Places of Public Entertainment (POPE) Occupancy Permits

Public entertainment is defined as an entertainment or meeting to which admission may be gained by members of the public.

A place of public entertainment (POPE) is defined as an area greater than 500 square metres which is used for public entertainment and is either:

  • enclosed or substantially enclosed; or
  • to which admission is gained by giving of money or other consideration.

Requirement for occupancy permit

Pursuant to sections 49 and 50 of the Building Act 1993:

  • a person must not conduct a Public Entertainment in a POPE unless an Occupancy Permit (OP) has been issued for the venue
    Note: conduct is defined as having a direct financial interest in the proceeds or profits generated by the event.
  • the owner or occupier of a POPE must not for fee or reward permit the place to be used for the purpose of providing Public Entertainment unless an OP has been issued for the venue.
Note: These requirements bind the Crown, State and Federal Governments and their agencies.

To determine if a POPE Occupancy Permit is required, please refer to our POPE permits and siting approval page.

POPE Exemption

An occupancy permit is not required if the POPE is organised and controlled by a community-based organisation and the number of persons attending the POPE does not exceed 5000 at any one time.

Refer to our POPE permits and siting approval page to determine if a POPE Occupancy Permit is required.

Application for occupancy permit

Application for an OP must be made to our Municipal Building Surveyor by lodging an application form for a division 2 occupancy permit with all relevant supporting documentation at least 20 working days prior to commencement of the event.

Refer to apply for a places of public entertainment (POPE) for a step by step guide to making an application for a Division 2 Occupancy Permit.

Other approvals

Siting approvals may be required for any Prescribed Classes of Temporary Structures (marquees and prefabricated buildings greater than 100 square metres, stages greater than 150 square metres, and seating stands for more than 20 persons). For more information please refer to our page on prescribed temporary structures siting approvals.

Any event held within the City of Greater Geelong parks, gardens or reserves must be approved by our Events Unit.

Any event held on roadways or footpaths must be approved by our Engineering Department and / or VicRoads as applicable. Additional fees may apply for occupation of the roadway or footpath.


Minimum fee of $800 (allows for maximum 3 hours assessment) must be paid when making application.

Please ensure that all required information as outlined above is provided when making application as assessment time exceeding 3 hours will incur additional fees at $147.50 per hour or part thereof.

Note: All relevant approvals must be obtained prior to occupying the event. Failure to comply may result in penalties and fines being issued including cancellation of the event.

Need to know more...

For further information, please contact the Building Department on 03 5272 4450.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 15 June 2021