Dining heads outdoors

The Victorian Government's Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package will provide $87.5 million to councils and businesses to make widespread outdoor dining safe, practical and a reality this summer.

Central Victoria will experience summer in a whole new way this year, as hospitality businesses begin to reimagine the way they work.
Macedon Ranges Council is helping local businesses fast-track applications to expand outdoor dining areas and welcome back customers now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing.
Being able to dine outside will be key to economic recovery for the shire’s hospitality businesses in the wake of the pandemic.
Under the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, local businesses can apply for grants of up to $5000 to help pay for items like umbrellas, outdoor furniture and screens that will help transition to bigger and safer outdoor dining spaces.
Grants are available for licensed and unlicensed cafes, restaurants, takeaway food businesses, pubs, taverns, bars and clubs.
The Victorian Government is also putting in place processes to enable quick turnaround in relation to extending or approving liquor licenses.
Council officers will help businesses determine what options are available in each location. In some instances, a site visit with council officers will be the best way to assess and progress these outdoor dining ideas and applications to extend their outdoor dining footprint.
New applications to expand the outdoor dining space/location on private land will need a planning assessment and depending on the circumstances, may need to undergo a normal planning permit process.
Business operators are encouraged to call council’s Local Laws team on 5422 0333 or email mrsc@mrsc.vic.gov.au to discuss their individual needs. More information will soon be available at mrsc.vic.gov.au/outdoor-dining