#CutRedTapeCreateJobs: ‘Outdoor dining’ fees still being charged

In Alcohol, Australian Domestic Tourism, Business Resources, Food, Government, Harmonisation, National Headlines, Victoria
Councils still charging for hosp. trading basics will be named and shamed in a campaign starting October 1, 2020.
The Tourism News, on behalf of its readers, will be insisting that councils permanently remove fees attached to such basics as footpath dining, hours extensions and more.
Whilst the tourism and hospitality operators of Australia appreciate the need for regulation for the safety and management of our local economies, there is no justification for charges to be attached to basic permits.
Veronica Hope
MBA, Adv. Dip. Tourism and Editor of The Tourism News
21 Sep 2020
Victorian outdoor dining a glimmer of hope for regional hospitality businesses
From ABC Central Victoria Tue 8 Sep 2020
It was the middle of July when Ann-Marie Davis from Sangria Spanish Tapas Bar in Bendigo began calling on the Federal Government to extend JobKeeper so she could keep her staff on and her business open.
Key points:
  • Outdoor dining can begin when regional Victoria reaches an average of five or fewer cases over 14 says.
  • Hospitality businesses are pushing for larger outdoor dining areas
  • The City of Greater Bendigo says nothing is off the table when it comes to boosting patronage

By then, the coronavirus pandemic had already “significantly impacted” her business.

Now, with the introduction of the Victorian Government’s “roadmap” out of stage 3 lockdown in regional Victoria, she is focusing on the best opportunity she can make of outdoor dining when it’s allowed under the plan.

“What will get in the way of that are those regulations for street dining. There is a range of requirements, and it does differ depending on the location of the business,” she said.

“Obviously we need to look at an approach that reduces red tape, we need timely communication to hospitality businesses regarding their requirements so that we can get applying for planning and marketing.

“We need a quick approval process for any application process that they put forward and a waiver of some of those usual requirements for street dining, such as hoarding or signing.”

The City of Greater Bendigo established a working group on Monday morning with the hospitality sector.

Ms Davis is hoping she can extend her outdoor dining down the alleyway beside her business and onto the footpath.

Numbers capped

But the outdoor dining doesn’t come without a catch.

There will be density limits, and groups will be capped at 10.

The City of Greater Bendigo says it is pulling out all stops and nothing is off the table as it brainstorms ways it can maximise patronage.

Parklets, blocking off streets and outdoor dining hubs are all being explored and the city’s acting CEO Andrew Cooney said it was looking across the globe at solutions to help eateries.
“We’ve now been looking at what are some innovative ways to accelerate this and open it up even further albeit in a controlled way that still creates safe space for the public and enables social distancing,” he said.
We may be able to have some dining hubs. We’ve set a team a challenge that there is nothing off the table, but we’ve got a cross-sectional team working on it because there are traffic issues, parking issues, health issues, liquor licensing issues to take into consideration.”
In its June Budget, the council decided to waive fees for outdoor permits.
Missing out
Just a few kilometres south of the regional Victorian border, Nicole Robinson-Beyer and her husband Ashley own a cafe/restaurant in Sunbury.
Nicole Robinson-Beyer and her husband Ashley own a cafe in Sunbury, only a few kilometres south of the regional Victorian border.(Supplied)
Sadly, outdoor dining in the coming weeks is off the cards for them.
“It’s really hard knowing that Gisborne is only about 9 kilometres away and they can have outdoor dining,” Ms Robinson-Beyer said.
“The hardest part for us is we just hired people over the summer and had to let them go in March — we genuinely thought that by the middle of the year we could give them their jobs back.”
Despite closures, locals have really backed her business.
“The locals had really supported us for takeaway orders,” she said.
“And we’re the only cafe on our side of the street, and the dentist next door said we use their part of the pavement, but to not be given that opportunity has really gutted me.”

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