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Council steps in to help re-activate hospitality via outdoor dining

Issued: 
September 16, 2020

Wellington Shire Council is on hand to assist local businesses re-activate as the region begins to open up again from the state government’s Covid-19 restrictions.

Step 3 of the government’s roadmap to recovery allows businesses serving food to once again provide a dine-in option, but from outdoor eating areas. Groups of 10 are permitted, with physical distancing.

Part of Council’s reactivation plan is a commitment to the hospitality industry, to assist wherever possible to facilitate outdoor dining for businesses who may never have offered this service before and assist other businesses to expand their outdoor dining options.

Council will work with Wellington’s cafes and restaurants to identify outdoor dining options and help them facilitate their activation.

This may mean expanding dining areas along footpaths and outside-the-box thinking to utilise other outdoor spaces. Council is willing to look at creative solutions including the temporary use of car parking areas and even partial road closures.

Anything we can possibly do to assist our hospitality industry to begin trading as per the health regulations.

Support won’t be limited to facilitation and smoothing red tape but also financial support. The state government has announced both Council and business funding specifically to help with outdoor dining.

Government grants of up to $5,000 to help businesses pay for practical things to assist in setting up for outdoor dining such as umbrellas, outdoor furniture, screens and other equipment will be available via application from Friday 18 September.  

To begin the process, Council has waived all outdoor dining fees. We also have staff available to discuss your needs and how Council can help make this transition to Step 3 easier.

While Council will continue to waiver any permit costs associated with outdoor dining, businesses looking to serve alcohol may need extend their ‘red line’ to accommodate additional outdoor dining.

Council has received information from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) that they are on board and will process any application as quickly as possible.

Wellington has a reputation for exceptional food and wine. The hospitality industry is a major part of our local economy. Let’s get Wellington re-opened for business by re-activating our local eateries and providing that great hospitality to our locals and visitors once again.

For further information about the state government grants which open for application on Friday, visit www.business.vic.gov.au

Council enquiries via Geoff Hay, Senior Business Development Officer, phone 5142 3043.

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