shopify visitor statistics
Temporary Demountable Structures
Temporary Demountable Structures

This chapter is sponsored by Design Quintessence


(Revised 20 November 2017)

Temporary Demountable Structures (TDS) play an increasing role in many entertainment events, even in well established entertainment venues. But whether you have a small marquee at the entrance to the event or a whole stage structure, a structural failure will have devastating effects. The fact that a structure is designed for temporary use does not change the overall expectation for safety. The suitability of a TDS must be considered in detail early on. Is the design suitable, can it be erected and dismantled safely, is it build in accordance with manufacturers’ and engineering guidelines, is it suitable for the location are all questions that need to be answered before committing to a specific structure.

By default, most TDS will be used outdoors and are susceptible to weather conditions. Wind can play great havoc with a structure but rain can weaken the ground which will impact the stability if you are using pegs. Or flooding can make it unusable if there is no internal floor. But heat can make it equally uncomfortable.

All structures, no matter how small, should come with a wind rating at least and a management plan what to do if the wind picks up.

It is also crucial to understand that although the structure may be temporary, the same expectations as found in permanent structures and buildings must be met. The same level of workplace safety is expected, the same level of public safety is expected from both legislation and the general public experience.

19.1 Referenced documents:

WHS Regulation 2011

National Construction Code 2016 (NCC) 2016

ABCB – Standard – Temporary Structures 2015

It should be noted that adoption and application of this Standard is for the determination of each State or Territory authority responsible for regulatory matters associated with temporary structures and may be subject to legislative/transitional arrangements. Any queries on such matters should be directed to the relevant State or Territory authority

AS1428 – Design for access and mobility

AS3745 – Planning for emergencies in facilities

AS1170 – Structural design actions

AS/NZS 1530 – Methods for fire tests on building materials, components and structures

AS/NZS 1664 – Aluminium Structures

AS/NZS 1680.0 – Interior lighting – Safe movement

AS 2293 – Emergency escape lighting and exit signs for buildings

AS 2444 – Portable fire extinguishers and fire blankets – Selection and location

AS 4100 – Steel Structures

19.1.1 International

ANSI E1.21 – Entertainment Technology − Temporary Structures Used for Technical Production of Outdoor Entertainment Events

BS EN 13782 – Temporary structures − Tents – Safety

IStructE – Temporary demountable structures – Guidance on procurement, design and use – 4th Edition 2017

19.2 Definitions

19.2.1 WHS Act

8 Meaning of “workplace”

  • A workplace is a place where work is carried out for a business or undertaking and includes any place where a worker goes, or is likely to be, while at work.
  • In this section, place includes:
  • a vehicle, vessel, aircraft or other mobile structure, and
  • any waters and any installation on land, on the bed of any waters or floating on any waters.

19.2.2 WHS Regulation

person with management or control of a workplace has the same meaning as it has in section 20 of the Act.

41 Duty to provide and maintain adequate and accessible facilities

    • 1) A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the provision of adequate facilities for workers, including toilets, drinking water, washing facilities and eating facilities.


    • 2) The person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the facilities provided under subclause (1) are maintained so as to be:

    • in good working order, and
    • clean, safe and accessible.

3) For the purposes of this clause, a person conducting a business or undertaking must have regard to all relevant matters, including the following:

  • the nature of the work being carried out at the workplace,
  • the nature of the hazards at the workplace,
  • the size, location and nature of the workplace,
  • the number and composition of the workers at the workplace.

19.2.3 Appropriate authority

Means the relevant authority with the statutory responsibility to determine the particular matter.

Comment: The appropriate authority for temporary structures may differ between States and Territories. In some cases the appropriate authority may be a municipal or private building certifier, State or Territory building control administration or health department.

19.2.4 Fabric membrane material

Means a thin flexible material that can be bent around a 6 mm-diameter rod, such as a polyvinyl chloride fabric, used in roof and/or wall coverings of a temporary structure.

19.2.5 Floor area

Means the amount of area, measured in square metres, taken up by the temporary structure. Supports located externally are excluded in the floor area measurement.

