Event Planning Guidelines


Are you planning an event to be held in the Colac Otway Shire?

From small performances and markets to major sporting events and festivals, find out how we can support you to run a safe and successful event in the Colac Otway Shire.

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Planning Your Event

1. Develop the aim and purpose of your event.

The  Victorian Guidelines for Planning Safe Public Events(PDF, 4MB) is a fantastic resource outlining basic guides and safety measures that need to be considered when planning an event as well as providing tools to help create a safe and well managed environment for all parties to enjoy.

2. Event Funding

Discuss how the event will be funded and develop a realistic budget. Be sure to check out the Colac Otway Shire Community Grants Program which offers grants to support events.

3. Event Planning

Be sure to read the Colac Otway Shire Events in a Public Place Policy before discussing your event idea and dates with the Colac Otway Shire Events Officer to better understand what permits or approvals may be required as well as timing considerations (such as other events taking place) that you may not be aware of.

4. Apply for permits

Start completing the event paperwork.

If you have any questions regarding your event proposal or the permit process, please contact the Events Officer on 5232 9400 or submit an enquiry.


Applying for an Event Permit

Application lead times

Further approvals (both internally and externally with other agencies) if required for permit sign off, can delay the permitting process heavily. To reduce the risk of delays impacting your event it is recommended to initiate the event permit application process as soon as possible. 

Recommended application lead times:

Small Events: at least six weeks prior to your event. 

Major Events (including cycling events): at least three months prior to the event.

By not submitting your paperwork in this time frame, a permit may not be able to be issued.  

Event Application Documents

All events are required to submit the following paperwork:

Please carefully review the checklist at the end of the application form to ensure you have included all required supporting documentation (eg. providing professional firms Certificate of Currencies for Public Liability Insurance for elements considered high risk) in your application prior to submitting to help streamline the application process. 

Return all the above, to inq@colacotway.vic.gov.au and Council’s event team will contact you with the next steps.

Additional Event Approvals

Depending on the nature of event and the time of the year it is held, further approvals may be required.  Council’s event team can assist you in understanding what your event will require but it may involve:

Traffic Management

A Traffic Management Plan is required if your event causes any alteration to normal traffic movement, including parking, pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles or if you require any section of any road or street closed for your event (closures must be included in resident notifications).

If the roads or assets involved are managed by the Colac Otway Shire, an Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) may be required. To apply for an MoA you will need to provide the following from an accredited traffic management company:

  1. MoA Application Form(XLS, 142KB)
  2. MoA Risk Assessment(XLSX, 17KB)
  3. Certified traffic management plans.  

If the roads involved are managed by the Department of Transport you will need to seek approval from themwhich may also require you to notify Public Transport Victoria if the proposed changes will impact their provision of public transport services.

If you have any questions around who manages what road or the documentation requirements, please contact the Events Officer on 5232 9400 or submit an enquiry.

Communication Plan

 To maintain a balance between the impact of events and the benefits they provide to the local community, significant importance is placed on notification to ensure the community are kept informed of any changes that may involve reduced access to public spaces and facilities, amplified noise, and changes to traffic conditions.

Event organisers are responsible for all costs associated with event notification activities.

Council's Event Officer will advise you on the extent of notification required. 

Bush Fire Management Plan

All events held within the Fire Danger Period (check the Country Fire Authority website for the declared Fire Danger Period for the Colac Otway Shire) must complete the Colac Otway Shire Bushfire Plan(PDF, 404KB)

Stallholders (Food Vendors)

All stallholders selling food must register a Statement of Trade on the Streatrader website.  For more information on health requirements at events contact Council's Health department on 5232 9400

Consumption of Alcohol

If you are selling alcohol at your event you may require a Temporary Liquor Licence (for more information visit the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission website. If alcohol is being consumed at your event you will need to apply for a Consumption of Liquor in a Public Place Permit from Council when completing your Event Permit application form(PDF, 575KB).

Event Roadside Signage

Approval from the relevant road manager is required to install roadside signage marketing your event.

For Department of Transport managed roads you are required to complete the application form(XLSX, 50KB) using the example application form(PDF, 37KB) as a guide on what fields to complete. You should also create a document summarising the signage details (size, colours and content on the signs) as well as more specific locations, as per the example supporting information document(PDF, 3MB) provided.

Contacting Other Agencies

You must notify Emergency Services in your area of your event, especially if you event may impact emergency services' access (eg. road closures) or if the event involves activities which pose a risk of injury to participants in a remote location.  Emergency services to be notified include:

  • Victoria Police
  • Country Fire Authority
  • Ambulance Victoria
  • SES
  • Local hospitals


Other Permits You May Require

Place of Public Entertainment (POPE) or Siting Permits

 Your event may require a POPE or Siting Permit depending on the size of the event, number of people attending or the use of a temporary structure such as a stage, marquee or tent. To ascertain whether a PoPE is required, please complete the PoPE assessment form(PDF, 782KB) (all 7 questions) and include it in your event application or return by email to inq@colacotway.vic.gov.au

Planning Permit

If your event is held on private land may be required to obtain a Planning Permit, please allow plenty of time (recommended to allow 6 months) to obtain the correct permit. Council's event department will notify you if these permits are required.   

Depending where your event is held there may be other permits required. Council’s Event team will advise you of which permits you need but they could include:


Other Helpful Information

Short Term Public Liability Policies

Facility Hire

Public Liability Insurance for the hire of Colac Otway Shire owned or managed facilities (eg. public halls) is available to be purchased by completing the Hirer's Liability (Facilities) Public Liability Application. 

The completed application can be emailed to inq@colacotway.vic.gov.au with payment to be made either over the phone by calling 5232 9400 or in person at the Colac Otway Shire Customer Assist Service centers.

Stall Holders, Performers and Artists

Colac Otway Shire also offers a public liability insurance policy for stallholders, performers and artists which can be applied for by completing the Performers and Stallholders Public Liability Insurance Application.

The completed application can be emailed to inq@colacotway.vic.gov.au with payment to be made either over the phone by calling 5232 9400 or in person at the Colac Otway Shire Customer Assist Service centers.

Event Organiser's Newsletters

To receive communication, from time to time, about Council funding opportunities, services, programs, e-newsletters and projects, relating to events, please sign up for the event mailing list below 

Sign up to Event Newsletters