Restaurants, bars and cafes will be offered $5000 in grants and be able to expand alfresco dining into their car parks and gardens this summer as part of a government package to revive the NSW hospitality industry post-lockdown.
As foreshadowed by the Herald last month, outdoor dining exemptions on footpaths for small bars and pubs will also be made permanent under the government’s $66 million Alfresco Restart Initiative, set to be announced by Treasurer Matt Kean on Thursday.
The government will also provide two new Dine and Discover vouchers to the public in an effort to spur economic growth after the 2021 Delta-lockdown, which cost the NSW economy billions.
Under the new dining plan, the first 5000 hospitality businesses to successfully apply for the new government grant will be given $5000 to expand or make improvements to their alfresco areas.
“Alfresco dining is not only a great way to dine, it’s a safe way to socialise as we open up,” Mr Kean said.
“That’s why we are supporting new outdoor entertainment and dining precincts to pop up right across the state.”
Planning Minister Rob Stokes said a six-month emergency exemption will be given to hospitality venues to expand onto private land, including car parks, bowling greens and gardens.
“In addition to the permanent easing of rules for dining on footpaths and public spaces, we’re temporarily allowing outdoor dining on privately owned bowling greens and car parks, meaning businesses can expand outdoors on almost any piece of land they own to welcome more customers,” he said.
As part of the alfresco plan, the government will also partner with the 12 former LGAs of concerns, as well as the City of Sydney to open streets for community events and activities at a cost of $6.5 million.