The pristine landscapes and natural wonders of WA's protected areas are a popular setting for music concerts, fundraising, sporting and adventure events. However, legislation governing the management of public land requires that consent of the land manager, the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, is required to conduct an event on public land.

The manner in which the consent or authority is issued depends on the nature of the event and if it is run for commercial purposes. To determine if your event will be commercial or not, try answering the following questions:

  • Will participants or spectators be charged for attending/participating in the event?
  • Will the revenue exceed cost recovery of running the event?
  • Will there be profits collected for charity, fundraising or a not-for-profit organisation?
  • Will there be profits collected for a club account?

If you answered 'yes' to any of the above questions, you may be conducting a commercial event and you may need to apply for and obtain a commercial operations licence before you advertise for the event.

Please note that for commercial events you must obtain approval from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to conduct your event before you begin advertising and marketing. This is because the Conservation and Land Management Regulations 2002 don't allow a person to advertise that they will sell any goods or services or that they will carry on a business on CALM Act Land without lawful authority (r.106(2)). Neglecting to do so may affect your chances of attaining approval from the department and may even result in penalties such as a fine or prosecution.

If you answered 'no' to all of the questions that you may be conducting a non-commercial event and you will require lawful authority from the department's local district or regional office. Apply for lawful authority to conduct an event using the non commercial event application form.

Is your event within a public drinking water source area?

Water resources used for public drinking water supply must be protected from contamination to maintain their value to the community. These water sources are important for the ongoing availability of reliable, safe and lower cost public water supplies. Water sources used for drinking water supply are referred to collectively as public drinking water source areas (PDWSAs) and they are protected by government policy and legislation.

To check if your proposed event is within a PDWSA, the Department of Water website provides an interactive atlas, which is available at www.water.wa.gov.au > select Tools and data > Maps and atlases > Geographic data atlas. Alternatively you can contact the Department of Water [email protected]. To protect drinking water quality, recreation events need to comply with Operational policy 13. Please refer to this policy for more information on recreation within PDWSAs, available at www.water.wa.gov.au > select Publications > Search Operational policy 13.

If the event takes place in water catchment areas, approval is required from both the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Department of Water for the event to proceed.