Boost for outdoor dining on the Great Ocean Road
Published on 20 October 2022
Great Ocean Road restaurants, cafes and community organisations on coastal Crown land will be able to introduce or expand outdoor dining to include public open space following the introduction of a new regulation.
The new regulation, made under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act, came in to effect this week and enables leaseholders to apply to Crown land managers for a permit for outdoor dining on public open space that adjoins their premises.
The Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority, which manages coastal public land from Torquay to Marengo, is working with relevant leaseholders to gauge interest in obtaining an outdoor dining permit. The regulation expires in September 2023.
Leaseholders were most recently able to extend their lease to use open space for outdoor dining when restrictions on indoor dining and patron numbers were in place during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. This permission expired on 30 June this year.
The new regulation is an opportunity for the Authority to help hospitality businesses and the broader tourism industry continue its strong recovery.
The Authority is expecting the 2022-23 summer peak season to be the busiest since before COVID-19 and expanding venue capacity will help local businesses manage and make the most of the likely increase in visitors and patronage.
Quotes attributable to Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority CEO, Jodie Sizer
“Like the hospitality industry across Victoria and Australia, Great Ocean Road restaurants and cafes suffered more than most other businesses during the pandemic.
“Hospitality is a major employer along the Great Ocean Road and this outdoor dining permit is one way of helping this vital industry continue to recover.
“The other winners of this new regulation are the millions of visitors we expect on the Great Ocean Road this summer, offering more capacity in a setting renowned the world over for its natural beauty.”