Outdoor dining initiative good news for local foodies

ALFRESCO cafe culture could become commonplace if the $237 upfront fee and $75 per annum for food businesses to offer outdoor dining is waived.

The Rockhampton CBD internal reference group said the move would be imperative to shaping the CBD as an attractive place to socialise.

Councillor Ellen Smith said she could "see a lot of people taking this up" and outlined operators would still have to pay public liability insurance.

During the Planning and Regulatory Committee's meeting yesterday, Cr Cherie Rutherford expressed concerns over the comfort and safety of pedestrians.

It was confirmed a 1.5m walkway would be required, but the positioning of tables and chairs was at the discretion of owners.

Planning and Regulatory Services manager Steven Gatt yesterday told council six businesses currently held outdoor dining permits, and should the proposal be approved they planned to reimburse six-months worth of fees to permit holders.

Should the proposal gain approval at the RRC's general meeting next Tuesday a trial would run for the first financial year of 2017.



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