Yarra City Council is making its temporary outdoor dining program permanent, and waiving parklet and footpath trading fees for local businesses, providing a much-needed boost for Yarra’s food and dining precincts.

At a recent Council Meeting, Yarra City Council supported the introduction of the new permanent program and parklet policy. It is one of the first permanent outdoor dining programs to be endorsed in Melbourne. 

Council has waived all fees associated with having a parklet until April 2022, and has then introduced a 25 per cent discount until October 2022.

Under the program, businesses will be able to trade in allocated parklets across Yarra without any caps on the number of parklets a business can have. They will also be able to install roofs on their parklets to provide protection from the elements.

The program also includes options for either 6-month (summer) or 12-month permits, giving local traders added flexibility.

Yarra Mayor, Gabrielle de Vietri, said Council had worked in partnership with community and local traders to develop a program and policy that would continue to meet the needs of local businesses and community.

“We have spoken to hundreds of businesses in Yarra who have benefited greatly from Yarra’s temporary program and we are delighted to announce that the program is here to stay,” Mayor de Vietri said.

“This permanent program represents a fundamental shift in how our streets and food and dining precincts operate, making them more vibrant and accessible.

“Not only will it support businesses to increase their seating capacity, trade and revenue but it will support local jobs.”

Mayor de Vietri said this announcement was another example of Council’s ongoing support for local business.

“This builds on Council’s considerable support for local business with more than $3 million in direct grants and fee waivers provided since the beginning of the pandemic,” Mayor de Vietri said.

“As we reach our vaccination targets and begin to open up, this program will give Yarra’s food and dining precincts a much-needed boost.”

As part of the program Council has also endorsed a tiered fee structure based around the fair and equitable sharing of public space. 

This includes a further discounted rate to support businesses during COVID and in the post pandemic recovery and the option of further fee waivers if Melbourne experiences future lockdowns. 

The majority of current parklet operators will pay as little as $2.31 per day per parklet after April 2022 and then approximately $6 per day after October 2022.

Since the temporary outdoor dining program was introduced in October 2020, Yarra has created over 485 additional outdoor dining spaces including:

  • 150 new footpath trading areas
  • 200 extensions to existing footpath trading
  • 130 on-street parklets 
  • 8 large-scale outdoor dining spaces created through road or laneway closures
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