The Minns Government will make outdoor dining permanent across NSW with a law change to cement COVID-19 arrangements.
Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy John Graham said: “As a government we want to support communities, businesses and councils to bring life and vibrancy back to our streets. Councils will be helped to streamline pathways for creatives and community groups to stage pop-up events and festivals, including street closures and pre-approvals for event sites.
“This is giving communities the chance to have more fun outdoors but is also way in which we can assist the cost-of-living crisis by making it cheaper to arrange events,” he said.
“People want to be able to use their streets as public spaces – they own them. The proposed reforms will permanently relax rules for outdoor dining that came into force during COVID, allowing venues to make the most of space outside their venues with a quicker, light-touch application process.
“COVID-19 showed us that Sydney is a city that does alfresco well. The reforms will permanently relax the rules for outdoor dining allowing venues to make the most of their outdoor space.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said: “Outdoor dining exemptions introduced during the pandemic helped build a more flexible and responsive hospitality industry.
“… business will soon have permanent access to a faster and more cost-effective pathway instead of having to complete a detailed and costly development application.
Member for Parramatta Donna Davis said: “Parramatta has such wonderful streets and outdoor spaces to be activated. This policy will help make our communities even more vibrant and lively, cementing Parramatta's reputation as a destination."
A pilot program will also be adopted to reduce the costs associated with street closures and traffic planning. Events on streets can require a development application and can incur traffic management costs of over $100,000 for a single day.
The pilot will involve finding potential savings, by planning for multiple events in the same location in advance to substantially reduce costs and traffic planning.