Hiring parks and reserves for events


We maintain a wide range of parks and reserves within our region and regularly receive requests to use or hire our reserves for private and public functions. 

Private functions may include ceremonies such as weddings and christenings or activities organised by an individual, group, club, association or company such as Christmas parties, family reunions or group barbecues. 

A public event includes any event that is open to the general public or where an invitation or the purchase of tickets is required to participate, from an information stall to a complex event with marquees, road closures and/or any event with over 500 attendees.  

How to apply for use of a park or reserve

Use of our facilities is subject to our Terms and Conditions(PDF, 5MB).

We love supporting local events! Our staff continue to go above and beyond to ensure the planning process is smooth for organisers.

We require 4-6 weeks' notice for an event, due to processing times. This is really important, because there are a number of requirements to consider with these applications and our staff need to ensure the proper checks are conducted – for everyone’s safety. These requirements are placed on PMHC by higher levels of government and we must adhere to their laws.

We cannot prioritise late applications – it's not fair on others who are doing the right thing! And we cannot skip any of the important steps involved in processing the application.

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 function please be considerate of other users at all times. We will notify you of your approval in writing. The approval will outline conditions relating to your event and the use of the reserve.

Your responsibilities

  • Decorations can be used providing they are immediately removed after the event.
  • For ceremonies, such as weddings, 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.

Insurance requirements

Public liability insurance cover in respect to the proposed activity is required for all events held in our parks or reserves. A certificate of currency is to be obtained from your insurer stating the level of cover, period of cover and exclusion clauses. Your cover is to list Port Macquarie - Hastings Council as an interested party and have a minimum cover of $20 million. The certificate of currency is to be submitted at least seven days prior to the event. The event will not be permitted to proceed if a certificate of currency is not received by us.

When an event is held on Council managed land, the event organiser (group, company or person) needs to accept responsibility for the event. To indemnify Council means that the event organiser is acknowledging that Council will not be held liable for the event organiser's activities. In the unfortunate event that something does go wrong due to the organiser's negligence, then the organiser will be liable. 

Public liability insurance covers the person or organisation named on the insurance policy only. If you outsource market stall holders, entertainers, amusement operators, or any person not part of your organisation to take part in holding your event, unless your insurer agrees to cover them as part of your cover and this is noted on the policy, the onus is on the organiser to ensure that each person/group taking part holds their own public liability insurance. The purpose of public liability insurance is to protect the organiser from being sued by any member of the public who may attend the event who suffers injury or property damage due to the negligence of the organiser.

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

Please seek the advice of your insurance company, broker or underwriter prior to applying to hold an event to ensure that your cover will be sufficient for the proposed activity.  

Public liability insurance is available for individual market stallholders. Please check with your broker/insurer. 

Use of Council electricity at events

If Council has suitable power sources at your chosen venue, you may apply to access and use Council's electricity for the duration of your event. A daily charge will apply to access these power sources. You can contact our Electrical Projects Officer on 02 6581 8111 to discuss the suitability of your event's needs and organise access.

Events such as shows, carnivals, circuses or any other large events requiring electricity, may be required to pay for the electricity used during the event. If this applies to your event, the meter will be read with the applicant pre and post the event to determine the electricity usage as charged by our local supplier. The cost of the electricity used will be deducted from the bond held for the event. 

All electrical leads and/or equipment are to be set up by a licensed electrician, in accordance with the requirements of SafeWork NSW and the provision of Australian Standard AS/NZS 3002:2008, Electrical installations - Shows and

If electricity is not available and you require electricity for your event, you are to contact council's Electrical Projects Officer on 02 6581 8111 to organise access for your provider to install the temporary power source on the reserve area. Any associated costs are the responsibility of the applicant.

Vehicle access performance bond

Where vehicle access is required to a reserve, you will be required to submit a performance bond prior to the event (minimum $2,000). In other situations a bond may be required depending on the event and the potential risk of damage to the reserve.

When a performance bond is required, a pre and post event inspection will take place to ascertain the state of the reserve with Council's Park Supervisor and the applicant both present. If damage has occurred to the ground surface or associated fixtures as a result of the event, or rubbish and waste has not been removed by the event organiser, Council may use part of or the entire bond to repair or restore the venue to its pre event condition.

When no damage is caused to the venue the bond will be refunded in full. Please allow up to two weeks from the post-event inspection for the refund to be processed.

Waste Management

It is the responsibility of the applicant to organise the collection and removal of all waste from the venue that is generated by the event.

Public place waste bins within the event boundaries are not permitted to be used during the event or for post-event clean up.

An Event Waste Management Plan (EWMP) must be submitted and approved by Council no less than two (2) weeks before the event commences in accordance with the Developments, Public Place & Events - Waste Minimisation and Management Policy.