19.2.6 Point of egress

Means the point of discharge from the temporary structure to open space.

19.2.7 Temporary structure(s)

Has the meaning assigned by the relevant State or Territory legislation or by the appropriate authority.

19.3 Occupancy Capacity

The calculations in terms of occupancy are identical to those for permanent structures. Please refer to Chapter 18: Venue and Site Design for details.

The Temporary Structures ABCB Standard adds the following distinction:

Importance levels of temporary structures

Importance Level Type of temporary structure


Temporary structure designed to contain not more than 300 people.


Temporary structure designed to contain more than 300 people.

Comment: A generic description of temporary structure occupancy loads has been provided to which Importance Levels have been assigned. The “Importance Level” concept is applicable to structural safety only. Importance Levels are to be assigned on a case by case basis. A general method for the determination of the Importance Level of any temporary structure is to assess the hazard to human life and the impact on the public in the event of failure of the structure.

19.4 Tents, marquees, stages and tiered seating or viewing structures

It should be noted that the structural requirements of the ABCB Standard are applicable to not just tents, marquees or the like but apply equally to stages, seating structures and other similar types of temporary structures. Although the structural provisions of the Standard do not differentiate between types of temporary structures, useful information on provisions for the different types of temporary structures can be found in the United Kingdom Institute of Structural Engineers publication: Temporary demountable structures – Guidance on procurement design and use, 4th edition (IStructE 2017).

The IStructE publication contains chapters for specific design parameters for different types and also has useful information on ground and site conditions, such as determining ground bearing pressures for the structure and its supporting members.

19.5 Structural

Part 3 of the ABCB Standard gives details about the structural requirements for temporary structures:
The intent of the structural provisions in the ABCB Standard is to ensure that a temporary structure has sufficient strength to resist the actions to which it will be subjected.

Wind forces in particular are a critical consideration in the design, construction, erection and dismantling of these structures. The design should ensure the transfer of wind forces to the ground or supporting structure, with an adequate safety margin to prevent collapse of the structure or the building being lifted or slid off its supporting foundations.

To resist these forces it is necessary to have—

(a) an anchorage system, where the roof is connected by the walls to the supporting foundations by a chain of connections, or if no walls are in place, to supporting columns or similar; and

(b) a bracing system to prevent horizontal collapse due to wind forces; and

(c) continuity of the system where each structural element is interlocked to its adjoining structural element throughout the structure.

The structural adequacy of a temporary structure is generally proven by calculation verified by a qualified structural engineer. As a minimum, such calculations should include the permanent actions, maximum likely imposed actions and the wind actions for which the structure has been designed to resist.

19.5.1 Monitoring systems and procedures

Weather conditions can change quickly and are the biggest threat to the stability of temporary structures, particularly where reduced design factors are used in the design. Suitable monitoring systems, including action plans to respond to conditions, should be in place for all temporary structures. Site managers must be aware of design wind loads of temporary structures and procedures if conditions are at risk of exceeding safe conditions.

19.6 Anchoring

Anchors are critical to the stability and safety of temporary structures. The pull out force that an anchorage stake can withstand depends on the type of soil, its moisture content, the inclination of the anchor and the depth of the anchor. Where ground penetration is not possible, a system of ballast weights can be used as a means of resisting uplift forces provided it can be demonstrated by calculation or other suitable means that the system will perform adequately. In determining the appropriate ground anchorage requirements for the temporary structure, the general structural provisions of ABCB Standard Part 3 apply. This includes applying the engineering principle factors from the AS/NZS 1170 suite, or one of the international standards / documents referenced herein, taking account of any reduced regional wind speed factors applied.

Another matter which requires monitoring is guy ropes used for anchoring the structure which, in strong winds, may loosen and may need regular tightening. Other supporting members may also need to be checked for movement.

19.7 Fire Resistance

(a) Roof and/or wall coverings of a temporary structure (including any additional lining attached to the structure) must comply with the fire hazard properties set out in ABCB Table 4.1.2.

(b) (a) does not apply to tiered seating and viewing structures or stages without wall or roof coverings.



