Places of Public Entertainment

Section 49 of the Building Act 1993 states, entertainment in a public place must not be conducted unless an occupancy permit has been issued for the place of public entertainment.


A place of public entertainment is:

  • A building which is used or intended to be used for the purpose of providing public entertainment
  • A place which is enclosed or substantially enclosed
  • To which admission can be gained by payment of money or the giving of other consideration

An Occupancy Permit is required for:

  • An assembly or public buildings (Class 9b) having an area greater than 500m2 and any prescribed temporary structures
  • A place having an area greater than 500m2

Prescribed Temporary Structures

Prescribed temporary structures have additional requirements under the Building Act. Any prescribed temporary structure must have a separate occupancy permit issued by the Building Commission and must be designed in accordance with engineering principles to provide for their structural safety and the safety of the public and other persons using them.


A prescribed temporary structure includes:

  • Tents, marquees or booths with a floor area greater than 100m2
  • Seating stands for more than 20 persons
  • Stages or platforms (including sky borders and stage wings) exceeding 150m2 in floor area
  • Prefabricated buildings exceeding 100m2 other than ones placed directly on the ground surface


What are the Requirements for obtaining an Occupancy Permit for a Place of Public Entertainment?

Without limiting the conditions that are specified on an occupancy permit issued by the Building Commission for temporary structures or other requirements under the building regulations, an occupancy permit for a place of public entertainment may be issued subject to conditions relating to

1. The engagement of safety officers to be in attendance at the place of public entertainment to provide for the safety of the public
2. The safety training qualifications to be held by any person engaged as a safety officer as required by the chief officer or the Commission
3. The responsibilities of the safety officer which include:

  • The operation of fire safety elements, equipment and systems
  • The establishment and operation of evacuation procedures
  • The safety of barriers and exits
  • The control of the use of naked flame in theatrical productions

4. The exclusion of the public from unsafe areas
5. The keeping, testing and storage of flammable material or explosive items and equipment in safe manner, to the extent that this is not required by any other Act or Regulations
6. The ignition of fireworks and the discharge of pistols or other shooting devices in a safe and responsible manner, to the extent that this is not required by any other Act or regulations
7. The location and designation of passageways and exits
8. The availability of public toilet facilities and the condition of those facilities


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