Every event has its own story to tell whether it's about entertaining, educating or embracing and there's a chapter or two we're here to help you with.

In a nutshell, events and activities hosted on Community Land (parks and beaches) by a business, organisation or other entity require approval regardless of the number of people attending. Events and activities may be commercial, community-based or private and will be classified as either low, medium or high impact dependent on the nature and requirements of the event.As the event organiser you'll need to make sure you've got Public Liability Insurance (PLI) cover for a minimum of $20 million and Newcastle City Council will need to be noted on your Certificate of Currency. (You'll be asked to provide certificates for any 3rd party vendors as well and a minimum of $20 million cover is also required.)

If you're from a charitable or not-for-profit organisation we'll ask to see your registration, as well as a Fundraising Authority if funds are being raised as part of your event.

Our ultimate goal is to assist you in showcasing a safe, enjoyable and successful event and to do this event organisers are required to undergo an application and assessment process. Assessments help the City make a decision regarding appropriate use of the land in conjunction with the Plan of Management which governs that parcel of land. (We know that sounds confusing but basically that's our way of ensuring the protection of the asset and approvals are issued in the best interests of the community.)

Approval is granted in the form of a licence, also referred to as an event authorisation.

Application, licensing and other fees are applicable. See Fees and Charges.

Event Planning

As you can imagine events come in many shapes and sizes and each type of event will require specific documentation (in addition to your application form) to be submitted for assessment. Some documentation is mandatory (e.g. PLI certificates, charitable/NFP registration certificates, fundraising authority certificates and site plans) while other documentation will be activity dependent.

External regulatory approvals (e.g. SafeWork NSW for fireworks, or Department Industry Liquor and Gaming for Liquor Licenses etc.) may also be required for some events.

This process is explained further on the Event Planning page as well as time frames for the submission of your documentation. The Event Planning page also talks about requirements for hosting an event on a road, footpath or car park.

Promoting Your Event

We understand at some point you'll need to let people know about your event, however we ask you to refrain from invitation, promotion, advertisement or ticket sales until you've received approval (or at least a conditional approval) from the City. (Penalties apply.) Timeframes for the return of application forms and supporting documentation exist to allow Officers to undertake a thorough assessment so we can get an approval to you ASAP.

Once you've got your approval (or conditional approval) and you'd like to promote your event with us, you can head to the Promote Your Event page to lodge your request.

Wet Weather

Event organisers are required to perform a pre and post event inspection of a site in relation to current conditions. In some cases an Officer will attend these inspections and may determine an area is unfit for use. Poor conditions can be dangerous and it's important to us to ensure the safety of everyone involved as well as the protection of the asset.

We'll work with you to postpone your event or relocate it where possible, but if an event proceeds in poor conditions the costs of repairing damage caused as a result is the responsibility of the approval holder.

Public Notification

Some larger scale events will be required to undergo a public notification process. Instances where this is required include:

  • an event which will occupy Community Land for longer than 3 consecutive days (not including a Saturday and Sunday),
  • an event which requires the lifting of an Alcohol Free Zone (AFZ),
  • an event which will include a pyrotechnics (fireworks) display.

Public notification (which is essentially community consultation) can take place in several forms including letterbox drops, public notification signage and media releases. We'll talk with you more about this if required.


A Request for Proposal for the Operation of Markets in City Reserves from 2018 to 2020 was on public exhibition on our website from 5 July 2017 and was also advertised in the Herald. Applications for this process closed on 8 August 2017. The proposal invited established and new operators to make an application to operate a market at one of several parks recommended by the City for this type of activity on an ongoing basis (up to the end of 2020). The proposal also invited operators to make suggestions of other potential areas located within the Newcastle Local Government Area (LGA) to operate in.

There were several successful applicants who currently operate at various reserves around the LGA and unfortunately we aren't accepting further applications for ongoing markets at this stage. We're happy to negotiate your market being held on a casual basis (no more than two occasions per year up to the end of 2020) or more frequently should this decision be revised prior to the end of 2020.

Filming and Photography

Screen Hunter is the first point of connection between film makers and the Hunter region. They provide free support and advice on all aspects of filming in the Hunter and hold delegated authority to approve filming permits. Get in touch with the friendly team at Screen Hunter today.


City of Newcastle does not currently issue approvals for busking on Community Land. Busking activities include musical or other types of performances, fire breathing, flame twirling etc. Busking does happen however performers are doing so without the requisite City approval. Persons wishing to busk should be aware that Officers will regulate complaints regarding offensive noise and footway obstructions.

Charity Collectors (bucket collections)

The City does not currently issue approvals for charity collections taking place on Community Land either. It happens however is done so without the requisite City approval. Department of Fair Trading places conditions on this type of activity and should be contacted for more information.


We've saved you the effort of reading through the boring stuff but if that's your cup of tea, we issue approvals for Community Land under Section 68, Part D of the Local Government Act (LGA). If you have any questions regarding legislation please feel free to get in touch.

Questions? We're here simply Contact Us.