Please see the Event Organiser's Toolkit for Event Waste Management Guidelines and Event Waste Management Plan Template.

For further information and assistance, please contact Council's Waste Services Staff on 6581 8111.

Amusement devices

Mechanical amusement devices

Powered amusement devices must be registered with WorkCover NSW as required under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.

Such devices are to be erected and operated in accordance with

  1. all conditions specified on WorkCover NSW registration certificates including compliance with AS 3533 Amusement Rides and Devices, Part 2 – Operation and Maintenance and Supplement 1;
  2. compliance with the Australian Electrical Standards and Workcover codes for Electrical Installations and Electrical Installations for Shows and Carnivals; and/or
  3. any direction given by authorised council staff or energy supply staff.

Amusement devices shall not be operated unless there contract of insurance of indemnity for the provider of each amusement device is in force a, which indemnifies to an unlimited extent (or up to an amount not less than $20 million in respect of each accident) each person who would be liable for damages for death or personal injury arising out of: a) the operation or use of the device and b) any total or partial failure or collapse of the device, against that liability.

The applicant is required to supply a site plan indicating the proposed placement of each amusement device within the reserve.

A copy of the current Workcover Authority Registration and amusement operators public liability insurance is to be obtained by the event organiser and submitted to council prior to the event.

Non-mechanical amusement devices(incl. Jumping Castles)

It is the event organiser's responsibility to ensure the proposed devices are to be erected and operated in accordance with: a)   the Australian Electrical Standards for Electrical Installations and Electrical Installations for Shows and Carnivals; b) the manufacturers instructions, in a secure and safe manner, be structurally sound and capable of withstanding the loading likely to arise from its use; c) and/or any direction given by authorised council staff.

The device shall not be operated unless there is in force a contract of insurance of indemnity for the provider of the device, which indemnifies to an unlimited extent (or up to an amount not less than $20 million in respect of each accident) each person who would be liable for damages for death or personal injury arising out of: a) the operation or use of the device and b) any total or partial failure or collapse of the device, against that liability.

A copy of the current Workcover Authority Registration and amusement operators public liability insurance is to be obtained by the event organiser and submitted to council prior to the event.

Note - Amusement devices are not permitted on Town Green.  Westport Park is a more suitable location for these type of activities.

Temporary Structures

The erection of a temporary structure (tent, marquee, booth, stage etc) and the use of a temporary structure for the purpose of providing public entertainment are activities that may require approval under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The structures you propose for your event may be categorised as:

  1. Exempt development (no approval required)
  2. Complying development  (approval required but no environmental impact assessment)
  3. Development requiring development consent (environmental impact assessment required)

State Environmental Planning Policy (Temporary Structures) 2007 identifies the type of approval required with the key determinants being the structure's size, height above ground level, location and proposed use.

For further information on lodging a Development Application for a temporary event please contact our Development and Environmental Services Section on (02) 6581 8111.

Traffic Management

It’s the applicant's responsibility to ensure the safety and convenience of the public when holding a public event on Council reserves that impacts on traffic and/or parking, or involves a road closure.

A proposal to close a road or regulate traffic requires approval by Council as the designated authority for roads in the local government area. Under Section 64 of the Roads Act 1993, the Roads & Maritime Services is the designated authority in respect to classified roads, such as the Pacific Highway and areas of the Oxley Highway and its concurrence is required for any closure of a classified road. 

Section 122 under the Act requires that public notice be given of the temporary regulation of traffic that is anticipated under a traffic control plan and that such notice be given seven days prior to the event.

An application is also to be made to the Port Macquarie police for a road closure or for the regulation of traffic. 

A traffic control plan is to be prepared in accordance with Australian Standard 1742 and the Roads & Maritime Services publication:  Guide to Traffic and Transport Management for Special Events 

For all road closures, parking and traffic issues, please contact Council's Road's Safety Co-ordinator on (02) 6581 8111

Sale or Provision of Food

All temporary food premises are to comply with Council's Mobile Food Vending Policy, the Food Act 2003, Food Regulation 2010 and associated standards. If you are having a food stall/s at your event, your stall holders will need to hold a current licence or submit an application to operate a temporary food stall. 

NSW Food Authority has compiled guidelines addressing food safety issues, including hygiene and disposal of waste for applicants proposing to set up a food stall at a temporary event. The document Guidelines for Food Businesses at Temporary Events is available at NSW Food Authority at foodauthority.nsw.gov.au  

For further information regarding selling or providing food at your event, please contact Council's Food Safety Officer on (02) 6581 8111. 

