You gotta fight for your right to party


Andrew Leigh MP recently told his constituents via his blog that ‘street parties are a great way to reconnect with neighbours’, and that they are easy to set up.

After a few phone calls and a little research, we’re sad to report that generating social capital by holding a street party in your local area isn’t as simple as Leigh thinks.

Here are the eight ‘easy’ steps you need to follow in order to have a street party in the ACT:

  1. Street parties fall under category 3 of the ACT special event handbook.
  2. Category 3 events will take 6 weeks to process in order to be approved.
  3. During the processing of your application you have to assess the specific hazards of your event. It will encompass issues such as:
    1. Crowd control;
    2. Traffic management;
    3. Erection of warning signs;
    4. Erection of safety barriers;
    5. Management of dangerous goods (such as BBQ gas tanks)
    6. And safety measures in case of serious accidents.
    7. Special events and Category 3 events need to be carefully assessed in OHS requirements.
  4. Category 3 events will remain a workplace and the normal legislative requirements still apply.
  5. You have to ‘prepare counter measures to minimize reduction in amenity caused by event generated noise.’
  6. You have to notify the media that you are having a party to alert the general public that the road you are using is not open.
  7. Once the Roads ACT special events officer approves the event, it is a requirement of the organiser to:
    1. Send in a general map of the affected areas of the party;
    2. Present a risk management plan;
    3. Present a contingency plan;
    4. Arrange public liability insurance, which will cost at least $2000;
    5. Submit a temporary traffic management plan, in which you must:
      1. Have emergency vehicle access (a 4 metre wide access lane is required);
      2. Parking provisions;
      3. Suitable disability access.
  8. If dad is serving alcohol, he needs his RSA.

All these requirements can be found in the ACT Special Events Handbook.

So there you have it. It’s as easy as that. Annoyingly I submitted my form to have a Christmas street party in mid November, so the earliest I can have the event is early January… Oh well, better late than never!


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