​Permit fees for outdoor dining and busking have been frozen since the program began in October 2020 and are due to be reinstated on 1 April. 

At its meeting on Tuesday, Council will consider extending permit fee waivers until 31 October. 

Since the program began, Council has gifted $1.1 million in outdoor dining infrastructure to hospitality businesses and waived $1.65 million in outdoor dining and busking fees. 

Council will also consider extending the partial closure of selected laneways to facilitate outdoor dining and other activations. 

If endorsed, the cost of extending fee waivers and laneway closures could be funded through the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – a joint partnership between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government. 

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp  

“We’re thrilled to see our city buzzing with people once again, and we want to continue to do everything we can to support business owners as the city bounces back. 

“We know our extended outdoor dining program has been incredibly successful in helping to reignite Melbourne. It has provided an additional 18,000 restaurant seats across 1,500 businesses – supporting 100 new jobs.  

“We want to entice more people to our city and help traders serve as many customers as possible, and outdoor dining is one way we can do that.”  

Quotes attributable to City Activation portfolio lead Councillor Roshena Campbell 

“In a recent survey, more than 70 per cent of city hospitality venues said outdoor dining has significantly benefited their business, particularly as more customers choose to dine outdoors. 

“We know our traders are still struggling to get back on their feet and we want to do all we can to help them thrive again.”