For roof and/or wall coverings:

Flammability Index


Spread-of-Flame Index


Smoke-Developed Index


(a) Within 4 m of the base of the temporary structure and for air-supported temporary structures (without other supporting framework) 6 9 8
(b) In every other case 25 9 8

19.7.1 Separation between structures

Where more than one temporary structure is used on site, minimum separation between structures must be adhered to. The distances are determined by the floorspace of each structure and set-out in Table 4.1.3. The same separation must be used between permanent structures and temporary structures.

As a rule of thumb:

Structures less than 750m2 – separation 1.5m

Structures between 750m2 and 3000m2 – separation 3m

Structures over 3000m2 – separation 6m

For determining the separation, the size of the largest structure is used.

19.7.2 Fire Fighting Equipment – hydrants

The ABCB Standard sets out a requirement for a fire hydrant for temporary structures over 750m2. Although there are some other options, such as water tankers or access to lakes or dams, the provision of a hydrant can complicate things on ‘greenfield’ sites.

19.7.3 Portable fire extinguishers

All enclosed temporary structures must provide as a minimum the following fire extinguishers, broken down by use of the structure. Table 4.2.3

Requirements for extinguishers Risk Class (as defined in AS 2444) Location/type/number
All enclosed temporary structures Class AE or E fire risk


Class A are those which involve carbonaceous solids. A carbonaceous solid is one which contains the chemical element carbon as the basic fuel. This is probably the most common type of fire encountered by firefighters.

Examples: Wood, paper, cloth,

rubber, plastics, grass, coal.

There is no ‘official’ Class E fire. Electricity is not a fuel; it does not burn like a fuel. However, it is a dangerous complication at a fire, because it is a source of heat and potential electric shock.

One 4.5kg AB (E) dry chemical powder extinguisher located adjacent to any generator or switchboard
Class F fire risk


involve cooking oils and fats.

Examples: Lard, vegetable oils

One 4.5kg AB (E) dry chemical powder extinguisher located adjacent to any cooking area
Class B fire risks


involve flammable and

combustible liquids.

Examples: Petrol, kerosene, oil, tar, paint, wax.

One 4.5kg AB (E) dry chemical powder or foam type extinguisher located adjacent to any flammable liquid or gas container
Class A fire risks


Class A are those which involve carbonaceous solids. A carbonaceous solid is one which contains the chemical element carbon as the basic fuel. This is probably the most common type of fire encountered by firefighters.

Examples: Wood, paper, cloth,

rubber, plastics, grass, coal.

One 4.5kg AB (E) dry chemical or pressurised water type extinguisher for every 100 m2 of floor area of the temporary structure and where more than one extinguisher is required, they must be—

(a) distributed evenly; and

(b) be located within 5 m of a point of egress from the structure


Notes: The appropriate authority may require additional portable fire extinguishers be provided to cover fire risks in relation to special hazards associated to the use of the structure. This could include events where fireworks or pyrotechnics are to be used within or in close proximity to the temporary structure.

19.8 Egress

The amount of egress from a temporary structure is set out in Part 4.3 of the ABCB Standard. There are a number of things to be considered, such as multiple storey structures, which are outlined in the Standard.

As a starting point, the following table provides the number of exits in relation to number of people accommodated.

Persons accommodated Number of points of egress required
1-50 1
51-200 2
201-400 3
401-600 4
601-1000 5
Over 1000 5 plus one additional point of egress for each additional 450 persons or part thereof

There are further requirements in terms of distance travelled to an exit, the width of each exit and the distance between exits.

19.8.1 Exit and directional signs

All enclosed temporary structures must provide exits signs and directional signage. Exit signs must be placed over any door, flap, curtain or opening leading to a point of egress. Electrically illuminated signs must comply with AS/NZS2293.1.

An emergency lighting system must be installed in an enclosed temporary structure having a floor area more than 500 m2, if the temporary structure is intended for use outside the hours of daylight, or in the absence of natural daylight, where a minimum illumination level of 0.2 lux is not achieved at floor level.

