Council waives and refunds fees for footpath dining businesses

Ipswich City Council will waive footpath dining fees for local businesses and refund any already paid for 2020-21. 

Councillors unanimously agreed this week on the measure, which will cost council about $10,000, as a goodwill gesture to several of the city’s cafes and restaurants that have been doing it tough because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mayor Teresa Harding said that the hospitality sector is key to a prosperous and liveable Ipswich. 

“We have a vibrant local restaurant scene here in Ipswich and we can each do our bit to support the sector as it recovers from the impact of the pandemic,” she said.

“The footpath dining licence fee waiver will create benefits for businesses, residents, and the local economy, as well as encouraging more hospitality venues to take up the opportunity for footpath dining.” 

Mayor Harding added that Queensland’s first Small Business Friendly Council will continue to partner with both of the city’s Chambers of Commerce to deliver further support. 

“We are committed to cutting red tape and making it easier for businesses across a variety of sectors to thrive in our CBD,” she said. 

Economic and Industry Development Committee Chair Cr Nicole Jonic had asked council to consider the waiving of scheduled footpath dining licence fees for the 2020-2021 financial year and identify opportunities to simplify the process and ease the regulatory requirements on business. 

Cr Jonic said it was aimed at all current, new and additional footpath dining oprators to encourage growth in this area given hospitality has been one of the hardest hit areas during COVID-19 restrictions. 

“There is currently only eight footpath dining businesses operating across the city. It is not difficult to imagine that a revitalised CBD will see a growth of this form of hospitality in the future,” she said. 

“Council wants to make it as easy as possible for businesses to expand or commence footpath dining. Council will provide a guideline to operators on how and what is required to apply for a permit. 

“Extended footpath dining permits will make it easier for businesses to expand their seating on to footpaths and other areas.” 

Details of the new measures, including how extended footpath dining permits support businesses and which hospitality businesses are eligible for extended footpath dining permits, are featured on council’s website.

Cr Andrew Fechner, a Top of Town business owner, declared a conflict of interest, left the chamber and did not vote on this motion.

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One Comment

  1. As a person who relies on a powered wheelchair to navigate Ipswich I find footpath dinning a great hazard as very little footpath is left for pedestrians to use.
    Add the Covid19 1.5 metre rule, I find this rule is not being applied and is unusable where footpath dinning is in practice.
    Therefore footpath dinning use not take place.

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