Bays and waterways application guidelines

Parks Victoria manages some of Victoria’s most spectacular public spaces including National Parks, State Parks, Crown Land Reserves, Port Phillip and Western Port, Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers and a variety of Metropolitan Parks.

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

Parks Victoria is the local port and waterway manager, responsible for permitting and managing organised activities conducted on:

  • Port Phillip and Western Port Bay
  • Port Campbell
  • Yarra River
  • Maribyrnong River
  • Patterson River
  • Lake Moodemere
  • Albert Park Lake
  • ex-HMAS Canberra Reserve
  • Victoria Harbour
  • National Water Sports Centre

Who should submit a Bays and Waterways event application?

An application should be completed by persons who propose to conduct an Bays or Waterways event/organised activity on Parks Victoria managed waters.

An organised activity refers to:

  • any boat race,
  • regatta,
  • swimming race,
  • competition,
  • tournament,
  • festival,
  • concert,
  • promotion,
  • fireworks display, or
  • any other similar event.

Upon receipt of your event application, an Activation Agreements officer will contact you regarding your request.

Please note: Submitting an event application does not guarantee event approval.

If you are conducting a series of events at different waterways, you may need to complete a separate application form addressing safety issues for each individual waterway.

Waterway Safety Exemptions and Exclusion Zones

Under the below Act and Regulations, event organisers may apply for exemptions to Marine safety rules/equipment or Exclusion zones to conduct their event. Applicants are responsible for understanding and interpreting the Vessel Operating and Zoning Rules (VOZR) applicable to their event prior to submitting applications to Parks Victoria requesting exemptions.

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

Parks Victoria will apply on behalf of an applicant to the Safety Director (Maritime Safety Victoria) for exemptions or modifications to Waterway Rules and the establishment of Exclusion Zones.

Required documents to be submitted with application

  • A site map (hand drawn/incomplete maps will not be considered). The map must:
    • Reference all positions using Latitude/Longitude 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 Certificate of Currency (CoC) with a minimum of $20m public liability insurance coverage is to be supplied noting Parks Victoria as an interested party.
  • Communications Plan.
  • 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.
  • Risk Management Plan.
  • Cancellation Procedure if not already included at question 37 within the application, attach as a separate document.


Permit fees are applicable to events held within the Parks Victoria estate (public land and waterways). See the event fee schedule.

Extreme weather clause

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


If the use of drones is proposed at your event, the following information must be submitted also:

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


Fireworks will only be considered for events that are of state, national or international significance. If the use of fireworks is proposed, the following information must be submitted also:

  • Event Map detailing 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).
  • WorkSafe approval notification,
  • Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) notification and approval,
  • Notification of Intention to discharge fireworks,
  • Job safety analysis (JSA),
  • Pyrotechnician licence/s, and
  • Certificate of Currency from fireworks provider.

Application form

Download the Bays and waterways event application form (DOCX), complete and submit to

All bays and waterways event applications received by Parks Victoria have a minimum 12 week time frame from receipt of all required documentation to ensure that we appropriately manage all applications received and that we progress the associated approvals in line with legislative and regulatory requirements.

Multiple dates and parks can be nominated in one application.

Upon receipt of your application, an Activation Agreements officer will contact you regarding your request. Please note: Submitting an application does not guarantee approval.

Supporting event information

Maritime Safety Victoria (to be referred to for all waterways events)

Events on Yarra River, Maribyrnong River and Victoria Harbour

Events at the National Water Sports Centre at Patterson Lakes

For further information call Parks Victoria’s Information Centre on 13 1963.

By using our site you accept that we use and share cookies and similar technologies with certain approved third parties. These tools enable us to improve your website experience and to provide content and ads tailored to your interests. By continuing to use our site you consent to this. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.