Prescribed Temporary Structures

The VBA is the relevant authority under Section 53 of the Building Act 1993 for the purpose of obtaining an occupancy permit for a prescribed temporary structure.

As part of this function, the VBA is empowered to undertake inspections of any place of public entertainment, for which an occupancy permit has been issued by the VBA, under section 63 (2) of the Building Act 1993.

Lodging an application

  1. Fill in the VBA's Prescribed Temporary Structures Application Form.
  2. Fill in the Payment Authorisation Form, including the correct fee.
  3. Ensure all steps have been completed and ticked off as per the Prescribed Temporary Structures Required Documents Checklist.
  4. Submit the application with the relevant fee and supporting documentation via one of the methods below.


Technical and Regulation
Victorian Building Authority (VBA)
GPO Box 536
Melbourne VIC 3001


Technical and Regulation
Victorian Building Authority (VBA)

Lodge in person:

Technical and Regulation
Victorian Building Authority (VBA)
Goods Shed North
733 Bourke Street
Docklands VIC 3008

Prescribed temporary structures fees

  • New Occupancy Permit - $350.00
  • Application for Amendment – $150.00
  • Renewal of existing Occupancy Permit - $90.00


  • Applications for (new) state-wide occupancy permits can take between 9 to 12 weeks to be issued; this time frame includes the time given for applicants to provide further information when requested and re-assessment of that information.
  • Applications for event specific occupancy permits must to be lodged a minimum of 9 weeks prior to the event commencement date, unless other timeframes have been arranged via pre-event planning meetings.
  • Applications for renewing or amending an application must be lodged a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the permit expiring or the structure being used.
  • Applications lodged less than 2 weeks prior to an event will not be guaranteed of obtaining an occupancy permit.
  • Applications that fail to comply with the specified timeframes will be refused.

The VBA actively enforces the requirement for having an occupancy permit for prescribed temporary structures and will take enforcement action if required.

Frequently asked questions

1.  What is defined as a prescribed temporary structure?

Regulation 207 defines a prescribed temporary structure as follows;

  • Tents, marquees or booths with a floor area greater than 100m²
  • Seating stands for more than 20 persons
  • Stages or platforms (including sky boarders and stage wings) exceeding 150m² in floor area
  • Prefabricated buildings exceeding 100m² other than ones placed directly on the ground surface

2.  What does the VBA consider when assessing an application?

Regulation 212 of the Building Regulations 2018 requires a prescribed temporary structure to be designed in accordance with engineering principles to provide for structural safety and the safety of the public and other persons using the structure.

The VBA assess an application against the requirements contained within the ABCB Temporary Structure Standard which was introduced in August 2015 along with relevant referenced standards and sections contained within the National Construction Code (NCC).

3.  What type of occupancy permits can be issued?

There are two main types of occupancy permits issued by the VBA. The first type is a State-Wide permit and the second is an Event Specific permit.

Section 57 of the Building Act 1993 allows the VBA to issue an occupancy permit for a period of no longer than five years. Currently, the VBA issue three-yearly statewide permits.

4.  Does the occupancy permit contain conditions?

  • Maximum number of occupants
  • Location (Terrain Category and Region)
  • Maximum wind speed for occupation
  • Minimum hold down / weighting requirements
  • Fire safety equipment
  • Exits
  • Public toilet facilities

5. How high does the barrier need to be at the rear of a tiered seating stand?

It has come to the attention of the VBA that the interpretation of the legislation relating to the rear barrier of seating stands has not met the requirements of the National Construction Code. The issue relates to when the height of the seating stand at rear is more than 4m above the surface beneath. In the instance where the height of the seating stand is more than 4m there can be no horizontal climbable elements from 150mm above the rear seat base to 760mm up the required 1m height from the seat base barrier. This is due to the seat back being a horizontal element that can be climbed upon.

This means that the rear seat backs do not comply therefore, the rear barrier needs to be raised to a height that will satisfy this requirement under NCC Volume One Table D2.16a 3(c) and ABCB Temporary Structures Standard clause 5.1.5(e) or the rear of the stand needs to be enclosed. See below example.

Temporary Structure