Public Entertainment Licensing
Closely related to Council’s fire safety role is the legislative requirement for licensing of buildings as “places of public entertainment” (POPEs). Public safety is of paramount importance in buildings of this nature. Occupants may be unfamiliar with their surroundings, in areas of low lighting, influenced by alcohol and be surrounded by large numbers of people. These factors when combined create a higher risk environment. It is imperative that fire services and egress paths are operable, accessible and clearly identified.
These provisions apply to both new and existing buildings where the operation of the building meets the definition stated in the Local Government Act 1993. (Section 68 of the Act requires Council approval to use a building (or temporary structure) as a place of public entertainment or permit its use as a place of public entertainment.) Where a building falls within this definition, the requirements of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 apply.
When applying these provisions to an existing building, Council must be satisfied that the building or structure, with such alterations as it may require:
(a) will be structurally sound and capable of withstanding the loadings likely to arise from the use, and (b) will contain reasonable provision for the safety of persons proposed to be accommodated in the building or structure, in the event of fire, particularly in relation to egress, and (c) will contain reasonable provision for the prevention or suppression of fire and the prevention of the spread of fire.
These are the provisions, in conjunction with various requirements of the Building Code of Australia, Council is considering when assessing POPE applications.
This can be a time-consuming process and applicants are advised to contact Council’s Development & Environment staff to discuss licensing prior to lodging an application (02) 6941 2518. Early discussion can speed up the process and lead to better channels of communication between all involved.
To fully assess such applications Council requires the submission of various documents. These submission requirements are outlined in Council’s development information sheet no. 20
Council reserves the right to randomly inspect the premises for compliance with this approval.
Upon issue of a POPE license, this should be displayed in the premises along with the most recent Fire Safety Schedule & Annual Fire Safety Statement. For more information see the following link:
Approval lapses five (5) years from the date of determination, at which time a new application shall be required if it is intended that the premises continue to be used as a Place of Public Entertainment.
Approval may be revoked at any time for failure to comply with the requirements under the Local Government Act, 1993, Building Code of Australia, or Approval Conditions.