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Private activities on our reserves

Events and gatherings: Public Health (COVID-19 Public Events) Order 2020

On 15 March 2020, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard made an Order under Section 7 of the Public Health Act 2010 to force the immediate cancellation of major events with more than 500 people, at any one time.  Copy of legislation attached.  This Order is currently in place until 14 June 2020.


On 18 March, The Federal Government advised the cancellation of non-essential public gatherings of more than 100 people in indoor/enclosed spaces, as a precautionary measure to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19 amongst the Australian community.


**Please consider this legislation when applying for any new events or modifying your existing event.


The impact on communities across NSW and Australia is evolving rapidly, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council continues to work under the guidance of the NSW Department of Health and Australian Government Department of Health, however, the onus is on event organizers to make sure you comply with all relevant legislation and manage the risks associated with the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Regular updates can be found at
Australian Government Department of Health - Health alerts


Council maintains a wide range of parks and reserves within our local government area and regularly receives requests to use or hire our reserves for private functions. 

No approvals are granted for exclusive use of our parks and reserves as access by the general public is to be available at all times. When planning for your private function (which may include the use of barbecues, undercover areas, or other reserve facilities) please be considerate of other users at all times.   

Some examples of private functions include: 

  • Private ceremonies - includes weddings, christenings etc. Maximum time permitted for a private ceremony is two hours and we ask that you adhere to this timeframe. A fee applies to use a park or reserve for a private ceremony. 

    Please note - For the interests of all ceremony users Council understands that sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances activities may not run to schedule therefore  a buffer of 1 hour applies between ceremonies.  No back to back approvals will be issued.  Please be aware of this when making your enquiry via our web module.

  • Private functions - includes activities organised by an individual, group, club, association or company such as Christmas parties, family reunions or group barbecues. There is no fee payable to hold a private function on a park or reserve, however it is strongly recommended that you apply to Council to notify of your proposed activity. This helps us to manage use of the space and avoid conflicting activities. 
  • Functions at Sancrox Reserve - This reserve includes a tennis court (available to the general public - no bookings taken), BBQ's, shelter and basic kitchen facilities. (You will need to obtain a key if using the kitchen.) You will need to submit an application to Council to use the reserve and kitchen. There is no fee payable. 

Check the availability of a park or reserve 

You can check on the availability of a park or reserve by using Council's online event enquiry system. The system will show you which reserves are booked or available in a calendar schedule. To access the system, you will need to be using Internet explorer (8-10), Google Chrome or Firefox. The system does not work with i-devices.

Submit a venue query

What you should know:

  • Decorations can be used providing they are immediately removed after the event.
  • A low impact portable amplifier & microphone are permitted however the noise must be at a reasonable level and must not cause a nuisance or disturbance to other park users.
  • Chairs are permitted (max 20) for wedding ceremonies.
  • No structures are to be erected (small wedding arches are permitted).
  • No jumping castles, amusement devices or vehicles are permitted on parks and reserves for private functions.
  • The venue must be left in a clean and tidy condition at the completion of the event.

Approval process

Council will notify you of your approval in writing. The approval will outline conditions relating to your event and the use of the reserve.

Insurance requirements

Private ceremonies are covered under Council’s casual hirer’s insurance. Groups holding private functions are to provide their Certificate of Currency - Public Liability Insurance. These groups include:

  •     incorporated bodies
  •     sporting clubs
  •     associations of any kind

This page was last updated on: 19 March 2020