Planning an Event


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

From small family reunions to food and wine festivals, find out how we can support you to run a safe and successful event in the Colac Otway Shire.

Make an enquiry

Before You Start

  • The Pre-Planning Checklist(PDF, 791KB) provides a good basis for planning your new event
  • Develop the aim and purpose of your event;
  • Discuss 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;
  • Gather a group of like minded people who can help you plan and run the event, many hands make light work - so don’t try to do everything yourself;
  • Discuss how the event will be funded and develop a realistic budget. Council’s event team can assist you potential costs involved with running an event;
  • Start completing the event paperwork.


Planning Your Event

All public events must comply with the relevant COVIDSafe settings applicable at the time the event is conducted including developing and maintaining an up to date COVIDSafe plan for the event. For the latest restrictions please see the Coronavirus Victoria website.

Please Note:  All event application paperwork must be received by the Shire at LEAST 6 weeks prior to your event.  For a major or cycling event - all paperwork MUST be received 3 Months prior to the event.  Compliance issues take many weeks to resolve and complete so these timelines must be adhered to.  By not submitting your paperwork in this time frame, a permit may not be able to be issued.  

All events are required to submit the following paperwork:

Return all the above, to and Council’s event team will contact you with the next steps.

The Next Steps

Depending on the type of event and the time of the year the event is held some further paperwork may be required.  Council’s event team will let you know what extra paperwork is required, but it could include:

  • Traffic Management Plan - If your events closes a road, a traffic management plan must be developed by an accredited traffic management company.  You may also be required to contact the Department of Transport (Vic Roads) for a permit depending on who manages the road in question.  Council's event department will let you know what is required.  If your event is closing Local Shire roads, then a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) form(XLS, 142KB) needs to be completed and submitted along with the Traffic Management Plan - please discuss this process with the Events Officer.
  • Communication Plan - If you are closing a road you must notify residents in the road closure area and surrounding areas of the changed traffic conditions at least 6 weeks prior to the event. The Communication Plan will outline how you will notify residents affected by any road closures for your event and will include a copy of the resident notification letter. You will also be required to advertise the road closure in the local newspapers. 
  • Bush Fire Plan - All events held within the Fire Danger Period (usually from December to May) must complete the Colac Otway Shire Bushfire Plan(PDF, 1MB) .  
  • 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.
  • Consumption of Alcohol - If you are selling alcohol at your event you need to submit an application for a Consumption of Liquor in a Public Place Permit(PDF, 185KB) from Council and you will be required to obtain a Temporary Liquor License.
  • Contacting other agencies - You must notify Emergency Services in your area of your event, especially if you are closing the road.  Emergency service to be notified include:
    • Victoria Police
    • CFA
    • Ambulance Victoria
    • SES


Other Permits Your 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.
  • Planning Permit - If your event is held on private land you will 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

Public Liability

Public Liability Insurance for the hire of Shire owned Facilities eg. public hall is available by completing the Public Liability insurance Facilities application form(PDF, 227KB)

This form can be completed and emailed to with payment to be made either over the phone or in person at the Shire offices.

Colac Otway Shire does extend a small stallholder public liability insurance policy which covers 2 days for a cost of $45 which can be obtained via Customer Assistance at the Rae Street, Council offices. 

SunSmart Events

If your event is planned between November to April, the SunSmart website provides information for events which can be very valuable. 

Drone Use

Please review Aviation Australia's rules for Recreational Drone Users and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority website for further information. 

Other Event Guides

Face Painting Health Guidelines(PDF, 1MB)

Marquees and Smaller Structures(PDF, 2MB)

Public Liability Insurance(PDF, 728KB)

Road Closures(PDF, 646KB)

Selling and Serving of Food and Alcohol(PDF, 469KB)

Sponsorship Information Plan(PDF, 1MB)


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