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Submit a Bays and Waterways event application

A number of government departments and agencies share responsibility for our bays, rivers and ports. Parks Victoria are the local port manager of Port Phillip, Western Port and Port Campbell and the waterway manager of the Yarra, Maribyrnong and Patterson rivers, Lake Moodemere, Albert Park Lake and ex-HMAS Canberra Reserve. In these areas, Parks Victoria are responsible for managing and permitting events.

Bays and Waterways guidelines

The following information outlines the application process and provides guidelines which must be considered when organising events on Parks Victoria managed waterways, ports and bays.


To allow Parks Victoria to determine whether a permit is required for your event, please complete the Bays and Waterways event application to the best of your ability. Applications should be submitted to well in advance of the proposed event date.

Upon receipt of your event application, a Parks Victoria officer will contact you to discuss the availability of your requested site and to identify any further information that may be required in order to process your event application.

Please allow a minimum of 12 weeks for the processing of your event application. A longer period is required for major events. Submitting an event application does not guarantee that your event will be approved. When reviewing your application Parks Victoria staff will consider the suitability of the proposed location for the event and confirm that the proposed activity can be permitted under the host park’s regulations.

Subject to your event application being approved, an event permit will be issued for your event by Parks Victoria. Permit fees are applicable to events on public land /waterways. Additional costs incurred by Parks Victoria to facilitate your event will be added to the event fee. An event permit will not be issued until the event permit fee and bond are paid in full prior to the event.

In the event of extreme weather conditions, a planned event may be cancelled by Parks Victoria in the interest of public safety.

Further information can be obtained by calling Parks Victoria’s Information Centre on 13 19 63.

Who should submit a Bays and Waterways event application?

A Bays and Waterways Event Application is to be completed by persons who propose to conduct a waterway event/ boating activity on managed waters and who wish to apply for either an exemption or an exclusion zone and exemption or modification from the application of provisions of the:

  • Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic);
  • Marine Safety Regulations 2012 (Vic);
  • State waterway rules; or
  • Regulations made under the Port Management Act 1995 (Vic).

If you are conducting a series of events at different waterways, you may need to complete a separate application form for each waterway to address the safety issues for each individual location. As part of your application you will need to provide an assessment of safety risks associated with the boating activity exemption or modification and the proposed risk controls to be implemented to eliminate or reduce those safety risks. Your application cannot be considered without a risk assessment.

You must have a cancellation policy outlining when the event will be cancelled if the safety risks are deemed too high for the event to go ahead or continue.

Important note:

In the case of the scheduled event date being declared a day of Total Fire Ban or subject to extreme weather conditions any planned event may be cancelled at the discretion of Parks Victoria.

Mandatory documents

  • A copy of the Event Map.  Hand drawn/incomplete maps will not be considered. The map must:
    • Reference all positions using Lat/Long coordinates to WGS84 (deg/dec/min).
    • Show the area of the event.
    • Show all proposed exclusion zones including safety distances between area of use, shore, infrastructure and direction of travel.
    • Show the type and location of all infrastructure including markers/ buoys, boat ramps, moored infrastructure and moored vessels.
    • Show the emergency access point from the water and first aid location.
  • A copy of a Certificate of Currency showing current validity of public liability insurance.  You must have a minimum of $20m public liability insurance coverage for the event, noting the interest of Parks Victoria.
  • A copy of your Communications Plan.
  • A copy of your Safety Management Plan (SMP), if the event is operating under the rules/safety management plan of a national or state recognised body approved by the Safety Director.
  • Full programme/running sheet of the event including bump in and bump out details.
  • A Risk Management Plan.
  • If you have not provided your Cancellation Procedure at question 37 within the application, attach it as a separate document.

If drones are proposed at your event, you must also provide:

  • Aircraft Operations Plan including:
    • Take off and land zone;
    • Proposed flight path;
    • Proposed exclusion zone; and
    • Proposed location of spotters.
  • Factsheets of all proposed aircrafts;
  • Remotely Piloted Aircraft License for all proposed pilots;
  • Operator’s certificate;
  • Operator’s certificate of currency of public liability insurance;
  • Job Safety Analysis; and
  • CASA area approval (if required).

If fireworks are proposed at your event, you must also provide:

  • On the Event Map (or a separate map), details of the fireworks fall-out zones showing minimum separation distances for loading/transportation and detonation of fireworks in accordance with the Dangerous Goods (Explosive) Regulations 2011 (reg 155).
  • A copy of the WorkSafe approval;
  • A copy of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) notification and approval;
  • Notification of Intention to discharge fireworks;
  • Job safety analysis;
  • Photocopies of the pyro technician licences; and
  • Certificate of Currency from fireworks provider.

Note: Fireworks will only be considered for events that are of state, national or international significance.

Event Guidelines for events on the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers and the National Water Sports Centre

Please see below supporting documents that contain further information about holding an event on on the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers and the National Water Sports Centre.

Events on Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers:

Events at the National Water Sports Centre at Patterson Lakes:

Boating activity exemptions

A boating activity exemption (BAE), granted under section 203 of the Marine Safety Act 2010, allows a person or event organiser to conduct organised boating activity or an on-water event or series of events on State waters that would, otherwise, be in contravention of a relevant law, rule or regulation. For more information on boating activity exemptions and exclusion zones please visit

Further information is provided within Maritime safety Victoria Fact Sheet: Boating activity exemptions and exclusion zones (PDF, 378KB); please ensure you read this information.

A waterway manager can only issue boating activity exemptions and exclusion zones in relation to the operation of vessels on waters under its control. If your event requires exemption and/or exclusion zones, Parks Victoria is required to advertise these in the statewide newspaper, Government Gazette and on its website. Please note that all advertising costs will be added to the event fee.

In order for a waterway manager to meet the requirements under the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic), including assessment, government gazette and newspaper notices, you must lodge a complete application and associated documents at least 12 weeks before an event. 

Event 'weather hold' dates

Event organisers are welcome to request event 'weather hold' date/s for weather contingency planning, as part of their application. Only one ‘weather hold’ date is allowed for each event date requested within the Bays and Waterways Event Application.

Please note: If more than one hold date is required, permit amendment fees will apply.