POPE Event Permits in Victoria

POPE Event Permits in Victoria…

POPE (Place of Public Entertainment) Permits are required for some events in the state of Victoria, but the requirements are based on a complicated set of “triggers”.

In this article, we will explain more about what a POPE Permit is, when it is required and the steps involved in obtaining a POPE Permit.

If you would like to chat to us about assistance in preparing for and applying for a POPE Permit, please get in touch using our contact form.

POPE Legal Requirements

Sections 49 and 50 of the Building Act prohibit the conducting of public entertainment in a POPE unless an occupancy permit has been issued permitting the use of the POPE for that entertainment.

The definitions under the Building Act and the Building Regulations 2018 operate to provide that the following are POPE (Places of Public Entertainment):

  • prescribed places (for example Kardinia Park Precinct, Geelong)
  • a building in the prescribed classes of buildings (ie. Class 9b buildings having an area greater than 500m² and prescribed temporary structures) used or intended to be used for the purpose of providing public entertainment
  • a place in the prescribed class of places:
    • which is enclosed or substantially enclosed, or
    • to which admission can be gained by payment of money or the giving of other consideration; and
    • that is used or intended to be used for the purpose of providing public entertainment.

POPE Legal Requirements – SUMMARY

If you are planning on providing public entertainment and you are enclosing the space (fencing etc), and/or charging for entry; you will LIKELY need to obtain a POPE Permit.

The Municipal Building Surveyor of each local council is responsible for the administering of any Place of Public Entertainment Permits within their municipality.

What is a POPE Permit?

  • Public entertainment means an event or meeting which members of the public can attend, such as:
    • circus
    • air show
    • cinema in a park
    • community fair or show (for example: Melbourne show)
    • kids’ carnival
    • live performances (for example: rock concerts).

An occupancy permit must be issued by the Municipal Building Surveyor before a building or place can be used as a Place of Public Entertainment.

When is a POPE Permit Required

A POPE Permit is required when ANY of the following are true:

  • A building is intended to be used for public entertainment


  • A place which is used or intended to be used for the purpose of public entertainment IF:
    • the place is enclosed or substantially enclosed OR
    • the place can only be accessed by payment of money or giving of other consideration

What does a POPE Permit Assess?

A POPE Permit may require the following things:

  • Emergency Management and Evacuation Plans
  • Safety Officer (required to hold a Public Safety Officer Certificate)
  • Toilet Facilities (at a ratio of 1 toilet per 60 patrons)
  • Water Taps/Fountains (at a ratio of 1 water tap per 150 patrons)
  • Emergency Exit widths (minimum width is calculated on event capacity)
  • Accessible Toilets
  • Site Plans that show
    • The boundary of the area proposed as a Place of Public Entertainment
    • Location of all existing buildings and their addresses/names
    • Location of Temporary Structures (both prescribed and non-prescribed)
    • Location of Emergency Exits (inc width in meters)
    • Emergency Vehicle Access Routes
    • Location of Accessible and Non Accessible Toilets and Facilities
    • Location of Drinking Taps
    • Location of Medical/First Aid Facilities
    • Location of existing fire suppression equipment
    • Location of temporary fire supression equipment
    • The direction of North
  • Schedule (list) of Prescribed Temporary Structures (see below for explanation)
  • Occupancy Permits for Prescribed Structures (see below for what classes as a Prescribed Structure)
  • Certificate of Compliance Design (Regulation 126) and drawings of all non-prescribed Structures (marquees, screens, towers etc)

What classifies as a Prescribed Structure?

  • The following are prescribed temporary structures that require a siting approval by the Municipal Building Surveyor before they are erected/placed on the land:
    • a seating stand for more than 20 people
    • a marquee larger than 100 square metres
    • a tent larger than 100 square metres
    • a booth larger than 100 square metres
    • a stage or platform larger than 150 square metres.

Do you need assistance with a POPE Permit?

Our team are experienced in the management and application of POPE Permits across Victoria. We can also supply qualified and experience Safety Officers.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about obtaining a POPE for your event, simply fill in the contact form below and our team will be in contact shortly.

    To find out more about our Community Engagement, Crowd Care & Peer Support, send us a message to start the conversation

    POPE Permit Application Links

    City of Melbourne – Application for Occupancy Permit

    City of Yarra – Place of Public Entertainment POPE

    City of Greater Geelong – Places of Public Entertainment (POPE) and Prescribed Temporary Structures permit