To support Melbourne’s business operators and boost the city’s hospitality scene permit fees for outdoor dining and busking will be waived for another seven months, until 31 October.

Permit fees for outdoor dining and busking have been scrapped since October 2020 and were due to be reinstated on 1 April this year.

In addition, the partial closure of selected laneways will be extended to allow for outdoor dining and other activations.

“We know our extended outdoor dining program has been incredibly successful in helping to reignite Melbourne,” says Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp.

“It has provided an additional 18,000 restaurant seats across 1,500 businesses — supporting 100 new jobs.”

So far, Council has contributed $1.1 million in outdoor dining infrastructure to hospitality businesses and waived $1.65 million in outdoor dining and busking fees.

The $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation fund, initiated by the City of Melbourne and the Victorian government, could fund the extension of fee waivers and laneway closures.

“In a recent survey, more than 70 per cent of city hospitality venues said outdoor dining has significantly benefited their business, particularly as more customers choose to dine outdoors,” says City Activation Portfolio Lead Councillor, Roshena Campbell.

“We know our traders are still struggling to get back on their feet and we want to do all we can to help them thrive again.” 

Image credit : City of Melbourne