Mornington Peninsula Shire says street trading and dining will resume this spring. In a statement this morning, the shire said it was bringing back footpath dining and parklets throughout the whole shire and closing Mornington’s Main St from the Esplanade to Barkley St.
“Last summer saw the introduction of extended outdoor dining in many areas across the Peninsula,” the statement said. “Locals and visitors loved the initiative and restaurants and cafes were thrilled to be able to serve more people while still complying with regulations after months of being closed. Restaurants and cafes will again be able to access more space to serve more customers safely.
“The repurposing of some carparking spaces at shopping areas is a small sacrifice to make in order to protect and promote the economic recovery of our local food businesses that have had to close their doors for months this year. We will make sure there are still the required number of carparks for people with disabilities and that access is maintained on the footpaths.
“COVID-19 recovery is a major focus throughout the 2021-22 financial year with council investing $10 million directly towards recovery programs, including $650,000 to re-establish the outdoor dining and township activation program from October until April 2022. We are waiving fees and charges to the value of $1 million this financial year, including permit fees for applications for extended outdoor dining and trading.
“Local musicians and artists will bring a little something extra to make our streets come alive too, entertaining locals and visitors alike with tunes, performances and inspiring creative displays. Sign up to the arts and culture e-news to find out more about these opportunities at artsandculture.mornpen.vic.gov.au
“To apply for a parklet or extended footpath dining permit for your business, go to mornpen.vic.gov.au/outdoordining. Applications close Friday, October 1. Extended footpath and parklet permits are valid from October 1-April 30. Main St Mornington parklet permits are valid from December 17-February 1.”
Mayor Despi O’Connor said the shire surveyed all businesses in Main St and 67 per cent voted to close Main St again. “We are looking forward to seeing the street filled with people dining, shopping and listening to music,” Cr O’Connor said. “So don’t hesitate to enjoy a ‘staycation’ right here on the Mornington Peninsula this summer. Let’s support our local retailers and eateries whenever we can – they need us. If you live close enough, take your bike or walk into town – if you can carry all your shopping home, that is – and leave the carparking spaces free for someone who lives further away.”