The Shire has introduced extended footpath trading and a new ‘parklets’ program to support local restaurants and cafes as COVID-19 restrictions ease over spring and summer.

Additional outdoor dining space will be crucial for the Peninsula’s food businesses to re-open and remain profitable while complying with social distancing measures and space restrictions.

The Shire is streamlining the permit process required by business to increase outdoor dining space, making it quicker, easier and cheaper for businesses to apply


Options to extend outdoor dining space include:

  • Expansion on footpaths - Including to extend in front of a neighbouring property.
  • Parklets - Parklets repurpose carparks outside shopfronts into additional outdoor dining space. They use seating and planting to create an inviting social space to sit and dine, while allowing for increased social distancing.
  • Temporary street closures - If multiple businesses are looking at outdoor dining, you can make a joint application for additional space and we may consider a temporary street closure on appropriate streets.
  • Other public land - Will be considered in some circumstances.
  • Private land - If your enquiry relates to changes to outdoor dining and/or sale and consumption of liquor on private land, please contact the Shire’s Planning Services Team on 5950 1010.  The Shire is fast tracking temporary outdoor dining applications on private land to within 4 days.

Outdoor dining expressions of interest

Before formal applications open, the Shire is seeking expressions of interest to expand dining and table service during the COVID period.

Permit applications open early October. We will contact you once applications open and work with you on the best option for your business.

Submit your Expression of Interest

What can I do to prepare for my application?

  1. Submit your expression of interest to the Shire. Complete the simple online expression of interest form so that we can contact you once applications open.
  2. Apply for a Victorian Government grant - Affected businesses can apply for grants of up to $5,000 from the Victorian Government’s $87.5 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package to help them pay for items such as outdoor furniture, umbrellas and screens. The State Government grants will be available to licensed and unlicensed cafés, restaurants, takeaway food businesses, pubs, taverns, bars and clubs with a payroll of less than $3 million. Grants open 28 September 2020.
  3. Read the additional information for traders – Download and read the Information for Outdoor Dining Traders(PDF, 188KB) to help you with your Outdoor Dining application.
  4. Speak to your neighbours - We will ask for letters of support for extended footpath trading and parklets. Group parklet applications from neighbouring businesses will be favourable. Working together to agree on the best use of public space will help facilitate a quick application.
  5. Consider access and safety - Access requirements for pedestrians, wheelchairs and prams and clear lines of sight will apply. Check the requirements for Commercial Activities on Footpaths  to get familiar with existing requirements and consider how safety and access can be maintained for your proposed parklet or street closure.If you would like us to consider relocation of infrastructure let us know in your expression of interest.
  6. Speak to your insurer - We will ask for $20 million public liability to cover your new al fresco area noting Mornington Peninsula Shire as an interested party. Speak to your insurer to find out their requirements.
  7. If you have an existing liquor license you want to extend, check the VCGLR website - The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation is fast-tracking  temporary limited liquor licenses for outdoor dining. We will help you to meet Shire requirements for temporary licenses on Council Land as part of your application.  You will need to contact the Shire’s Planning Services Team on 5950 1010 for liquor license changes on private land.
  8. Check the current Covid-19 requirements for business, including food and beverage businesses. Advice on operating a Covid-safe business, business restrictions, personal hygiene and food safety is available from DHHS and from Business Victoria. You can also find specific sector guidance including cafes, restaurants and food businesses. The Shire is regularly updating information for food businesses to assist them and further protect the community. Learn more about Health and Hygiene for Business
  9. Check your title - You can apply for changes on private land immediately through the Shire’s Planning Services Team. Use Victorian Land Registry Services if you need to check your title or call the Planning Services Team on 5950 1010.