Commercial activities on Council owned or managed land

If you operate a business in a public space, including at a beach, park or reserve, you need to have a valid Council-issued licence.

In Kempsey Shire, many commercial activities are conducted on land that Council owns and manages, including:

  • water-based activities
  • learn to swim/run and multisport classes
  • hire of recreational equipment
  • tourism tour operators or visitor attractions
  • semi-permanent food or mobile food vendors

Council manages the commercial use of our public spaces to ensure they can be used safely, maintained adequately and enjoyed by all.

How to apply

If your business uses Council owned and/or managed land, including for beach or water-based activities, you will need to apply for a licence.

You can apply for a 12-month permit known as a short-term licence. This licence must be renewed each year.

You can apply using our online form below.

APPLY HERE - Commercial Activities on Council Owned or Managed Land - Annual License Application Form

Commercial activity application forms are also available as a PDF form here(PDF, 236KB) or from Council's Customer Service team at 22 Tozer Street, West Kempsey.

Council is required to assess applications under the conditions set out in the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW)


Before applying for a short-term licence, you will need to ensure you have the following:

  • ABN and business name
  • insurance – Certificate of Currency for $20 million public liability
  • a risk assessment, a Risk Management Plan and/or Emergency Management Plan appropriate to the activity
  • membership of, and/or accreditation with, a recognised industry body (if applicable)
  • a location map and time schedule for your proposed activities
  • a Parks Eco Pass if you are travelling through national park sites
  • a Working with Children Check if your activity involves working with children

Before you apply for a short-term licence, it is advisable to discuss your plans with our Economic Development and Tourism Officer on 6566 3200 or by emailing

Application and licence fees

An application fee will be charged for all applications. In addition, a successful application will attract the appropriate licence fee, which can be found in Council’s Schedule of Fees and Charges(PDF, 2MB) - see Section 14, Events and Commercial Activities on Land Owned, Managed or Controlled by Council.

Council assessment of your application

All applications are assessed against the criteria set out in the commercial activities on Council managed land policies.

Council may consult any stakeholder or impacted party as part of the assessment process. A Development Application (DA) may be required if your commercial activity falls outside this scope, which is a separate process. Please contact Council’s Customer Service team if you think you may need a DA.

Some activity may require a Crown land approval or Native Title Assessment before any activity can be conducted. This may require an additional application and fee.

More information