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University Facilities - Hire and Use Policy

This is not a current document. It has been repealed and is no longer in force.

Section 1 - Policy

(1) The facilities of the University are primarily used for the educational and research purposes of the University including in-house conferences, seminars etc. To the extent that facilities such as theatres, teaching rooms etc are not fully utilised for such purposes, these facilities are available for use by non University organisations on a hire basis, subject to certain conditions.

General Conditions

(2) The use by the hirer of the facility must not in any way be in conflict with the University's good name. The University may refuse any application for hire if the proposed event is judged to be inappropriate for a University venue.

(3) The University will always have absolute priority over use of its facilities.

(4) Bookings must be made on a UON Venue Hire Enquiry Form and will not normally be accepted over 12 months in advance. Refer Application for Hire of Facilities, below.

(5) The specific conditions of hire are set out as part of the Venue Hire Agreement - Terms and Conditions. Refer to Hire Agreement Terms and Conditions, below.

(6) Discounted hire rates must be applied for in writing and will be considered within the terms of the Policy. Refer to Charges – Hire Discount Guidelines, above.

(7) A schedule of hire fees is available from the Infrastructure and Facilities Services - Facility Hire Section.

(8) A security deposit of $300.00 is payable on approval of an application to hire and will be refunded provided no damage or extra cleaning costs are incurred.

(9) An administrative charge of $40.00 will be levied for cancellation of a booking after the event has been confirmed. 

Charges - Hire Discount Guidelines

(10) Discounts may apply to facility hire for non profit tax deductable charitable organisations and for events deemed as “a benefit to education”. The discounts to apply will be at the discretion of the Senior Facilities Officer (Space Management), in accordance with the guidelines and will depend upon the circumstances in each case. 

(11) The general guidelines for discounts are:

  1. Activities directly related to the University as part of the University function such as in-house conferences will be charged "actual costs" only.
  2. Government funded institutions for the purposes of education may qualify for a discount (discount rate to be determined on a yearly basis or when the hire rates are reviewed).
  3. Rehearsal and practice sessions may also qualify for a discount.
  4. Government approved tax deductable charities may qualify for a 10% discount.
  5. Approval may be given to waive the 10% box office levy for (b) to (d) above, and to full fee paying hirers, where profits are directly donated to charity or are for the benefit of education.

Application for Hire of Facilities

(12) Application for hire of University facilities must be made on the appropriate Application for Hire of Facilities form (available from Infrastructure and Facilities Services - Facility Hire Section, see Hire Our Facilities).

(13) Application forms will be processed to determine availability of facilities required, including areas, equipment etc, and assessment of hire charges. Following determination of these matters and confirmation from the applicant that the booking is to proceed, a Venue Hire Agreement - Terms and Conditions form will be prepared and forwarded to the hirer. Confirmation of the booking will be given when the Venue Hire Agreement - Terms and Conditions has been signed, and payment of Security deposit has been received.

Hire Agreement Terms and Conditions

(14) The terms and conditions applicable to hire facilities are detailed as part of the application form. Hirers are required to accept the terms and conditions as part of the Hire Agreement. Access to facilities will only be provided after completion of the form and receipt by the University of the security deposit identified in the hire charges assessment. The function/ performance cannot proceed until a copy of the hirers Public Liability Policy in the sum of $10 million, and a copy of the Workers Compensation Policy has been sighted. 

The University of Newcastle In-House Conferences


(15) The use of University facilities for in-house University conferences requires the approval of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (or nominee).

(16) In-house conference is defined as a conference convened by a College, Department, or other unit of the University on behalf of the University.

(17) In-house conferences will accrue charges for "actual costs" pertaining to services provided i.e. Administration fee, attendants/audio visual officer salaries, cleaning costs, set up of furniture, where additional actual costs are incurred.

(18) Conferences hosted by the University for an outside organisation are not defined as in-house and may attract a discount in accordance with the Facility Hire Policy as being a benefit to education.

(19) Compliance with The University of Newcastle Hire Agreement: Terms and Conditions is required.

(20) Where a College or Department elects to contract an external Conference Coordinator on behalf of the University, it is essential that the Facility Hire Section, Infrastructure and Facilities Services, be party to the contract. It is intended that any external conference organiser be briefed in relation to University activities, Facility Hire policy, other relevant University policies and occupational health and safety legislation. External conference coordinators are to provide a copy of their Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance.

