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TravelSmart Special Events Planning Resource Kit

02 - Roles and Responsibilities

At a Glance

In developing a strategy to support the use of sustainable modes of transport for access to your special event you will need to interact with other organisations. The size and scope of your event will define how many organisations and what level of Government will need to be involved. For most events you will need to consult with local councils and the police.

An effective consultation process is essential to delivering a good outcome - you should aim to build partnerships and establish good communication channels.

This section provides you with an understanding of the organisations that are likely to be involved and the interaction they will have with you. At this stage, it is important that you understand who these organisations are and the role that they provide. However, you will need to collect information about your event through an audit process before you start the consultation process. We discuss the consultation process in more detail at Section 4 - Objectives, Targets and Indicators after you've gathered the information you will need.

Steering Committee

A steering committee will help to guide the planning of your special event. They tend to be formed with representatives from local councils or State Government (depending on the size of event being organised), representatives from the police, representatives of emergency services and the event organisers.

It is important to involve these stakeholders early in your planning process, usually about four months or more before your event, depending on the size. For larger events that will require increased frequency or loading of public transport services it will be necessary to start this process even earlier.

The steering committee will need to meet regularly, with a structured meeting format to ensure that productive outcomes are achieved. One of the key objectives of the steering committee will be to agree realistic targets for each mode of transport and develop a cost effective and efficient transport plan.

The Planning Framework

The following diagram illustrates the broad relationships between organisations in planning special events. While this may differ slightly in your State, the basic framework will be similar. Your local council will be able to confirm the framework for your area and the organisations that will be involved.

Planning framework diagram

Source: Maunsell Australia

This image highlights the need for effective communication and consultation between organisations. It also shows the high level interaction with State Agencies.

Depending on the complexity of the event you are organising you may need to develop Traffic Management Plans or Public Transport Management Plans, to detail how you will manage the impact of the event on the local road network, public transport systems and car parking.

While these plans are essential for larger events to ensure that local traffic conditions are not significantly affected, they tend to focus on the operation of the road network and public transport services during your event, rather than encouraging alternatives to using cars.

You may also need to develop safety/risk management plans to identify how you are going to effectively manage the risks associated with your event, such as crowd control, emergency vehicle access arrangements, crossing facilities, etc. These will need to be developed in consultation with and agreed by your state police service.

Local Councils

Local councils must be involved in the planning for your special event and may be the first agency that you contact depending on the size of event being organised. Some councils, particularly those that regularly deal with special events, have developed specific guidance to help you through this process - you should check with your council to see if this is available in your area.

You will require approval from the local council for all special events - this may need to be approved through a council meeting and you should allow about four months for this process. You will need to allow a longer time for approval if your event is large or will have significant impacts on the local area.

Local councils have a wide responsibility to the local community and will be interested in a range of triple-bottom-line issues, such as social, economic and environmental impacts. Councils tend to have a good understanding of travel patterns within their community and may be able to assist in identifying successful strategies to promote sustainable transport modes.

A Guide to Special Events Planning (NSW Department of Local Government, 1997) includes an explanation of each of these issues and discusses ways to undertake the necessary assessments in NSW. Your local council will be able to provide similar information for your State.

State Agencies

The framework of State Government agencies differs throughout Australia. However, it is likely that the agencies controlling Transport and/or Planning issues will need to be involved if your event will affect existing public transport services, arterial roads, or will involve a significant number of people. While a specific trigger for State involvement is hard to define, they would be involved in events such as Floriade in Canberra or the Melbourne Grand Prix.

You will need to ascertain what, if any, statutory approvals will be required prior to commencement of your special event. The scale of event will define the level of involvement needed from these agencies. In traffic terms, this is directly related to the effect the event will have on the arterial or strategic road network, and public transport services. Supporting public transport may assist in reducing impacts on arterial roads.

Other agencies, such as State Planning agencies can also provide input to your event access plan and may assist in negotiations with public transport operators.

State agencies will be able to offer advice about planning for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

For contact details please refer to Section 7 - Useful Resources of this kit.

Pedestrian and Cyclist Organisations

State cyclist organisations such as Bicycle SA, Bicycle NSW and Bicycle Victoria, and others such as local shops and cycling clubs can help you to identify what facilities cyclists will need at your event and to organise additional facilities if you don't have enough.

Cyclist organisations may be able to lease bicycle parking equipment, or advise you of organisations in your area that can provide this type of service. They also often produce excellent guides that detail cycling facilities in their respective areas, including maps of bicycle routes and locker locations.

Contact details for a range of cycle organisations are included in Section 7 - Useful Resources. Details of your local bicycle stores or other organisations can also be found through an internet search, the phone book, your local library or through cyclist magazines available from newsagents.

Public Transport Operators

It is highly likely that state and/or private public transport operators (train, tram/light rail, ferry, bus, taxi or coach) will be essential to the success of your event access plan.

These organisations will need to be able to provide an acceptable level of service to meet the needs of your customers before, after and during your special event, although it should be noted that operating/contractual arrangements for public transport operators vary by State and there may not be a requirement for them to provide additional levels of service. You will need to explore opportunities with public transport operators to increase the frequency of services, change timetables or perhaps modify existing routes.

Public transport operators are an excellent source of information about travel conditions in their area and often gather important data about demand for their services during different periods, which can be useful for estimating the level of demand and supply for your event.

We have provided contact information for some of the larger public transport operators in each state in Section 7 - Useful Resources. You will also be able to find those relevant to your event through the internet, your local library or your local council.

Taxi Council

Depending on the size of your event, it may be advantageous to contact the Taxi Council in your area. Taxis are a form of public transport that is not always promoted effectively in special event planning.

You may need to provide, or arrange for, taxi facilities between stations or public transport hubs and hotels or venues.

Police and Emergency Services

Police, Fire and Medical services will need to be consulted to ensure that your event complies with relevant legislation in your state.

These organisations will be able to provide guidance regarding crowd control, crowd safety, traffic control and a range of related issues, such as pedestrian and cyclist security at night.

For state emergency services contact details please refer to Section 7 - Useful Resources.


Other Stakeholders

Environment Agency

State environment agencies may become involved in the planning of your event if the environmental assessment indicates that the event will have significant impacts on the local environment. If this occurs, it is likely that the environment agency will be consulted as a 'consent authority' through the planning process.

Your state environment agency will be keen to reduce emissions and pollution from car use, and may be able to offer advice about pedestrian, cycle and public transport planning as a way of meeting these aims.

Resident Groups

Resident groups may become involved in the planning process if the event will have significant effects in residential areas. They will typically make a representation of their concerns to the local council, who will then require consultation and resolution of any significant issues through the planning system.

Residents often know the local area very well and may be able to identify barriers that are preventing or reducing walking, cycling or public transport use.

Business Council

If your event is likely to have a significant positive or negative impact on the commercial vitality of the area surrounding your venue, the local Business Council or association, may become involved. It is likely that this would occur through the local council within the planning application process.

You may want to encourage local shops and service providers to become involved with your event. Encouraging people to walk, cycle or use public transport actually creates new business opportunities that are often not recognised.

By thinking in an innovative way these organisations could help you to meet your aims by providing services for free or at reduced prices. Cheaper prices could possibly be subsidised through advertising. Here are some examples of services that might be useful. You should also be able to think of some more that are appropriate for your event:

Some examples of businesses working with special events in this way, include:

Your event may even create new businesses, such as the rickshaw companies offering transport to the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament in England. The Reconnecting America Organisation in the US has found that encouraging public transport orientated facilities has had economic benefits - please refer to the website for more information.