3.1. An outline of the application process
Permit applications should be submitted to EPA as early as possible, but no less than 45 days before the operation or concert. This is to ensure that the information is as up to date as possible and allows adequate time for EPA to assess the details of the permit application.
In most instances, EPA engages with local councils in relation to applications. Therefore, the 45-day timeframe allows ample opportunity to obtain further information from you. If you do not apply early enough, there is a risk that you will not obtain a permit in time for your operation or concert.
Sometimes events are organised at short notice. If you are unable to apply for a permit 45-days in advance, please contact EPA at the earliest opportunity to discuss further.
Section 81(2) of the Act and regulation 27 of the Regulations provide prescribed periods for determining permits. As per the Regulations and the Act, EPA will provide a response to your permit application within 15 business days.
Applications should be made via the EPA Online Portal.
You will need to create an account first before submitting their permit request for consideration by clicking the ‘sign up’ button in the top righthand corner and completing the requested information. Once signed in you are able to ‘Apply for permission’ and submit your permit application.
Where both L05 permit and L06 permit are required, you will need to apply for each of these permits separately.
3.2. One EPA permit for multiple operations or concertsYou can apply for a single EPA permit that covers more than one operation or concert.
For an outdoor entertainment venue, you can apply for:
- an L05 permit that will cover multiple operations that will be held outside the standard operating hours, or for longer than 8 hours
- an L06 permit that will cover multiple concerts where more than 6 concerts will be held at the venue in a financial year (e.g., for the 7th, 8th and 9th concert).
For an outdoor entertainment event at the same location, you can apply for:
- an L05 permit that will cover multiple operations that will be held outside the standard operating hours
- an L05 permit that will cover multiple concerts that will be held during the hours set out in regulation 129(1)(b)(i) and (ii), or for longer than 8 hours
- an L06 permit that will cover multiple concerts at a location where 6 concerts have already been held in a financial year (e.g., for the 7th, 8th and 9th concert).
3.3. What your application will need to include
When submitting your application to us via the Online Portal, EPA needs to know about the proposed event so it can assess it and provide advice.
Your application will need to include the following:
- application fee (see Part 3.3.1)
- applicant details
- details of the person/company responsible for the venue or event, including contact details such as telephone, email, address, ACN
- details of the event or venue
- location of event or address of venue
- date, time, and length of the event where music noise is to be emitted
- landowner consent if the applicant intends to use another landowner’s property
- a Noise Management Plan (see Part 3.3.2)
- a description of the ‘public interest’ associated with the event
- for example, significant cultural value, widespread recognition of the contribution to the character of the location, or significant economic and employment outcomes for the local community
- any letters of support from the local council and/or neighbouring residents
- consultation and engagement details
- details of any engagements with other regulatory authorities (for example, council)
- details of any engagement with the community and other third parties
- previous event details (if applicable)
- how many times the event has been held at the same location in the previous year
- effective noise levels in any previous operations engaged in by the applicant or concerts in that location in the previous year
- detailed history of any complaints received for previous events and how they were resolved
- close- out report for the most recent operation or concert engaged in by the applicant (if not already provided to EPA).
3.3.1 Application fee
Regulation 195 prescribes the fees associated with obtaining a permit for entertainment venues and outdoor entertainment events.
For the purposes of section 50(1)(b) of the Act, the prescribed fee for an application to EPA for an L05 or L06 permit is 48.47 fee units ($741.10 up to 30 June 2023).
In limited circumstances, EPA may reduce or waive a fee. For more information, contact us.
3.3.2. Noise management planA noise management plan (NMP) is a document that describes how you will manage noise emitted from the venue or event. Your plan must show us how you will ensure that any music noise will not be louder than the noise limit of 65dB(A) within a noise sensitive area, which is the prescribed limit for outdoor entertainment venues and events under r 91(a) of the Noise Protocol.
EPA requests this document to assist in its assessment of the risk of harm to human health and the environment. It should contain:
- name of the person/company responsible for the venue or event
- type of entertainment or acts and their schedule
- dimensions of the stage and its orientation
- location of the audience
- how noise levels will be controlled to ensure the relevant noise limits are not exceeded, for example: type, arrangement, location, height above ground and the direction of loud speakers, noise barriers and other containment measures
- sound level at stage, front of house, source or mixing desk, how they will be monitored and assist with achieving noise limits at noise sensitive areas
- location of event or venue layout including where the noise will be emitted from, including location of noise sensitive areas in a 5 km radius and any relevant geographic and topographic features of the area (e.g., hills, water bodies, access roads, premises boundary)
- predicted noise levels at the nearest noise sensitive areas including details of key assumptions and calculation procedures
- how noise at noise sensitive areas will be assessed
- equipment to be used to monitor noise and who will be responsible for monitoring noise
- engagement plan with the surrounding community, including notifications, agreements you may have made with them
- complaint handling procedures, including the name and phone number of the contact person for the event.
Your plan must show us how any music noise will not be louder than the noise limit of 65dB(A) within a noise sensitive area, which is the prescribed limit for outdoor entertainment venues and events under r 91(a) of the Noise Protocol. An acoustic consultant can model how the sound will diminish over the distance between the speakers and the nearest noise sensitive area. Alternatively, you can refer to the Technical Guide.
The Technical Guide discusses noise calculation algorithms for predicting music noise levels. If the configuration of your venue or event is relatively simple, you can use simplified calculations to approximate the expected noise levels. Be aware however that the calculations usually do not account for effects that can affect the propagation of sound, such as the direction the loudspeakers are facing, sound reflections off walls or the influence of wind and other atmospheric conditions such a temperature inversions.
3.3.3 Close out report
As part of the permit conditions, EPA requires that at the completion of your event, a close out report is provided to us which includes:
- the results of noise monitoring that occurred during your event, and
- details of any complaints that were received, such as:
- date and time of all complaints
- the investigations that resulted and any outcomes of the investigations
- how close the complainant’s property was to the event, the noise levels at property
- how the complaints were addressed.
A close out report is important as it provides information that may be relevant to approving permits for your future activities.
As a guide, the contents of a close out report should include the following:
- Title page which identifies the date and time of the of event, author of the report and date the report was produced.
- Summary covering the applicable policy and regulation, whether a permit was required and issued by EPA, how the NMP was implemented including noise controls, noise measurements, compliance with the noise limits, complaints received and their resolution.
- General Information including a summary of the site plan, event set up, technical personnel present, instruments used, calibration of equipment, and whether any changes from the application were required.
- Results including a discussion of noise levels measured at sensitive locations and compliance with the policy and regulatory requirements – noise limits and operating times, and details of implementation of the NMP and complaints received and resolution.
- Appendices including tabulated noise measurements at the nearest sensitive receptors or most affected dwellings or noise sensitive areas.
Reviewed 1 March 2023