Council issues licences for a number of sites for functions, activities and events such as weddings, fairs, markets and concerts.
We advise on the licensing requirements for specific activities and events such as aircraft activities, the erection of banners, catering, ceremonies, circus acts, filming and private functions in parks or at beaches.
If you are required to obtain a licence an application form will be forwarded to you for completion, then your form will need to be returned to Council for assessment. You may also be asked to provide additional information to assist with the assessment of your application. To check if your activity or event requires licensing please contact us (see bottom of page for contact information).
The use of helicopters in parks for non-emergency purposes is not permitted (with the exception of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service). All other aircraft activities within parks such as parachuting and hot air ballooning requires prior approval from Council and will be assessed on a case by case basis.
With the exception of The Foreshore, temporary banners in parks are not allowed unless approved as part of a licensed event. Council may approve the banners on designated banner posts along The Foreshore provided they are limited to recognised community related and / or non profit organisations and / or causes.
Council has no objections to small scale commercial catering* as part of a private social gathering, community activity, event or commercial function provided the applicant and caterer meets any conditions and requirements.
All events and activities that include catering require a licence. Where the event organiser is an individual member of the public and is not representing an incorporated charity, business or organisation etc., then Public Liability Insurance may not be required from the organiser depending on the event.
Where the event organiser is a company, organisation, charity etc. and the site and / or activity falls outside the parameters of their 'usual business' their Insurance Policy must specifically note the event. In all instances the caterer is required to have Public Liability Insurance indemnifying Council.
*Catering is defined as food prepared by a commercial operator either on site, or off site and brought on site by the operator.
All public ceremonies in parks require licensing.
Weddings / Naming Ceremonies
The holding of private ceremonies for weddings and naming ceremonies are licensed at a number of parks.
For more information see Wedding Ceremonies (For information about wedding receptions please refer to Private Functions below.)
Funerals and / or the presence of a coffin in a park will not receive approval for licensing. Memorial services can be held without a coffin and may require licensing depending on the size of the service and the proposed location.
Small, informal gatherings for the spreading of ashes are permissible and do not require licensing.
Appropriately licensed circus acts are permissible within the Newcastle City Council area provided the circus does not use exotic animals.
Richardson Park, Hamilton is the designated site for the exhibition of circus acts. Other sites may be considered only if necessary and appropriate.
Council licensing approvals for circuses are subject to development consent, and may require public notification. Should public notification be required, applications must be submitted to Council no less than four months prior to the event.
All filming in parks is managed in accordance with the Local Government Filming Protocol which details applicable fees and charges, administrative procedures and other requirements.
Further details can be obtained by contacting Screen Hunter on 02 4978 4014.
Private functions* such as picnics, barbecues and other similar social gatherings may not require licensing (i.e. if there are less than 50 people attending and there are no third party commercial providers being hired). However, each application will be assessed on a case by case basis depending on a number of factors such as the size, nature and location of the proposed event or activity. Council reserves the right to request that any organiser of any event or activity provide public liability insurance prior to approval of a licence.
* A private function is a function that the general public is excluded from participating in. It may be organised by an individual, a group or a company e.g. a corporate Christmas party, family reunion etc.
Council does not permit the holding of wedding receptions (or similar events) in open spaces due to a range of impacts including WH&S, noise, consumption of alcohol etc.
Public Notification of Events and Activities
In some cases, events and activities held on public land managed by Council require public notification. Public notification may be required for events that are of a duration of three or more consecutive days. The public notification process can be lengthy and may result in an application that requires approval from the Minister. Such applications must be submitted to Council no less than four months prior to the event.
Advertising costs relating to the public notification are to be met by the event organiser.
Current costs of park hire
Administration fee: $125
Administration fee (charities/not-for-profit groups): $52
*Late Administration fee: $245
Park/Beach usage fee: $62 (4hrs)
Shelter/rotunda hire fee: $95 (4hrs)
Electrical fee: $55 (single phase), $173 (three phase)
Key deposit: $170 (refundable)
*Late application fee applies to any application received by Council less than 15 days prior to the date of the event. (This applies to charity and not-for-profit groups also.)
Please note: The above fees are an example of the minimum fees and charges which apply for private events. Fees for commercial, community or charity events will be determined following an assessment of your application.
To make an enquiry or check availability please contact Customer Service on (02) 4974 2000. You can also email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
See Event Planning for more information on the event application process.
See also frequently asked question pages Park Bookings and Park Enquiries
For sports related enquiries see Sportsground Bookings or please also contact Customer Service on (02) 4974 2000.