The City of Ballarat will waive outdoor dining permit fees to allow Ballarat businesses to offer immediate outdoor dining options as a first step to economic recovery for the hospitality industry.
Easing of restrictions under the Victorian Government’s roadmap to reopen regional Victoria will allow Ballarat businesses to apply for funds to purchase outdoor dining equipment to serve patrons outside, with customer limits and social distancing requirements.
The Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package will provide $87.5 million to councils and businesses outside of Melbourne’s CBD to make widespread outdoor dining safe, practical and a reality.
Regional city councils will be eligible for up to $500,000 in assistance. This money can be passed on to businesses in the form of reducing or waiving permit fees or invested in infrastructure such as streetscaping and lighting.
The City of Ballarat is consulting with its business community to ensure businesses throughout the municipality are ready to start or expand their outdoor dining offer as soon as Premier Daniel Andrews gives the green light.
To fast track the recovery plan, the City of Ballarat will waive its three-year outdoor dining permit fee until the end of January 2022. Those businesses who have already paid their fees will be given a refund. The City of Ballarat will monitor if their outdoor dining approvals need to be extended or altered.
This is in addition to waivers and deferrals of fees and charges, including liquor licensing fees, offered by the Victorian Government as part of the recovery plan to get businesses operating again.
Ballarat Mayor Cr Ben Taylor says a dedicated team of Council officers will work with business owners to ensure a safe and efficient re-introduction of outdoor dining, that meets all safety and accessibility requirements, without the red tape.
“This funding gives us the opportunity to explore all options and to be innovative with our café and restaurant operators,” Cr Taylor says.
“If more outdoor dining options can be easily extended it will help create a vibrant and thriving return to business in our community,” he said.
Jodie Gillett, CEO of Commerce Ballarat said she was pleased to see the City encourage businesses to make the most of every opportunity available as restrictions ease. “We look forward to continued discussions about what might be possible for outdoor dining in Ballarat and will share information provided by the City to hospitality as it becomes available.”
New sporting upgrades at Victoria Park and Alfredton:
Two popular sporting facilities in Ballarat are set to receive major upgrades following the award of contracts for the projects.
Ballarat’s Victoria Park will feature two new turf soccer pitches and a cricket pitch as part of the improvements.
The works also will include construction of subsurface drainage, an automatic irrigation system and the laying of new turf.
The project, fully funded by the City of Ballarat, is just one of the many activities featured in the Council’s Ballarat’s Recreation Services Capital program.
Further works at Victoria Park will see the development of a Community Space, sporting change rooms and upgrades to the existing Dog Club pavilion.
The second upgrade at the Alfredton Recreation Reserve will feature the redevelopment of the Alfredton Village Green turf football oval and a new synthetic cricket wicket.
It will include new subsurface drainage, a new irrigation system and the laying of new turf.
This second project is jointly funded by Sport and Recreation Victoria’s Country Football Netball Grant.
The Victoria Park project will total $1 million from the Council while the Alfredton project will consist of $900,000 from the Council and $100,000 from the Victorian Government.
“Ballarat is renowned for its sporting amenities and these new upgrades will further add to the strong sporting reputation of our region,” Cr Ben Taylor, Mayor of the City of Ballarat, said.
“We can all look forward to the opening of these projects and welcome the opportunities it will provide for our community.”
Juliana Addison, Member for Wendouree, said that she was proud of the Victorian Government’s support for the Alfredton project.
“This funding is great news for grassroots sports and encourages more people to get involved and stay active,” she said.