More al fresco dining – dining outside – should be coming to the Hill with footway dining fees to be waived from Tuesday, August 15 to Tuesday, August 22 – to coincide with the Mundi Mundi Bash, in a bid to give added vibrancy to the city and encourage businesses to fully cater for the expected 12,000 tourists.
While the fee waiver is considered minimal – it equates to a pro-rata fee of $2.20 per setting for the one-week period based on the annual fee of $150 per setting – the move by the city council is designed to allow businesses to increase their service capacity.
The policy proved successful during Easter events and the Mundi Mundi Bash across April and May last year.
“It’s really just the Council signifying how supportive we are of the event and how supportive we are of the businesses that are willing to stay open,” said Mayor Tom Kennedy at this last week’s full Council meeting.
The proposed waiver doesn’t mean businesses can skirt submitting an application for a footway dining permit, with Council’s Jay Nankivell saying businesses have right up until the day to have their footway dining fees waived.
“A lot of the shops don’t have the capacity internally, so it’s about how we can actually make sure that we’re able to cater for all the tourists and visitors in the city to be able to access those facilities, but also take the opportunity to make the CBD more vibrant and active and get that foot traffic moving up and down Argent Street to make sure that they are going into the speciality shops as well, making those purchases, [and] making the city really vibrant during that period,” Mr Nankivell said.