19.9 Disability Access

All calculations must incorporate access and facilities for people with disabilities and people in wheelchairs. Part D3 in the NCC Building Code outlines all the minimum requirements. Special consideration must be given to ground conditions if the surface is soft such as grass or sand. Trackmats or other groundcovers may be required to meet the required accessibility around the site. In temporary environments even more so than existing buildings where these matters should be addressed in the building process, it pays to reference AS/NZS 1428.2 (Design for access and mobility – Enhanced and additional requirements – Buildings and facilities) and AS/NZS 1680.0 (Interior lighting – Safe movement)

19.9.1 Floorspace

In terms of floorspace, where fixed seating is provided in a Class 9b assembly building, wheelchair seating spaces complying with AS 1428.1 must be provided in accordance with the requirements set-out in NCC Building Code Table D3.9. Although the NCC only mentions fixed seating, it is a good guideline for GA or other types of events too.

19.9.2 Egress

Careful consideration must be given to access and egress from the event or entertainment venue. If there are restrictions in terms of emergency egress, these must be addressed in the Emergency Management plan. In November 2010, the Australian Standard AS 3745 – Planning for emergencies in facilities recommended that occupants with disability requiring assistance to evacuate in an emergency are equipped with a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) as part of the overall emergency plan. Your organisation should review this suggestion on a regular basis to determine any specific evacuation requirements. The relevant section (4.2.11) Occupants and visitors with a disability in summary says:

  • When developing emergency response procedures, consideration shall be given to general public and visitors who will need help.
  • Details are to be kept where the chief warden exercises control.
  • Suitable strategies should be discussed with organisations representing people with disabilities
  • Information on the PEEP should be given to people responsible for implementing it such as area wardens.

Though there is an evacuation standard in place, there is limited information regarding people with disability.

19.9.3 Accessible Toilets

The requirements for accessible toilets are detailed in NCC BCA Part F2.4

19.9.4 Signage

In a building required to be accessible, all Class 9b buildings are, braille and tactile signage must identify sanitary facilities and exit doors. All details are set out in NVV BCA Table D3.6.

19.10 Sanitary Facilities

Sanitary facilities need not be provided for a temporary structure accommodating not more than 20 people.

19.11 Emergency Planning

Part of planning a temporary event or entertainment venue must be preparing for emergencies, in this day and age more than ever. Please look at Chapter 4 – Emergency Planning.

19.12 State and Territories’ legislative requirements for temporary structures

NSW – State Environmental Planning Policy (Temporary Structures and Places of Public

Entertainment) 2007


Victoria – Occupancy Permits for Places of Public Entertainment July 2013

Tasmania Building Act 2016.

SA – Entertainment Venue Licence

WA – Guidelines on the Application of the Health (Public Buildings) Regulations 1992



19.12.1 (INFORMATVE) Appendix from the ABCB Standard Temporary Structures

This appendix presents an overview of State and Territory legislative requirements for temporary structures. In order to obtain the latest requirements and to address any queries on such matters, advice should be sought from the State and Territory authority responsible for regulatory matters associated with temporary structures.

19.12.2 Australian Capital Territory

Temporary structures in the Australian Capital Territory (“ACT”) and in Jervis Bay Territory, must comply with relevant ACT and Commonwealth laws, unless exempted.

Some structures might be exempted from some, or all, provisions of the ACT’s Building Act 2004, and thereby might be exempted from respective requirements of this Standard. See the relevant exemption provisions in that Act at

For further information: phone the Canberra Connect Contact Centre on 13 22 81 or (02) 6207 5111. International callers please use +61 2 6207 5111.

19.12.3 New South Wales

The erection and use of temporary structures in NSW is generally regulated through the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (Act), the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (Regulation) and the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Policy).

19.12.3.a Exempt Development

Exempt Development is minor development of minimal environmental impact that can be carried out without the need for the prior approval of the local Council or a private accredited certifier, subject to the development meeting prescribed development standards. The erection and use of certain temporary structures may be carried out as exempt development in accordance with the standards prescribed in Division 3 ‘Temporary Uses and Structures Exempt Development Code’ within Part 2 ‘Exempt Development Codes’ of the Policy.

