Rides and amusement devices

ferris wheel

Mechanical devices used for rides and entertainment at carnivals, shows and events are known as amusement devices.

Council approval is required before amusement devices can be erected and operated in the Tweed.

Some smaller devices do not need approval.

Amusement devices must meet Australian safety standards. Registration is managed by SafeWork NSW.

Amusement devices include:

  • ferris wheels and roller coasters
  • go-karts
  • climbing walls
  • giant slides
  • inflatable devices (land and water-borne)
  • bungy jumping, bridge swinging and high ropes courses
  • most manually operated mechanical devices (powered and unpowered)
  • miniature trains not owned or operated by a model railway society, club or association.

Event organisers – responsibilities

When hosting events that include amusement devices, event organisers should refer to the Duties of event organisers guide.

For more general information see holding and promoting events.

Apply to install or operate an amusement device

child on rock climbing wall

Council approval is required before amusement devices can be erected and operated in the Tweed.

If you are hiring an amusement device you should check that the operator has all the required approvals.

Approvals are required under Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993.

Before you apply

Before you apply you must consider the following.

  1. Event planning – applications must be submitted at least 6 weeks before the proposed event.
  2. Associated approvals may be required, for example development consent and community event licence.
  3. Public liability insurance – to find out the minimum level of public liability insurance needed for your application contact Council’s Corporate Governance Unit on 02 6670 2400. The Certificate of Currency must list Council as an Interested Party and suitably identify the proposed device.
  4. Site conditions – you need to provide certification from a qualified structural engineer that:
    • the ground or other surface on which the device is to be or has been erected is sufficiently firm to sustain the device while it is in operation and will not be dangerous because of its slope or irregularity or for any other reason
    • the device once erected is capable of resisting loads identified within the relevant Australian standards including AS/NZS 1170.0, AS/NZS 1170.1, and AS/NZS 1170.2.
  5. Certification must consider the location of any structures, services and utilities (including Council’s water and sewer mains). A Certificate of Currency for professional indemnity insurance for the engineering firm (minimum $5 million) must also be included.


The following amusement device documentation is required:

  • device registration certificate
  • engineer and electrician reports
  • annual inspections and compliance with AS3533
  • current logbook
  • confirmation that the device will be erected, operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s operating procedure
  • confirmation that staff are fully trained and use correct PPE.

Submit your application

Fill out the application form(PDF, 106KB) and pay the fee (see fees and payments). 

Contact us

For enquiries about approvals for amusement devices call Council’s Environmental Health Unit on 02 6670 2400.

Amusement devices that do not need approval 

The following amusement devices may be installed and operated without a section 68 approval from Council:

  • those that do not need to be registered under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2001
  • those designed for children 12 years or under that meet requirements of section 75 of the local government (general) regulation 2005

List of devices that do not need approval

This includes:

  • water slides
  • wave generators
  • inflatable devices, other than inflatable devices (continuously blown) with a platform height of 3 meters or more (such as jumping castles)
  • miniature trains and railway systems, but only those which are owned and operated by model railway societies
  • mini-Ferris wheels
  • battery operated cars
  • rotating amusement devices with a maximum rotation of 14 revolutions per minute

Other Council approvals may be required for proposed events (such as development consent or a community event licence). 

Amusement devices (including jumping castles and horse rides) are not allowed for private parties on Council owned land.

SafeWork NSW

Safety checks should be completed before an amusement device is put into service. Devices must be safe for operators and patrons.

SafeWork NSW is responsible for amusement device registration and general information. Call 13 10 50 or visit SafeWork NSW