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Expanded outdoor dining options for local businesses

  • Local restaurants, cafes and pubs are being offered Victorian Government funding to help them reopen to alfresco diners with COVID Safe measures in place. Council is also receiving funding to help it implement streamlined permit, enforcement and monitoring processes to support these initiatives.  
  • The boost in outdoor dining is part of the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, which offers grants of up to $5000 to help businesses expand their outdoor dining operations. 
  • Expanded outdoor dining is expected to coincide with the announcement by the state government of metropolitan Melbourne moving to the Third Step in the roadmap to reopening
  • Eligible local business operators are encouraged to contact us to discuss their outdoor dining expansion options, then apply for a Council permit to expand their outdoor dining operations.  
  • We are also waiving outdoor dining permit fees for hospitality businesses until 30 June 2021.  

Victorian Government funding is available to help eligible hospitality businesses pay for new items and equipment to allow for COVID Safe dining, including:  

  • outdoor furniture 
  • umbrellas 
  • barriers 
  • screens 
  • marquees.  

Recipients can also use grants for training, marketing and other costs associated with new, expanded or enhanced outdoor dining.  

For grant guidelines, eligibility criteria and to apply for the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package Business Grants visit Business Victoria   

Liquor licenses may also be eligible to apply for a grant of up to $30,000 through the Victorian  Government’s Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund program.  

  • Our officers can help business operators identify the possibilities for their location, either over the phone or with a site visit if needed. 
  • We can also provide advice on grant applications and help with fast-tracking permits.  

Contact our Business Concierge Team on 1300 787 624 or email business@cardinia.vic.gov.au  

Before you apply for an expanded outdoor dining permit, please read this checklist to make sure you have considered the following:   

  • Talk to your neighbours: applications put forward by a collective group of businesses will be looked upon favourably. You will need to provide letters of support for extended footpath trading.  
  • Speak to your insurer: you will require public liability insurance to the value of $20 million for alfresco dining.  If you don’t have this, you’ll need to obtain this urgently. You may need to extend existing insurance if you are looking to expand the area that you serve in. 
  • Consider safety and access first: not all streets are suitable for on-street dining. Think about how you can you locate seating so that pedestrians can still use the footpath, including for pram and wheelchair access. 
  • COVID Safe Plan: to reopen with outdoor dining, you must have a COVID Safe Plan. You will also be required to record all patron names and contact numbers. All other Victorian Government advice regarding outdoor trading requirements for the hospitality sector must also be strictly followed. 
  • Liquor licensing: visit Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation to find out more about applying for a Temporary Limited Licence in al fresco areas. 

Can I use adjoining public spaces to expand my outdoor dining area? 

Businesses are encouraged to maximise the use of land within their boundary as well as adjoining footpath areas as a priority. The use of public spaces may be considered in some instances. Council is further considering how to best manage these scenarios, with a focus on safety and equitable use of public spaces. 

Can I use car spaces to expand my outdoor dining area? 

Businesses are encouraged to maximise the use of land within their boundary as well as adjoining footpath areas as a priority. The use of car spaces may be considered in some instances. 
Council is further considering how to best manage these scenarios, with a focus on safety. 

How will outdoor dining affect my existing liquor license? 

If your business is licensed for alcohol, you will need to extend your redline plan with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) and with Council, as your customers won’t be able to consume liquor in the extended area until this is finalised. 

How long will the outdoor dining permit be valid for?  

Until 30 June 2021. The permit is free for all eligible hospitality businesses within Cardinia Shire.  

1. A diagram of your proposed layout 

This should include planned positioning for:  

  • pedestrian access 
  • Car parking include disability parking  
  • tables and chairs 
  • windbreakers 
  • umbrellas 
  • heaters 
  • other furniture 
  • other features such as door, steps, curbs, post boxes, power poles, sign poles and bins, if possible.  

Try to provide as much detail as you can, so we can process your application faster.  

2. If your proposed space is NOT on Council managed land 

You’ll need to provide written permission from the landowner to use the land. 

Please submit the online form below and the relevant Council departments will be in touch as quickly as possible to discuss your individual needs and get the official process underway. 

Apply online  

We will process your application as quickly as we can, and will contact you if we need more information.  

Cardinia Shire businesses offering outdoor dining options will be promoted on the Cardinia Business Portal just prior to Third Step restrictions taking effect.  

Contact our Business Concierge Team on 1300 787 624 or email business@cardinia.vic.gov.au