Event Resource, Support and Management Guide

Our Events Planning Guide is your number-one resource to understand your obligations as an event organiser.

City of Darwin is host to numerous festivals and events throughout the year. As the organiser of an event in Darwin, it is your responsibility to ensure that all required permits are obtained and any relevant legislation is complied with.

This guide is designed to help you plan a safe and successful event, and navigate you through the necessary permit process specific to the Darwin municipality.

Available Venues and Hire Forms

To hold your event in the following areas download and complete the relevant application form:

  • Community Centres (Malak, Lyons, Nightcliff Community Centre, etc)
  • Council Facilities (any area outside of the Smith Street Mall owned by City of Darwin E.g. Jingili Water Gardens, East Point Reserve, Bicentennial Park, Civic Park, etc.)

For all bookings at Gardens Amphitheatre, please contact Darwin Entertainment Centre on 08 8980 3333. 

Other Council permits you may require

Depending on the event, you may require additional permits (such as filming or liquor consumption) or may want to hire additional equipment.

Banner Displays

For Hire

We have equipment that can be hired for non-profit groups’ events:


    Please ensure that you submit as much information as necessary with your application.

    Please note: the above permits may require road/car park closure permits, which are in addition to any hire agreements

    Event organisers are required to submit a current copy of their Public Liability Insurance which provides protection against any claims for compensation in respect of unforeseen and accidental personal injury or property damage for which they may be legally liable.

    All applications will need to be submitted:

    Large Events

    Requiring road closures, fireworks, liquor licenses etc: Minimum of 8 weeks prior to the event

    All other events

    Minimum of 2 weeks prior

    Processing your application

    Application processing may take 2 to 12 weeks once received by City of Darwin.

    Failure to submit your application within the necessary time limits may mean your event may be postponed, cancelled or an alternative venue may need to be sought.

    City of Darwin has a responsibility to ensure that all events on Council property are properly organised and safely managed. An early application will give Council more time to assist you and will give you more time to organise a successful event and fulfil any legal requirements.

    If your application is successful, an approved permit including conditions will be posted or emailed to you. By accepting your application, Council and the applicant automatically become bound by the terms of the approval and any conditions set out in the notification.

    Unsuccessful applications

    Council or the delegated Council officer may refuse an application if:

    • Your completed application is not received within the specified notification period
    • Your application does not have the necessary required information enclosed
    • The Department of Infrastructure, Planning & Environment, NT Police, Fire & Emergency Services, NT Worksafe, St John Ambulance have an objection to your event
    • Another event has already been granted an approval on the same day in the same location
    • The requested location does not have the capacity to sustain your event
    • Council is not satisfied that all the required planning processes have been adequately completed
    • Council believes your event poses an unreasonable risk to public safety

    Health and Safety at your Event

    Coordinating an event is a complex task requiring detailed planning, consultation, and involvement of many stakeholders. Given the complexity of event organisation, it is vital that you retain all records of the planning, implementation and evaluation process.

    Health & safety must be an integral part of the event planning process and form part of the production schedule. As different elements of the event are pieced together, their implications on health and safety for the whole event must be assessed.

    Event organisers are accountable for the Health & Safety of all those taking part in, working at or attending the event. You must ensure you have a named person who is responsible for Health & Safety at your event.

    The following documents are required to assist you in your planning eliminating any risk:

    • Site plan
    • Production manual
    • Risk Management Plan
      Waste management
    • Traffic Management Plan (TMP) if closing roads and/or footpaths
    • Public Liability Insurance

    Licenses You May Also Require

    Based on the nature of your event, you may possibly require additional licenses and permits:

    Waste Management at Your Event

    Environmental sustainability must be taken into consideration and be inherent to your event. Developing a waste management plan is fundamental to assist in the disposal of litter, food waste, possible hazardous materials and toilet management.

    A waste management plan includes:

    Event Traffic Management

    Looking at holding a parade or race for your event?

    If your group or organisation is thinking of holding an event which needs to temporarily or partially close a road and/or footpaths under Regulation 38 of the NT Road Traffic Act you will require a Traffic Management Plan (TMP). To keep people safe, this plan assists with the continual flow of traffic and the process of safely managing all road users which includes vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians during your event with the minimum level of inconvenience.

    Traffic Management Plans

    What is a Traffic Management Plan (TMP)?

    A Traffic Management Plan (TMP) is the administration that depicts the design and implementation of temporary traffic management measures whilst the event/project is executed.

    When is a TMP needed for an event?

    A TMP is needed for any event that varies the normal operating conditions of any part of City of Darwin and/or NT Government road reserve.