19.12.3.b Complying Development

Under the Act, there is a streamlined approval process for certain types of routine development that meet certain prescribed development standards, known as complying development. The ‘General Development Code’ in Part 4A of the Policy specifies certain temporary structures that may be undertaken as complying development so long as the applicable development standards are met. A complying development certificate must be obtained from the local Council or a private accredited certifier before the temporary structure is erected.

In conjunction with the development standards listed in Part 4A of the Policy, clause 133(2) of the Regulation imposes additional development standards relating to the fire protection and structural capacity of the structure based on the proposed use, and the suitability of the ground surface on which the structure will be erected.

Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Regulation prescribes the information that must be included in and accompany an application for a complying development certificate.

19.12.3.c Development Consent

Development consent for the erection and use of a temporary structure is required where the proposed development is not specified as either exempt or complying development, or does not meet the relevant development standards to be undertaken as exempt or complying development. In considering an application for a temporary structure, the consent authority (usually the local council) must have regard to clause 94A of the Regulation, which requires the consent authority to consider whether the fire protection and structural capacity of the structure will be appropriate to the proposed use, as well as the suitability of the ground surface on which the structure will be erected, in addition to the other matters specified for consideration under section 79C of the Act.

Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Regulation prescribes the information that must be included in and accompany a development application.

Under clause 268A of the Regulation, a construction certificate is not required for the erection of a temporary structure in accordance with a development consent.

19.12.3.d Temporary Structures used as ‘Entertainment Venues’

An ‘entertainment venue’ is defined in the Regulation as a building used as a cinema, theatre or concert hall or an indoor sports stadium.

It is a prescribed condition of a development consent (including complying development certificates) for a temporary structure that is to be used as an ‘entertainment venue’ that

it complies with Part B1 and NSW Part H102 of Volume One of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) (clauses 136A(1A) and 98(1A) of the Regulation).

NSW Part H102, in the NSW Appendix to Volume One of the BCA, contains specific requirements that apply to temporary structures used as ‘entertainment venues.’ These include requirements for exits, fabrics, guardrails, seating, sanitary accommodation, projection suites, heating, electrical services, lighting (including exit and emergency lighting) and firefighting services.

For a temporary structure used as an ‘entertainment venue’, an occupation certificate will need to be issued by the principal certifying authority (PCA) prior to the occupation or use of the temporary structure. The PCA, which can be the local council or private accredited certifier, must be appointed prior to the commencement of work. Before issuing the occupation certificate, the PCA will need to inspect the temporary structure and be satisfied that it is suitable for use and that the conditions of the development consent or complying development certificate, including those relating to compliance with the BCA, have been met (clause 154 of the Regulation).

19.12.3.e Application of this Standard

Compliance with this Standard is not required by NSW legislation and the provisions of NSW legislation prevail over this Standard.

Further Information

For further information on the requirements relating to the erection and use of temporary structures in NSW, please contact the Department of Planning and Environment’s information centre on 1300 305 695.

19.12.4 Northern Territory

19.12.4.a Northern Territory Requirements for Temporary Structures

The Northern Territory Building Act defines a temporary structure as:

(a) a booth, tent or other temporary enclosure, whether or not a part of it is permanent; or

(b) a mobile structure.

Northern Territory Building Act Division 4: Temporary occupation

19.12.4.b 74 Temporary occupation of buildings

(1) Despite anything to the contrary in this Act or the Regulations, a person may, with the approval of a building certifier, occupy on a temporary basis a building for which a building permit has not or could not be granted.

(2) An application for an approval to occupy a building on a temporary basis may be made to a building certifier by the owner of the building or by the owner’s agent.

19.12.4.c 75 Schedule 3 to apply

Schedule 3 applies to and in relation to an application for an approval to occupy a building on a temporary basis, and an approval, under this Division.

19.12.4.d 76 Conditions

(1) An approval to occupy a building on a temporary basis must specify the period for which occupancy is permitted.

(2) An approval to occupy a building on a temporary basis must not be granted for a period exceeding 6 months without the approval of the Director.

