Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the NSW Government is keen to work with venues to better use open spaces to help generate business and create jobs.
“The pandemic has made indoor spaces less amenable to socialising so it’s time we reduce barriers to spending more social time outside,” Mr Dominello said.
“We’re at a point where we need a cultural transformation to breathe life back into hospitality businesses and it makes sense to take advantage of NSW’s great climate and superb hospitality offerings, while adapting to a world where COVID transmission remains a risk.”
The taskforce will include representatives from:
- NSW Health
- Liquor & Gaming NSW
- The Office of Local Government
- The Office of the Small Business Commissioner
- NSW Police
- Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
- Transport for NSW
- NSW Food Authority
“This group of alfresco architects will look into streamlining existing legislation, so we have a pilot in place before summer, as well as long-term solutions where it makes sense to standardise the outdoor drinking and dining scene. A default safe alfresco culture should be the norm,” Mr Dominello said.
Representatives on the taskforce will work closely with local government, who have the lead role in identifying the right spaces and considering their use within frameworks for public safety and amenity.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the taskforce will work out how to streamline applications for venues to use their outdoor spaces in time for summer.
“Public spaces have become more important than ever before. As we head into the warmer months, we need to find ways to keep our vital hospitality sector buoyant, while also keeping people safe,” Mr Stokes said.
“Our climate is perfect for alfresco dining, which brings life and vibrancy to our streets and public squares and gives people a reason to visit city centres.”