    For example, if the event/project prevents:

    • Normal pedestrian access along a footpath
    • Normal use of a vehicle driving or parking lane

    You will need to determine if the road is serviced by either the City of Darwin and/or the NT Government and contact the relevant department.

    Who designs a TMP?

    Traffic Management Plans and the implementation of these plans are prepared by persons who have completed the relevant qualifications in Advanced Worksite Traffic Management and have current accreditation. Service providers may be found in the Darwin Yellow Pages under ‘Traffic Controllers & Equipment’.

    Permits & Fees:

    From 1 January 2013, costs for permits to work within the NT Government road reserve will change based on a two tier pricing structure.

    The permits are required for any contractor or service authority to carry out work on roads managed by the NT Government and are issued on the understanding that a range of obligations are met by the applicant.

    Application fees may not be required for contractors undertaking work on behalf of the Department of Transport or the Department of Infrastructure.

    The new pricing structure includes:

    • Tier 1 Permits for standard, non-complex work will cost $200.00
    • Tier 2 Permits for non-program, complex works will cost $200 plus costs for expert pre-project assessments, such as traffic control assessments, and advice charged on a time basis. An estimate of costs will be provided once the application has been lodged.

    The new costs are on par with what other jurisdictions charge for the same services. The permits will continue to be administered by the Department of Infrastructure.

    View the Permit to work within the NTG road reserve (PDF) or visit the website for more info: http://www.transport.nt.gov.au/ntroads/nt-road-permits-and-application-forms

    View the Permit to work within City of Darwin road reserve - Goods Application Form for Hire of Road Reserve

    Traffic / Pedestrian Management Plan (Permit for Road Event – Information Bulletin V62 “Parades and Processions") & diagrams are to be compiled by a person with Level 1 Work Zone Traffic Management Accreditation and must be supplied with the written Works Permit for all jobs. Any persons setting up or manning Traffic Control must have Level 2 & 3 Work Zone Traffic Management Accreditation. Traffic/Pedestrian Management Plans must be supplied to Council for approval. Email: trafficcontrol@darwin.nt.gov.au or call 08 8980 3646 for more information regarding traffic control plans. The applicant is responsible for the reinstatement of road reserve, nature strip and park surfaces to City of Darwin standards.


    NT Government has advised that there is a possible reimbursement for the writing of a Traffic Management Plan only of up to $2000. Up to three quotes are required prior to the writing of a TMP and are to be forwarded to the NT Government.For more information please contact the Department of Infrastructure on road.network@nt.gov.au

    What happens once your Hire of Road Reserve application to COD has been submitted?

    Once your application and fee has been received, an appointed officer will check your application. If your application is approved a permit will be issued for traffic management implementation to proceed. Once you have received your permit, it must be given to the organisation who will be implementing the plan.

    Public Notification

    Responsibility for publicity in respect of traffic disruption likely to be caused by the permitted parade/procession rests with the permit holder no less than 2 weeks prior to the event.

    You will be required to notify the following:

    • Local residents via an advertisement placed in the NT News
    • Businesses that may be affected along the event route must be consulted in writing
    • NT Police
    • St John Ambulance
    • Northern Territory Fire & Emergency Services
    • Local bus line and tour companies
    • Taxi Companies
    • Department of Infrastructure

    What happens with the implementation of a Traffic Management Plan?

    Relevant qualified persons will ensure that roads, footpaths are closed by placing necessary traffic control devices in the appropriate positions and manage these areas during the entirety of your event to ensure that you have a safe and successful event.

    If you require some assistance with traffic management implementation for your event please contact City of Darwin on (08)89 300 300 for a list of local upskilled volunteers and/or advice.

    Can I use Event Marshals at my event?

    The role of an event marshal is to guide and assist those participating in the event. They have no legal authority for the direct control of vehicle and pedestrian movements apart from situations where such movements take place within a portion of road that has been closed to general traffic movements under the applicable statutes or regulations, e.g. prohibiting pedestrians crossing the road during a race event, escorting official vehicles through a crowd, etc.

    However, where roads are not subject to closure, event marshals can perform such roles as

    • warning competing cyclists of likely conflicts with approaching traffic (and vice versa),  
    • offering guidance to pedestrians about safe crossing points,  
    • assisting motorists to locate car parking facilities, etc.  

    Event marshals shall operate only under the direction of the event organiser or a Police officer who can provide sufficient instruction to the event marshal so that traffic and pedestrian control and guidance is always conducted safely 


    If you require further assistance with any stage of your event’s planning after referring to the relevant information in the Guide, please contact 8930 0556 or email eventsupport@darwin.nt.gov.au