Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Licence and a Permit?

There is little difference between a licence and a permit.  Both require permission from authorities to allow certain activities or business to take place and may require inspections.

Can we have balloons at our event?

Balloons are great promotional items, but they are highly mobile and can have a devastating effect on wildlife.  Council does not allow balloon or other product releases at events held on Council land.

As a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the Cairns community must lead by example to reduce the impacts of litter on marine life.  Balloons, along with any attached ribbons or plastic discs, can harm sea birds, turtles and other marine animals through entanglement or ingestion. Council encourages litter-free alternatives such as ribbon dancers, outdoor projection, flower petals, bubbles, kites and flags.

Can we put signs on the road to advertise our event?

Permission may be granted to not-for-profit organisations ONLY to temporarily place signs advertising events on the side of the road within the city.  Approval is subject to a number of terms and conditions.

  • Signage may be erected a maximum of 14 days prior to your event commencing, and must be removed within 48 hours of the event concluding
  • Under no circumstances is a commercial business permitted to place advertising signs on the side of the road
  • Council cannot grant approval for signs on a State controlled road.  Please contact the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads for approval on 13 19 40
  • Any required signage must not be displayed in such a way that is visible from a road or other public place without written approval from Council pursuant to Local Law 4 (Advertising Devices) 2016
  • If you choose to erect signage, please provide details (size of the sign, location) on the event application form
  • Under no circumstances are signs to be attached to existing road or regulatory signage or the poles of such signage.
Can I get money from Council?

There are numerous funding streams available from Council, and the eligibility criteria changes from stream to stream.  Check out the Grants page on Council’s website for information on each funding stream.

What does "in kind" mean?

Generally grant funding will take the form of “cash” or “in kind”.  In Kind means that a business will not be giving you cash.  They will be supplying you with a good or service that they produce as a matter of core business.  Some businesses call this “sponsorship”.  For example, a sporting store would give you sporting apparel or equipment instead of cash that you could potentially spend elsewhere.

I don’t have experience in running an event, will Council run it for me?

No, but if you are applying for a Community Local Event grant, there are Council event facilitators who can give you advice on how to run your event.  For formal training, you will have to source a trainer external to Council or employ an event coordinator.

Where else can I get funding (outside of Council)?

State Government, Federal Government and philanthropic organisations have grant funding available. A search of the internet using “Grants in Queensland” as your criteria brings up multiple funding sources in this state.

Some are one-off funding, some have a theme like “youth” orientated projects/programs.  You need to ensure that your event is a good fit for any funding you apply for.

Have you considered going to local businesses for sponsorship?

How do I know if I need traffic management?

If your event changes or interferes in any way with road or pedestrian traffic, you will need a traffic management plan.  For further information please contact Council’s Infrastructure Planning team on 1300 69 22 47.

Last updated: 16 June 2020