You may need a Filming permit from Council if you are filming or taking photography on a road, footpath, nature strip, open space, or car park which is owned or managed by Merri-bek Council.
When a Filming permit is not required
A permit is not required if your filming or photography meets all of these criteria:
- Six or less people are involved in the shoot
- Filming takes 1 day or less
- Parking restriction exemptions are not required
- Filming takes place on local roads only, as per the Melway road hierarchy and street classifications (these are the brown colour roads on the map).
- No road is blocked and any filming on a footpath enables access for pedestrians as required (either with hand-held or tripod camera)
- Access to residential or business premises remains unhindered
- Filming occurs between 9 am and 5 pm
- If filming in a park, then the public must have unhindered use of Council facilities such as playgrounds and rotundas.
A Filming permit is not required for wedding photography.
You must still obtain public liability insurance with a minimum of $5 million coverage before you commence filming in Merri-bek.
When a Filming permit is required
A Filming permit is required from Council:
- for all television, feature films, commercials, documentaries and music videos as well as photography undertaken as part of a trade or business (other than wedding photography).
- if you do not meet all the criteria in the above list.
If you are a not-for-profit organisation or student completing filming as part of your study, you must still obtain a permit, however, fees do not apply.
When to apply?
An application must be received at least 4 full business days in advance for the standard permit fee to apply.
There is a higher charge for:
- a permit application received less than 4 full business days before filming, or
- where the applicant has not provided all required information to Council 4 full business days in advance of filming.
Filming permit fees
Filming permits incur a fee. This fee is reviewed yearly.
Standard Filming permit
Priority Filming permit
|Student who is completing filming as part of their study||$0|
|Parking bay||$7 per day or $35 per week (per bay)|
How to apply
What you need?
Before you begin your online application, ensure that you have:
- Details of the location(s) required and estimated times of the proposed filming
- Name and contact details for the person managing the shoot on the day
(a location manager is required on the day of the shoot)
- Copy of your public liability insurance.
If you are temporarily closing or blocking a road, footpath or laneway, or restricting access, you require a Filming permit with a road closure authority, and need:
- Pedestrian and Traffic Management Plan, including a Risk Management Plan (prepared by a qualified representative as required by the Road Management Act 2004 and Road Safety Act 1986)
- Site Plan
- Copy of communication for impacted community members
We recommend you read the further information about these application requirements provided below, before you apply.
A schedule of activities is not required by Merri-bek Council.
- Apply for a Filming permit.
- As part of the online application process, you upload digital files and pay the permit application fee by Visa or MasterCard. You can also elect to have an invoice sent.
- When Council receives your application, you receive an automated email confirmation that your application has been received.
You do not need to register as a user and sign in to Council Online Services to apply for a Filming permit. However, as a registered user, you don't need to re-enter your personal information and can keep track of requests and applications on any device.
What happens after you apply
Once your application and all material is received, Council assesses the application and responds within 4 business days.
For all urgent applications, a higher fee applies and will be actioned as a priority.
If any of the filming details change after you have been granted a permit, you should contact Council in writing as early as possible, particularly if it requires a change in date or location of the filming. If the change involves an alternate date or location, then the permit will need to be reassessed. Consider including alternative days in your initial filming application so they can be included in your permit.
Public liability insurance
Public liability insurance is required for all filming in the Merri-bek area.
The level of insurance required depends on the scale of the filming.
|Circumstance||Level of insurance required|
|Filming permit is not required||$5 million liability|
|Filming permit is required||$10 million liability
(including for road/footpath closure)
|Large scale production
(involves more than 20 people)
|$20 million liability|
Road or footpath closure requirements
Generally, traffic should be held no longer than three minutes per 15 minute block.
When you temporarily close or block a road, footpath or laneway or restrict access you need:
A site map shows the location of your equipment, unit base (if you have one), staff and filming as well as other key equipment to be used during the film shoot.
Pedestrian and traffic management plan
A traffic management plan outlines how you will manage the pedestrian or road traffic impacted by your filming.
In the case of a road closure, the plan should detail how traffic will be managed during the filming and include specific details such as hold and release traffic management methods.
For a pedestrian traffic management plan, this should include details such as where safety cones and signs will be placed and whether spotters will be used to assist impacted pedestrians.
These plans must outline your objectives and strategies for managing the proposed activity to ensure public safety.
For all road closures and temporary block and hold, the engagement of a qualified traffic management company is required to design and implement a traffic management plan.
Risk management plan
A risk management plan must be submitted to Council for all filming activities. It must include:
- identification of any risks
- measurement of the risks
- the proposed management of those risks.
Letter to impacted residents or traders
Any resident or business owner in the immediate vicinity of the filming that will be impacted or inconvenienced should be notified of any possible impact.
A letter to the impacted residents advising them of the arrangements for the filming is required. The letter must include a contact within your organisation where concerns may be directed.
If there is any significant level of impact, a permit may not be granted.
Council must be advised of any objections.
Moreland City Council enables parking bays to be hired for the duration of the film shoot, subject to availability.
Please apply with your filming application for a car bay permit.
We also require notification of any vehicles over 4.5 tonnes or 7.5 metres long due to special legal requirements for these vehicles.
Requirements of other authorities
VicRoads managed roads
If you want to film on a VicRoads managed road, you should also contact VicRoads to discuss their filming requirements. See VicRoads events and filming for details.
You still need to apply to Council for a Filming permit.
Victoria Police only need to be notified if you are undertaking activities that may cause concern or alarm within the community. For example use of firearms, explosives, stunts.
See Victoria Police film and television for details.
If you require further information or would like to discuss your film project, please contact Council.
For large scale productions of greater than 20 people, enquiries can be directed to email Council Communications.