Building approvals for all structures including temporary structures are assessed and issued by private sector registered building certifiers. Refer to to search for building certifiers currently registered to work in the Northern Territory.

19.12.5 Queensland

Under the Building Act 1975 and the Building Regulation 2006, all building work is assessable and requires a building development approval unless it is prescribed as exempt or self-assessable development.

Schedule 2 of the regulation prescribes certain building work as exempt development, which means a building development approval is not required and the work does not need to meet any particular building requirements or standards. Additionally, building work outlined in Schedule 1 of the regulation is prescribed as self-assessable, which means it does not require a building development approval but must still meet the relevant building assessment provisions, including the National Construction Code (NCC) and the Queensland Development Code (QDC).

The QDC consolidates Queensland-specific building standards into a single document. It covers Queensland matters outside the scope of and in addition to the NCC. For example, QDC MP 3.3 relates to temporary accommodation buildings and structures. The purpose of this part is to ensure temporary accommodation buildings achieve acceptable minimum standards of health and safety.

The legislation referenced above can be found at or at

For further information regarding the specific building requirements for a particular project, a private building certifier or the relevant local government should be contacted. Any applicable planning requirements should also be confirmed with the relevant local government.

19.12.6 South Australia

Under the Development Act 1993 and the Development Regulations 2008, no development can be undertaken without a development approval unless specifically exempted by the legislation. Approvals are obtained from relevant authorities established by the Act (i.e. local councils or in some cases the Development Assessment Commission). For temporary structures, a development approval will require a development plan consent (planning) and a building rules consent.

19.12.7 Tasmania

Tasmania – Occupancy Permits for Temporary Structures

A Temporary Occupancy Permit (TOP) is issued under the Building Act 2000 to allow the use or temporary structure for a particular short term activity such as a public or a private event.

19.12.7.a 3.1 Requirements and relevant legislation

A TOP is required where a person intends to:

  • Operate an event or function where temporary structures may be erected such as booths, tents, marquees, seating or stages.
  • Erection of a temporary structure on private property such as for a temporary boat or vehicle shelter, a temporary radio mast or for a wedding or party.

The Building Act 2000 provides that a person must not occupy a temporary structure in respect of which an occupancy permit is not, or is not likely to be, issued unless:

(a) a temporary occupancy permit is in force in respect of a temporary structure; or

(b) the Building Regulations 2014 provide that a temporary occupancy permit is not required for that temporary structure.

Further examples of when a TOP may be required include:
Outdoor concerts, rallies, festivals, or similar events where there are temporary stages, tiered seating or temporary shelters erected,
Markets, (either indoor or outdoor), fairs, shows, carnivals and rodeos or sporting events where temporary structures erected e.g. car rallies, rowing carnivals, school sports days.

Note also that the Temporary Occupancy Permit process in the Building Act 2000 is also applicable to the temporary use of an existing building, as well as for using temporary structures.

19.12.7.b 3.2 Definition of a Temporary Structure

The Building Act 2000 and the Building Regulations 2014 provide that a ‘temporary structure’ includes any:—

(a) booth, tent or other temporary enclosure, whether or not a part of the booth, tent or enclosure is permanent; or

(b) temporary seating structure; or

(c) a mobile structure;

(d) a temporary bridge;

(e) a temporary stage;

(f) a temporary platform;

(g) a temporary tower.

This is not an exhaustive list of the types of temporary structures.

19.12.7.c 3.3 Approval authority

An owner, or an agent of the owner, of an existing building or temporary structure may apply to the general manager of the local council for a temporary occupancy permit to occupy the building or temporary structure. The application form is available from Council offices.

19.12.7.d 3.4 Exemptions from permits

Some types of smaller temporary structures have been exempted from the requirement for a TOP. These exemptions are detailed in Regulation 41 of the Building Regulations 2014:

  • It exempts a tent used for two days or less that occupies floor space of less than 75 square metres, is the only one of its type on the site and does not have an ignitable fuel source or electrical wiring.
  • Specific exemptions also apply to groups of small tents, stalls and gazebos predominately used for the shelter of stallholders and their wares.
  • Tents erected on a camping ground or caravan park are also exempt.

