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Cutting red tape for community-based events
02 July 2013
Yarra Council has welcomed a change to State regulations that will make it easier for schools, community groups and sporting clubs to hold fundraising events.
Yarra Mayor, Cr Fristacky said the State Government’s decision to remove the requirement for a Places of Public Entertainment (POPE) occupancy permit for community-based and non-profit organisations was a win for grass roots fundraising.
“This is great news for local community organisations because it removes the often arduous task of having to apply for a permit every time they want to hold a public event,” said Cr Fristacky.
Previously under the Building Act 1993, councils, community sporting groups and schools were required to apply for a POPE occupancy permit whenever they collected funds through public sporting or recreational activities or other larger scale community events.
“The requirement for a POPE occupancy permit placed unnecessary cost, paperwork and uncertainty on community event organisers for things like school fetes, and local multicultural festivals,” she said.
The primary purposes of school and community fetes is fundraising and not entertainment, so it was an anomaly that these were considered to be places of public entertainment covered by the POPE legislation
Cr Fristacky said that for these reasons, Council had decided it would waive POPE occupancy permit fees for school fetes within its 2013/14 Council budget. The State Government announcement of the changes to the regulations reflects Council’s approach and lobbying to the State to exempt schools and community groups holding fundraising events from the POPE requirements.
“I am pleased that common sense has prevailed, and these permits will no longer be required for community-based and non-profit organisations running events that use recreational facilities larger than 500 square metres, and with less than 5,000 people attending,” she said.
Community events remain subject to Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) requirements, food safety and liquor licensing regulation, and legal and insurance requirements.
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