Gunnedah Shire Council is calling on businesses to ensure they have approval for displaying goods and signage or offering outdoor dining on the footpath.
To support the local economy during difficult times, Council has waived the fee for Street Trading and Outdoor Dining applications since 2019, and has adopted the NSW Outdoor Policy, which waives Council and state government agency fees for businesses that obtain a permit under the policy.
However, a recent audit found that only one of 33 businesses and food outlets engaged in street trading or outdoor dining had a current approval from Council.
Council’s Planning and Environmental Services Director Andrew Johns said under The Local Government Act 1993 and Roads Act 1993, councils were required to regulate street vending and outdoor dining (footpaths) activity in NSW to ensure pedestrians and vehicles were able to move about freely and safely.
“Gunnedah has a buzzing, vibrant CBD, however, it is important that businesses are complying with the legislation that is in place to ensure community safety,” Mr Johns said.
“We recognise that a lot of people with mobility and visual challenges use the building line to navigate the CBD, and Council’s Footpath Occupation Policy supports this objective.
“While we want to encourage our businesses to make the most of the additional trading and dining space that the footpath can offer, we still have a responsibility to ensure that businesses are complying for the safety of their customers and the community.”
Over coming weeks, Council will engage with businesses directly and indirectly to ensure that relevant businesses have the required approval.
In the new financial year, Council’s Regulatory Services team are looking to enforce the legislation and businesses that are not compliant may face further action.
To complete a Street Trading (excluding Footpath Dining), visit https://www.gunnedah.nsw.gov.au/index.php/council/council-information/all-council-application-forms