Who should you talk to?

You may need to consult other organisations, government departments, and regulatory and statutory authorities about your event.

Some will require formal approvals for events, while others can provide advice or assistance to help ensure your event is well-managed and safe.

Who you contact will depend on the size and nature of your event.

The list below is a guide only. There may be other approvals you must obtain before running your event. It is your responsibility to ensure you have received all the approvals necessary to stage your event.

Local council

The most important organisation you can talk to, in most instances, is the local council. Find the council for a specific address on the Office of Local Government website.

Each council has their own way of dealing with special events and will require different types of information from event organisers. It is recommended that you approach the council at least six months in advance of your proposed event. Depending on the scale of the event, more than twelve months could be required to address all issues. Some councils may require you to lodge a formal development or event application. Speak with the local council to find out their process for event approvals.

Have the following information at hand, where relevant to your event, for your early discussions with council:

Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society

Contact the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) to discuss:

  • the use of live or recorded music at your event
  • how to obtain a licence to use music at your event.

APRA is a non-profit copyright collecting society that collects and distributes fees for the public performance and communication to the public of music. The fees are distributed to APRA’s members, who are songwriters, composers and music publishers.

Bureau of Meteorology

Contact the Bureau of Meteorology to:

  • discuss weather forecasts for your event
  • organise briefings or request any other information ahead of an event.

The Centre for Volunteering (home of Volunteering NSW)

Contact the Centre for Volunteering to discuss:

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Contact the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to discuss:

Disability Council of NSW

Contact the Disability Council of NSW to discuss accessibility.

For further information about accessible and inclusive events, refer to the Accessible Events Toolkit.

Fire and Rescue NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service

Contact Fire and Rescue NSW (metropolitan areas) or the NSW Rural Fire Service (rural areas) to:

Forestry Corporation of NSW

Contact the Forestry Corporation of NSW to:

  • get advice on suitable locations and organising events in state forests
  • discuss the permit application procedure
  • find your nearest office.

Transdev Sydney Ferries

Contact Transdev Sydney Ferries to:

  • find ferry timetables and services for Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River
  • enquire about booking charter services
  • discuss events that will have an impact on ferry routes and wharves.

Landowners and venue managers

Contact landowners and venue managers to discuss:

Liquor and Gaming NSW

Contact Liquor and Gaming NSW to discuss the sale of alcohol. A liquor licence is required for all events held in NSW where liquor is to be sold. You will also need to contact NSW Police Force and your local council regarding this matter.

Translating and Interpreter Service - 131 450

Visit the Translating and Interpreter Service website or call 131 450 to obtain advice on accessing language interpreters.

Local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives

Contact local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives or Elders to discuss:

  • the Welcome to Country — this ceremony should, where possible, be undertaken by local Elders
  • locally recognised Aboriginal community spokespersons or cultural service providers
  • other key protocols related to Aboriginal Peoples.

For further information about Aboriginal protocol, refer to the Division of Local Government’s 2007

NSW Ambulance

Contact NSW Ambulance to discuss:

  • having an ambulance at your event
  • provision of care for sick and injured
  • emergency response plan (also may also need to consult the NSW Police Force and Fire and Rescue NSW or NSW Rural Fire Service)
  • access for emergency vehicles.

NSW Environment Protection Agency

Contact the NSW Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss:

Download the EPA’s Waste Wise Events Guide and find information on a range of noise pollution topics.

NSW Fair Trading

Contact NSW Fair Trading to discuss:

  • fundraising activities at your event
  • how to legally undertake charitable fundraising activities.

NSW Food Authority

Contact the NSW Food Authority to discuss preparation and service of food and beverages at your event.

You may also wish to download the Guidelines for Food Businesses at Temporary Events.

NSW Health

Contact NSW Health to discuss:

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Contact the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to discuss the use of venues and sites within NSW national parks, nature reserves, regional parks, state conversation areas and other reserves.

Visit the Office of Environment and Heritage website for information about running commercial activities in national parks.

NSW Police Force

Contact NSW Police Force to find your Local Area Command and discuss:

NSW Taxi Council

Contact the NSW Taxi Council to discuss:

  • requesting the presence of taxis to take people to and from your event
  • arranging special event taxi ranks and obtaining advice on their set-up
  • the impacts of road closures.

Phonographic Performance Company of Australia

Contact the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia to discuss:

Roads and Maritime Services

Contact Roads and Maritime Services to discuss:

Download a guide to traffic and transport management for special events

SafeWork NSW

Contact SafeWork NSW to discuss:

State Transit Authority of NSW

Contact the State Transit Authority of NSW to discuss:

  • road closures that will have an impact on bus routes
  • how to transport large numbers of people to and from your large event by bus in Sydney or Newcastle, or by ferry in Newcastle.

Sydney Trains

Contact Sydney Trains to discuss:

  • how to transport large numbers of people by rail to and from your large event, should you be anticipating a large event
  • any planned trackwork that could affect how people travel to your event.