Bass Coast Shire Council will waive permit fees for hundreds of hospitality venues to encourage more outdoor dining to help the region bounce back from pandemic lockdowns.
The hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard by lockdowns and the State Government has identified outdoor dining as a key to boosting the sector.
At its October Meeting held on Wednesday, Council agreed to waive footpath trading fees for the entire 2021/22 financial year and will refund any fees that have already paid. It is expected the move will cost Council $100,000 in revenue.
The changes are expected to benefit more than 180 venues throughout the region and help expand the use of outdoor dining in car parking spots, particularly in Wonthaggi, Cowes, Inverloch and San Remo.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari said the decision reflected the value of the hospitality sector and the disruption and hardship they have endured over the past 20 months due to COVID-19.
“While at least one metropolitan council has sought to increase fees for outdoor dining spaces, we believe we need to do all we can to help our valued hospitality venues get back on their feet and grow strongly,” Cr Tessari said.
“The region is really looking forward to seeing tourists from Melbourne return, which will help all of our businesses to bounce back strongly over coming months and particularly during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.”