(21) The employment of Attendants and Audio Visual Officers is compulsory to ensure compliance with statutory safety requirements and adequate administrative, technical and other support for the conference. (Senior Facilities Officer (Space Management) will advise on number of attendants/audio visual officers required).

(22) Catering for all conferences and functions with participants of 80 or over, when held on University premises, will normally be provided by the UoN Services Limited catering services. For smaller functions, outside caters may be used, and it will be mandatory that they comply with the Newcastle City Council "Food Regulations", be self sufficient and be able to provide all the necessary equipment to comply with the regulation. These undertakings will be required in writing.

Procedure for Booking In-House Conferences

(23) Following approval to convene a conference, the facilities required may be booked with the Facility Hire Co-ordinator, Facilities Management extension 16664,or email:, using a UON Venue Hire Enquiry Form.

(24) A meeting is to be arranged between the conference convenor, the conference coordinator and the Facility Hire Co-ordinator, Facilities Management to plan the conference under the terms of clause 20.

(25) Booking forms are to be completed and returned to the Facility Hire Co-ordinator, Facilities Management advising details of all audio visual and room requirements.

(26) Attendants for audio visual requirements are compulsory. The Facility Hire Co-ordinator will assist in determining minimum requirements.

(27) A conference check list will be provided as a reference guide to ensure that all requirements for the smooth running of a conference have been considered.

(28) Conference organisers will be required to nominate a cost centre against which costs will be charged.

(29) Conference organisers must include the University "actual costs" before costing a conference and publishing conference fees.

(30) Catering is to be organised as outlined in clause 22.

Costs for In-House Conferences

(31) University in-house conferences will be charged for 'actual costs' only, Including Administration fee, Attendants/Audio Visual Officer salaries, cleaning costs, set up of furniture, where additional actual costs are incurred. A schedule of hire fees for in-house conferences will be provided by the Facility Hire Co-ordinator following the preliminary conference meeting, when all requirements for rooms and attendants are known. 

Insurance for Conferences

(32) Conferences that are agreed to by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or nominee will have full support of the University's insurances for the duration of the conference. (Manager, Risk and Insurance) The University has a number of insurance policies that cover all aspects that may be encountered in the running of conferences:

  1. Public Liability - covers persons coming onto University property, for injury and damage to property.
  2. Industrial Special Risk - covers areas such as property owned by the University for loss caused by fire, lightning, storms etc.
  3. Motor Vehicle - covers The University's motor vehicles for comprehensive, third party property and third party liability.
  4. Travel Insurance - covers visiting academics coming to The University.
  5. Areas that are not covered and may have to be considered are the loss of major speakers and travel costs associated with the conference not being held. Please check your insurance coverage with the University's Manager, Risk and Insurance.

(33) It is extremely important that committees and sub-committees follow the correct procedures for conferences because if they do come under the auspice of The University of Newcastle, the actual committee may be liable for any loss or claims made by persons attending the conference. 

(34) Conferences that are deemed as "hosted" on behalf of another organisation are not covered by the University's insurances. The organisation convening the conference will be required to supply a copy of their public liability and Workers compensation insurance.

(35) External conference coordinators are to supply a copy of their Public Liability and Professional indemnity insurance policies.

Use of Facilities - Safety Issues

(36) Attendants and/or Audio Visual Officers will be employed to ensure compliance with statutory safety and other requirements, and proper technical and other support in the Great Hall, Griffith Duncan Theatre and Lecture Theatres with a capacity of over 100 seats.

(37) Small seminars/functions (up to 60 attendees) held in classrooms will not be required to hire an attendant/ audio visual officer unless they choose to. Provided that a member of University staff accepts the responsibility of the attendant and ensures the safety of attendees and completes the Essential Services Checklist.

(38) The checklist is to be returned to the Facility Hire Co-ordinator at the completion of the function.

(39) Attendants will have undergone Fire Officer and First Aid training to enable them to perform duties to cover emergency situations.

(40) An Essential Services check list must be completed prior to functions and performances by the Attendant/Audio Visual Officer in attendance.

(41)  Attendants/Audio Visual Officers will advise the Facility Hire Co-ordinator of any defects relating to furniture. 

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Section 2 - Guidelines

(42) Refer to the University Space for Functions other than Regular Delivery of Lectures/Seminars to Enrolled Students Guidelines.