Buon appetito! Sydney CBD venues to welcome al fresco dining pilot on 16 October

Buon appetito! Sydney CBD venues to welcome al fresco dining pilot on 16 October

Sydney's simmering hospitality industry will soon receive a well-needed boost as the city council and state government make it quicker and easier to set up outdoor drinking and dining areas.

Under a 12-month pilot starting on 16 October in The Rocks and at the start of November in the Sydney CBD, there will be no need to get a planning approval when cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels apply for an outdoor dining licence.

An amendment to the Liquor Regulation will also allow expanded liquor licence boundaries to be approved in three days, compared to a process that used to take up to 51 days.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes says COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the hospitality industry.

"This solution will not only keep our communities safer, but draw people back into the city so we can support local business and boost the economy," says Minister Stokes.

The NSW Government advises pubs, small bars and cultural venues with a food or drink outlet are invited to have their say on proposed changes to legislation that would temporarily allow outdoor dining.

The pilot follows last month's launch of the "neon grid" nighttime economy for the NSW capital, described by the Committee for Sydney as "one of the most detailed and comprehensive nightlife plans ever compiled for a city".

Updated at 12:31pm AEDT on 8 October 2020.

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