It’s been a really tough year for Moreland businesses, especially for our restaurants, cafes, and bars.

The Victorian Government recently announced a $290 million package to help struggling restaurants, cafes and bars set up outdoor dining.

The package aims to help businesses ‘reimagine’ outdoor dining and create a vibrant outdoor dining culture to be enjoyed throughout summer.

The Victorian Government announced that councils will play a key role in facilitating this change.

One way we will do this is by streamlining new business permits and we are also already waiving fees for businesses.

But another challenge we have is how we will create more usable outdoor spaces for local dining.

In September this year, we briefly asked our community to provide feedback about how we can reimagine outdoor spaces to support our struggling hospitality industry.

What our community told us

We had over 2,000 people respond to our survey in just under a week.

There was overwhelming support with 97% of respondents in support of creating more outdoor spaces for dining.

The most popular solutions were the closure of laneways (63%) and the use of on-street parking bays (57%).

48% of respondents supported changes lasting 6 months or more.

We are processing this feedback and will plan our response to support local businesses in Moreland in the period ahead.

So what happens next?

Over the coming weeks we'll be engaging residents and businesses in Moreland in a consultation based on the report submitted to council. These consultation will inform the implementation of these 6 initiatives to create more outdoor dining space for our restaurants, bars and cafes:

  • Expand outdoor footpath trading to the footpath areas directly in front of neghbouring properties
  • Create outdoor dining spaces in existing on-street parking bays. This is an expansion of our successful Parklet Program.
  • Convert sections of on-street carparking for outdoor dining opportunities
  • Temporary closure of side streets off main streets, or laneways
  • Facilitate temporary set up of mobile food premises in large carparks or adjacent to public park.

The full report presented to council is available on our website. The minutes of the special meeting will be available soon.

Keep an eye out for more opportunities to tell us what you think as we continue to develop this initiative. Thanks again for your feedback.