More funding to Councils for outdoor dining

By Our Reporter
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Photo by Luis Angelo

More support for popular COVIDSafe outdoor dining and entertainment areas across greater Melbourne is on the way with a new funding commitment from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane on Thursday announced an additional $5 million for a second round of funding to enable councils to continue to support their local hospitality venues.

Since the release of the $87.5 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package in September, councils across Victoria have been provided with more than $29 million in grants to set up outdoor dining areas and pocket parks, as well as waiving permit fees, streamlining processes and investing in lighting and other infrastructure.

Bayside City Council has used the funding to set up areas on the foreshore and in parks and reserves where hospitality businesses can trade. Moorabool Shire has set up parklets for outdoor dining and launched a digital marketing campaign showcasing local hospitality.

In total, 54 councils have fast-tracked application and approval processes for permits from venues, 34 have set up parklets and seating areas and 36 have invested in more street furniture, seating and marquees.

These initiatives have proved popular with Victorians and have bolstered the hospitality industry’s recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new round of funding for local governments will prioritise the metropolitan and fringe councils that face significant additional costs supporting outdoor dining, due to their size, location or geography.

Up to $500,000 will be available to all metropolitan councils, regional cities, and the Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Macedon Ranges, Moorabool, Golden Plains and Surf Coast shires.

Applications open on Friday, 5 February and close at 2:00pm on Friday, 26 February. For more information on local government support initiatives, go to localgovernment.vic.gov.au.


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