Event safety

Risk Assessment and Risk Management

Before submitting your application you should carefully consider potential risks involved with the staging of your event. Once identified, the risks should be rated against the chance of them occurring and the impact they could have. Once potential risks are identified, a response can then be planned in case the situation does arise. The Australian standard for risk management is AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management - Principles and guidelines.

Once you have completed your risk assessment, you need to undertake an on-site check to ensure that all areas of risk and potential hazards have been addressed. 

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 places a duty of care on the event organiser to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the public as well as employees or volunteers that are involved with an event. 

Please consult with your insurer for their specific requirements for your event.


Water: The organiser is to ensure that drinking water is available during the event, particularly if the weather is hot, large crowds expected, or the event includes a parade or march. If you propose to sell alcohol at your event, you are required by law to have free drinking water available. If access to council's water supply is required you will need to advise us when making your application.

Toilet Facilities:  Where there are no facilities provided at the reserve, or the facilities on-site are insufficient for the number of attendees expected, the organiser is required to supply and maintain portable toilets. The number of toilets required at an event depends on the numbers attending, the duration of the event, if food and/or alcohol is available and the type of event planned.  Contact our Development & Environment Section for more information on 6581 8111.

Crowd Control, Contingency Plan and Security

When considering the site plan you will need to consider access for emergency vehicles and allow sufficient space for the free movement of the public from the event, especially should a fire or other emergency occur. 

Security measures proposed to ensure public safety and crowd control need to be addressed. 

A contingency plan should be adopted in the event of adverse weather or other circumstances that may cause the late cancellation or the need for emergency evacuation of the site. If wet weather prevails in the days leading to your event, we reserve the right to rescind any approval issued for use of the venue for the event, if we determine that by holding the event, damage may be made to the reserve. Please ensure that your have a backup venue should unsuitable weather conditions prevail prior to or during your proposed outdoor event.

If the event is to be for more than one day, please advise of the safety precautions and security measures to be undertaken in respect of equipment, structures and the like remaining on-site overnight. 

Apply for temporary banner

We have one permanent location where our community and event hosts can advertise their events using banners and this is located in Laurieton, at the corner of Ocean Drive and Kew Road.

Banner requests are accepted for events that are of interest to the community and not for private profit or commercial events. Messaging should be brief and readable. Banners can be placed up to seven days prior to the event and must be taken down within 24 hours of the event.

Banners should not be displayed without prior approval, must have the appropriate insurance cover and exclusive use is not guaranteed.

Other agency approvals

Some events may require additional approvals from other agencies

Aquatic Activities

An aquatic licence is required when organising an event such as a race, display, regatta, or any other activity which restricts the availability of navigable waters for normal use by the public. For application forms and information regarding aquatic licences contact Roads & Maritime Services at www.maritime.nsw.gov.au 

Public Assembly or Procession

If your event involves a rally, protest or procession you will need to lodge with the NSW Police Service a Notice of Intention to Hold a Public Assembly. This must be lodged at least seven days prior to the event. Please contact Port Macquarie police station for further details.

Liquor Act

If it is proposed to sell alcohol at your event, the applicant is required to apply for a limited licence (for single function). A limited licence allows liquor to be sold at functions or special events held by a non-profit organisation. The application must be received by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing at least 28 days prior to the event. A notice must be provided to council and the police within two working days of lodging the application. 

You may apply online at Service NSW. For other information visit the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

Music Copyright

Music is protected by copyright, therefore if you are having live or pre-recorded music in the form of a recording or video at your event you will need to obtain a licence from the Australian Performing Rights Association Ltd (APRA) to perform or communicate the music to the public. APRA deals with the copyright in the song, such as the lyrics and composition of the music. The Australian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS) collects the royalties for the reproduction of their members' musical works.

You will also need permission from the copyright holder to play protected recorded music or music videos in public. The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) deals with the copyright of the recording of the music CD, tape or video.

If you are putting on a concert, festival, dance party, function or theatrical performance, you will nearly always need an APRA licence to cover the public performance of music (visit APRA at apra-amcos.com.au for more information) and also a licence from the PPCA for the public playing of recorded music such as CDs, tapes, records or music videos. Visit PPCA at ppca.com.au 


To hold a fireworks display you must lodge a Notification of Fireworks Display to Workcover NSW at least seven working days prior to the event. The supplier or operator of the fireworks must be the holder of a Pyrotechnicians Permit or hold a Single Occasion Fireworks Permit to operate the display. A copy of the operator's licence and proof of the operator's public liability insurance is to be submitted with your application. For information on holding a fireworks display, visit Service NSW at Service NSW Fireworks

A condition of approval for fireworks may require the applicant to place an advertisement of the event in the local papers prior to the event and/or letterbox drop to surrounding properties.