Perth: Commissioners vote to scrap alfresco fees for cafes and restaurants

Stock image.
Stock image.

ALFRESCO dining areas will now be fee-free for restaurant and cafe owners in Perth.

In a bid to compete with neighbouring hotspots like Leederville, Mt Lawley and Subiaco, the City of Perth’s commissioners voted on Tuesday evening to remove all fees for local businesses bringing patrons on to the streets.

An independent review recommended the $98 application fee and $40 per square metre annual permit fee stay in place.

Commissioner Gaye McMath moved an alternate motion to scrap the costs.

“I’m extremely mindful of the recommendation from the independent report,” she said.

“I’ve made this amendment on the basis that the desire of the city is to activate alfresco dining spaces, and in doing so remove any impediment for cafe and restaurant operators to embrace these new requirements.”

The motion rescinds the application fee and annual permit fee for new applications received from February 1, 2019.

The commissioner said the move would enable the city to compete with neighbouring dining precincts.

She said the fee slash would cost the city in the order of $130,000 annually.

Commissioner Andrew Hammond also amended the motion to suggest an online application process for businesses looking to get on board, saying the real hindrance to applying for permits was the red tape.

The alfresco dining debate has been underway at the City of Perth for some years, with the lower $40 per square metre rate introduced in November 2017 and previous moves to abolish fees rejected.

Neighbouring councils City of Subiaco and City of Vincent do not charge per square metre fees, with Vincent also waiving the application fee.