • Trespass on Commonwealth Lands Ordinance 1932
  • Roads and Public Places Ordinance 1937
  • Lakes Ordinance 1976

Related NCA policies

  • Lake Burley Griffin Recreation Policy
  • The Right to Protest Guidelines
  • Parliament House Vista Heritage Management Plan
  • Lake Burley Griffin Heritage Management Plan