Applications for $5million funding to enable Victorian councils to continue to support their local hospitality venues during the COVID-19 pandemic open today.
Victorian Minister for Local Government, Shaun Leane said that since the release of the $87.5 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package in September, Councils across Victoria have received more than $29 million in grants to set up outdoor dining areas and pocket parks, as well as waiving permit fees, streamlining processes and investing in lighting and other infrastructure.
Bayside City Council has used the funding to set up areas on the foreshore and in parks and reserves where hospitality businesses can trade. Moorabool Shire has set up parklets for outdoor dining and launched a digital marketing campaign showcasing local hospitality.
In total, 54 councils have fast-tracked application and approval processes for permits from venues, 34 have set up parklets and seating areas and 36 have invested in more street furniture, seating and marquees.
“It’s been fantastic to see how outdoor dining has been embraced across Melbourne – it’s made a real difference to the hospitality industry and I know many Victorians have enjoyed the outdoor areas councils have helped create,” said Minister Leane.
“This new funding will help councils do everything they can to support their local hospitality industry recover from the impact of the pandemic.”
He said the initiatives have proved popular with Victorians and have bolstered the hospitality industry’s recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The new round of funding for local governments will prioritise the metropolitan and fringe councils that face significant additional costs supporting outdoor dining, due to their size, location or geography.
Up to $500,000 will be available to all metropolitan councils, regional cities, and the Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Macedon Ranges, Moorabool, Golden Plains and Surf Coast shires.
Applications open today and close at 2pm on Friday, 26 February. For more information on local government support initiatives, go to localgovernment.vic.gov.au.