Entertainment venues

As an entertainment venue operator, you need to provide a safe and hygienic entertainment venue (such as ten-pin bowling alley, sporting club, cinema, gymnasium and fitness centre, etc.) for your customers. Learn about requirements, approvals, enforcement, and complaints.

Do I need an approval?

Who needs an approval?

The following entertainment venues require an approval from Council:

Your council does not have any specific information on licensing entertainment events.

Who does not need an approval?

The following entertainment venues do not require an approval from Council:

Your council does not have any specific information on licensing entertainment venues.

Before you start

If you are starting a new entertainment venue, taking over or making changes to an existing business, you will need to consider planning, building and plumbing approvals.

Planning approval

Your first step when starting any entertainment venue is to check if you need a planning approval. 

Council's planning scheme guides how land can be used and developed.

Entertainment venues may need planning approval for these activities:

  • starting a new entertainment venue
  • changing the type of activity (e.g. from office to gymnasium)
  • re-establishing a hall that has been abandoned
  • changing the intensity of the activity (e.g. increasing operation from 12 hours to 24 hours a day)
  • changing the scale of activity (e.g. expanding a market into the carpark)
  • carrying out building work (e.g. replacing a stage)
  • carrying out plumbing or drainage work.

To find out if you need to submit a development application, you can:

  • lodge an enquiry with Council
  • arrange a pre-lodgement meeting with Council
  • engage a town planning consultant registered with the Planning Institute of Australia
  • self-assess your property details against Council’s planning scheme.

You can access Council’s planning scheme using PD Online.

Building approval

Building work for an entertainment venue may include:

  • constructing a new venue
  • replacing a grandstand.

All building work is assessed against the building assessment provisions (including, but not limited to, the National Construction Code and the Queensland Development Code) which set the minimum requirements for building structure, fire safety, access and egress, health and amenity, and energy efficiency.

To find out if you need building approval, you can:

Compliance certificates for building work

Assessable building work requires building approval from a building certifier.  Sometimes the building certifier relies on advice from other people for assessing the design/specification and inspection of buildings.

The building certifier uses these forms to accept advice on assessable building work.

  • Form 15 specifies the design and its limitations.
  • Form 16 confirms the installation or construction meets the design.

Your building certifier will collect these forms if necessary.

During the entertainment venue licence application process, Council may ask for a Form 15 that certifies the design of a major component of your business (e.g. staging or lighting), and a Form 16 to certify that the component was installed to the design specification.

Find out more about Forms 15 and 16.

Plumbing and drainage approval

Entertainment venues may need plumbing approval for the following plumbing and drainage activities:

  • release of trade waste to sewer
  • installation and maintenance of backflow prevention devices
  • use of non-reticulated water supply.

The Plumbing Code of Australia forms part of the National Construction Code and contains the technical provisions for plumbing and drainage.

Plumbing and drainage work should be conducted by a licensed plumber.

Contact Council or your local water authority for more information.

Trade waste consent

Trade waste is liquid waste produced by a business.  All businesses require consent from the local water authority to release trade waste to the sewer.

Some entertainment venues also need pre-treatment and monitoring equipment (e.g. separators, interceptor, grease traps, or in-sink or in-drain baskets) before discharge to sewer.

The property owner or tenant  (depending on the lease agreement) is responsible for organising trade waste consent including the installation of any pre-treatment equipment.

Contact Council or your local water authority for more information on trade waste consent.

Backflow prevention devices

Backflow prevention devices stop sewage flowing back through to the town’s water supply.  There are two different types of backflow prevention devices, testable and non-testable.

All entertainment venues connected to town water require a non-testable backflow prevention device.  A licensed plumber can install a non-testable backflow prevention device for you.

Entertainment venues with pre-treatment equipment will need to have a testable backflow prevention device. A testable backflow device must be:

  • installed by an endorsed backflow plumber
  • registered with Council by the endorsed backflow plumber
  • inspected or tested annually by a licensed plumbing contractor.

Contact Council or your local water authority for further information on backflow prevention devices.

Non-reticulated water supply

Reticulated water is drinkable water supplied by the local water authority. Non-reticulated water is any other water you have access to (e.g. rainwater, groundwater from wells or bores, or greywater from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances).

Some local governments require the use of rainwater or greywater systems for new buildings.  A list of participating local governments is available from the Department of Housing and Public Works.

Entertainment venues can use rainwater or greywater (or other non-reticulated water) for non-drinking purposes including maintaining equipment, flushing toilets, gardening, and as cold water for washing machines.

The installation of a non-reticulated water supply must meet the requirements of Queensland Development Code MP 4.3 - Supplementary Water Sources. A plumbing approval is not required to use rainwater or greywater in your building, but your plumber will need to notify the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.  Your plumber will provide you with a copy of the notification.

