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Published on 03 March 2021
Following consultation with traders and feedback from residents and visitors regarding the extended outdoor dining program, Mornington Peninsula Shire has extended all parklet permits until 30 April 2021.
Parklets have been a popular addition to our COVID-safe summer on the Peninsula, springing up in villages and shopping precincts from Mount Eliza to Sorrento.
Traders have embraced additional space by temporarily using car parking spaces for outdoor dining, meaning customers can relax in a safer, less crowded environment.
Business owners used the opportunity to create inviting spaces for their customers to dine alfresco – many with fences, planter boxes and decking, making outdoor dining a breeze.
Results from a survey conducted by the Shire in January regarding attitudes toward the extended outdoor dining program were very positive. A majority of the 400 people surveyed across Rosebud, Mount Eliza and Mornington gave the parklets program a score of either nine or ten out of ten and most wanted them to be kept in place longer.
Preliminary findings from a survey of hospitality businesses show that cafes and restaurants lost approximately 40 per cent of capacity due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. Extended outdoor dining was able to return more than 90 per cent of that lost seating capacity.
While all parklet permits have been automatically extended until 30 April, traders are able to pack them up earlier if they wish. They simply need to notify the Shire of their intention so associated signage or infrastructure can be removed when needed.
Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Despi O’Connor
“Parklets have been a fantastic feature of our summer on the Mornington Peninsula and can now be enjoyed until after Easter at no additional cost to traders."
“While we have been extremely fortunate to have enjoyed summer with relatively few restrictions, there is still a need to social distance and remain COVID safe. Extending the parklets program will support our traders and allow us to continue to dine outdoors through autumn.”