Hospo help on outdoor dining fees, infrastructure

Hospo help on outdoor dining fees, infrastructure
David Schout

Local cafes, restaurants and bars won’t charged outdoor dining fees until April 2022, after the City of Melbourne waived permit fees for another five months.

Hospitality businesses will also be gifted parklet infrastructure such as bollards and planter boxes to ensure they can continue trading on repurposed parking bays.

The move is in response to traders’ concerns about their ability to pay upcoming outdoor dining fees, which were set to be reintroduced on November 1.

Many owners suffering under Melbourne’s extended lockdown were also worried about their ability to absorb the cost of parklet infrastructure.

As a result, councillors voted unanimously on October 5 for both a five-month fee waiver, and to purchase the parklet materials (at a cost of $1.1 million) to permanently pass onto hospitality businesses.

Ongoing costs — including cleaning, maintenance and repair — have now been transferred to parklet permit holders, however graffiti cleaning will remain a council responsibility.

Businesses that opted to remove outdoor dining parklets in July and August due to future cost concerns will also be given the opportunity to have the infrastructure reinstated in time for an expected outdoor reopening of the hospitality sector later this month.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said that outdoor dining had been a city success story and was keen to help businesses get back on their feet.

The fee waiver was included in the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund •

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