You may need planning approval and building approval for storage tanks larger than 10m2, or if the tank is located in a cyclone area.

Contact Council or your local water authority for more information on the use of a non-reticulated water supply.

How to apply

Applications can be submitted (with the relevant fee) in person at Council offices or by surface mail.

    The applicant for an approval must be a legal entity (e.g. person/s or company.  Note - a trust name, business name or shop name is not a legal entity and cannot be the approval holder).

    A new application is not required for minor changes (e.g. change of contact details). Contact Council regarding these changes. Find out how to make other changes in this section.

    Use this information to assist you in ensuring your application is complete and that you consider other applications that may be required for your business.

    Forms

    Entertainment venue application forms are available from Council.

    Plans

    You may be required to submit plans with your entertainment venue application. The plans should include:

    • a plan showing all rooms, exits, sanitary facilities, water supply, location of security lighting, location of potential noise sources, and food preparation areas (if applicable)
    • a site plan showing the location of premises in regard to other premises.

    Application process - new

    This process is for starting a new entertainment venue that requires a licence with Council.

    You must obtain relevant planning approval, building approval and plumbing approval before you submit an entertainment venue application.

    • Submit your entertainment venue application and plans to Council using the approved form. You are responsible for ensuring the application is complete.
    • Council will process your application and plans within the legislative or agreed timeframe. Council will contact you should additional information be required.
    • When Council approves your plans, you may begin the fit out. Your building certifier and licensed plumber will advise if any further building or plumbing approvals are required.
    • On completion of the fit out, contact Council for an inspection.
    • When Council approves your application, you can then operate in accordance with the approved conditions.

    Application process - taking over

    This process is for taking over an existing entertainment venue licence.

    You may apply for a search of Council records for information on the current entertainment venue and the conditions of approval. This process may require written permission from the vendor.

    • Submit your entertainment venue application to Council using the approved form. You are responsible for ensuring the application is complete.
    • Council will process your application within the legislative or agreed timeframe. Council will contact you should additional information be required.
    • When Council approves your application, you can then operate in accordance with the approved conditions.

    Application process - making changes

    This process is for making changes to an existing entertainment venue.

    Adding extra facilities or renovating your premises could change current planning, building and plumbing approvals. Contact Council to discuss any changes to your premises prior to the commencement of work.

    • Submit your entertainment venue application and plans to Council using the approved form. You are responsible for ensuring the application is complete.
    • Council will process your application and plans within the legislative or agreed timeframe. Council will contact you should additional information be required.
    • When Council approves your plans, you may begin the fit out. Your building certifier and licensed plumber will advise if any further building or plumbing approvals are required.
    • Upon completion of the fit out, contact Council for an inspection.
    • When Council approves your application, you can then operate in accordance with the approved conditions.

    Renewal

    If you need to amend details on your approval or require a copy of your approval contact Council.

    A notice will be sent prior to the expiration of your current approval.

    Related Applications

    Advertising signs licence

    Some councils have rules about the type and location of any advertising signs for businesses. Depending on the type of advertising sign, you may need to obtain a licence. Find out more about advertising signs.

    Business trading name

    If you are registering a new business name, you will need to contact Australian Securities and Investments Commission

    Food business licence

    If you plan to sell or serve food on the premises, you may need to apply for a food business licence.  Find out more about food business licences.

    Liquor licence

    If you intend to sell or serve alcohol on the premises, you will need to apply for a liquor licence.  Visit the Business Queensland website for information on liquor licences.

    Enforcement and complaints management

    Ensure your business is operating lawfully and maintain health and environmental standards to avoid enforcement action.

    Regulation (Inspection process)

    Council is required to monitor the standard of operations in entertainment venues and this is achieved through a routine inspection program. The expected frequency of these inspections will depend on the type of premises being operated and its level of compliance.

    Enforcement

    If you are running an entertainment venue you must have a current approval and comply with the relevant legislation and all conditions on your approval.

    If you have difficulty complying, contact Council.

    Failure to comply may result in one or more of the following enforcement actions:

    • a letter being issued requiring action or work to be conducted
    • a legal notice being issued requiring action to be taken or work to be conducted
    • penalty infringement notice (PIN) or on-the-spot fine
    • suspension of an approval
    • cancellation of an approval
    • prosecution.

    Complaint management

    If Council receives a complaint about your business, officers will investigate. They will assess your compliance with the entertainment venue approval conditions and potentially with any relevant development approval conditions.

    For noise related complaints, officers may assess against the following:

    • entertainment venue approval conditions (if applicable)
    • planning approval conditions (if applicable)
    • noise standard for indoor venues as specified in the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (if no other approval conditions apply).