19.12.7.e 3.5 Standards of performance in the National Construction Code

The National Construction Code, Volume One, Tasmania Appendix (TAS PART H123) provides the Objective, Functional Statements and Performance Requirements for the use of temporary structures.

  • The provisions of TAS PART H123 apply to the temporary structures as described in Tas Part H123.0 Application of Part.
  • The Deemed-to-Satisfy provisions referenced in Tas Part H123 is the ABCB Temporary Structures Standard 2015, except for Disability Access requirements for temporary structures, which are included in H123.4 Access of Tas Part H123.

19.12.7.f 3.6 Other requirements for events using temporary structures

Building owners, event managers, stall holders and erectors of structures must also ensure that other legal requirements are complied with before an event or new temporary use of a building starts.

19.12.7.g 3.1.1 Disability access

Access for people with disabilities must be provided to and within a temporary structure by means of a continuous path of travel, and also provision for accessible sanitary facilities. For these requirements see Tas Part H123.4 Access. Note that the organiser of any event who fails to provide for the needs of persons with a disability may be subject to a complaint of discrimination, lodged under either Tasmanian or Commonwealth laws.

19.12.7.h 3.1.2 Food licence

If your event is serving food you will need a food licence from the local council. The Department of Health and Human Services has a publication called Local Government Guidelines for Temporary Food Stalls available on council websites. The Guidelines specify minimum requirements for the construction and operation of a food stall. Ask your local council for a copy.

19.12.7.i 3.1.3 Alcohol licence

If your event is serving alcohol a liquor licence from the Liquor and Gaming Branch of the Department of Treasury may be required.

19.12.7.j 3.1.4 Markets

Some councils have specific By-Laws that regulate markets.

19.12.7.k 3.1.5 Workplace health and safety

If the place where the temporary structure is erected and used by the public is a workplace, the person in charge of that undertaking has to comply with the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 and its regulations.

19.12.7.l 3.1.6 Inflatable jumping castles, rides or similar ‘amusement structures’

These are regulated under Work Health and Safety Act 2012 and are to comply with the Australian Standard AS 3533 Amusement rides and devices Part Two – Operation and Maintenance.

19.12.8 Victoria

The Building Act 1993 requires all building work to be undertaken by a building practitioner, this includes the erection or dismantling of temporary structures. The relevant class of practitioner is erector of temporary structures. Temporary structures include:

  • a booth, tent, marquee or other temporary enclosure, whether or not a part of the booth, tent, marquee or enclosure is permanent; and
  • a seating structure whether enclosed or not, including a mobile seating structure.

In addition to the requirement for the work to be undertaken by a registered building practitioner, an occupancy permit must be obtained from the Victorian Building Authority for a prescribed temporary structure because these are regulated as a place of public entertainment.

The following are prescribed temporary structures:

  • tents, marquees or booths with a floor area greater than 100 m²
  • seating stands for more than 20 persons
  • stages or platforms (including sky borders and stage wings) exceeding 150 m² in floor area
  • prefabricated buildings exceeding 100 m² other than ones placed directly on the ground.

Occupancy permits issued by the Victorian Building Authority will generally require, as a condition of permit, that the siting of the temporary structure be approved by the relevant municipal building surveyor.

Further information about temporary structures generally as well as applying for an occupancy permit can be obtained from the Victorian Building Authority by email to or phone 1300 815 127.

19.12.9 Western Australia

Temporary Structures considered as public buildings under the Health Act 1911 will require the relevant health approvals. Under section 173 of the Health Act 1911, public building means—

  • a building or place or part of a building or place where persons may assemble for—
    • civic, theatrical, social, political or religious purposes; and
    • educational purposes; and
    • entertainment, recreational or sporting purposes; and
    • business purposes; and
  • any building, structure, tent, gallery, enclosure, platform or other place or any part of a building, structure, tent, gallery, enclosure, platform or other place in or on which numbers of persons are usually or occasionally assembled,

but does not include a hospital.

Refer to the relevant local government permit authority for any requirements under the Building Act 2011.