Outdoor trading

Council’s outdoor trading program was delivered in 2020 as a quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support local businesses and community by creating a safe and socially distanced trading environment. The program included the installation of temporary Council-owned and managed parklets, which used parking spaces for outdoor trading. The program also installed a temporary feature site at Pier Street, Altona, and temporary outdoor infrastructure to allow additional trading areas to help businesses meet social distancing requirements.


Hobsons Bay City Council has endorsed plans that will see outdoor trading continue across the city  

After extensive consultation with businesses, traders’ associations and the community, the updated framework for how outdoor trading will operate was approved by Council at its meeting on 14 November 2023.  

The highlights of the framework include:  

  • endorsing the parklet program, which allows businesses to use car parks for outdoor trading  

  • endorsing the fixed infrastructure guidelines, which allow businesses to install low-risk fixed infrastructure in the footpath (such as screens).  

  • as part of the endorsed framework parklets and barriers will remain in place until 31 August 2024, whilst the permanent parklet permit guidelines and process is finalised  

A proposal for the Pier Street feature site and precinct will be further developed by Council, including consideration of extending footpath trading areas.  

New framework: Pier Street Feature Site

  • The most supported option of the community and trader survey was extended footpath, followed by permanent closure and seasonal closure.  

  • Council is exploring options to permanently extend the footpath and ways to conduct seasonal and permanent road closures.  

  • Until plans and community consultation has occurred on the permanent works, the road will remain closed. 

  • This will allow time for Council to develop a long-term design and a capital works plan. 

  • Businesses who wish to trade in the Pier Street Feature site will be required to pay per table and chair, via the Footpath Trading permit, and will not incur a parklet fee.  


What's happening now?

Stage 1. Pre-Christmas 2023 

  • The temporary street closure will be reconfigured, with modifications to outdoor trading areas in line with the proposed extended footpath, and an increase in community spaces and activities 

  • Barriers will be refreshed 

  • An installation of community activation and street furniture will be trialed 


What's happening in the future?

Stage 2. Early 2024 

  • Upon trialing the activations during the summer months, further adjustments in February/March may happen after the busy trading period


From Mid 2024

  • A proposal for the Pier Street feature site and precinct (including a master plan and capital works program) will be further developed by Council, including consideration of extending footpath trading areas  


New framework: Parklets

  • Council supports the ongoing ability for businesses to access car parking spaces and for parklet use to extend their trading areas.  

  • Currently installed parklets will remain in place until August 2024. 

  • To ensure high quality and safe parklet designs, Council will create a Parklet Vendor Guide, and include example parklet designs and costing to aid businesses with parklet installations. This will have pre-approved options that can be tailored to site specific conditions.   

  • Council will work with traders on a case-by-case basis to help identify the most appropriate parklet design for each site.  


What's happening to parklets now (until 31 August 2024)

Businesses with an existing parklet:

  • will be contacted individually 

  • if they do not wish to continue with the parklet program, will have a time arranged for Council to remove their current parklet 

  • businesses who wish to retain their current parklet in its current condition can do so until 31 August 2024, by applying for a temporary parklet permit and paying the required Parklet Permit Fees  

Businesses who wish to install a new parklet, and who do not currently have one:

  • will be able to apply for a parklet permit, pay the required fees, and install their own parklet infrastructure (if parklet permit is approved) 

  • payment plans for annual fees are available  

  • applications for the parklet permit can be made prior to 1 September 2024, and are open to all businesses, including those who previously did not have one  


Parklet Permit Fees and Associated Costs 

Fee Type

Indicative Fee


Parklet Permit Application Fee*




One-off fee (non-refundable)

Parklet Permit Annual Renewal Fee**

$125 per square metre


Renewable 12 months

Make Good Bond


Refundable at termination of the permit

*Parklet Permit Application Fee is waived for the 2023-24 financial year 
**Note this charge is the 2023-24 Parklet Fixed Area fee and inclusive of any furniture (e.g. tables and chairs) within the space 


What's happening to parklets in the future (from 1 September 2024) 

  • Business that wish to continue with the parklet program post September 2024 will need to have made an application to undertake capital upgrades to the parklet to meet the new guidelines.  

  • Business that do not wish to upgrade will be contacted by council to arrange for removal.


New framework: Extended Footpath Trading

  • Businesses will have the option to retain Council-installed barriers until 31 August 2024.


What's happening to parklets now (until 31 August 2024) 

  • Businesses with existing barriers will be contacted individually 

  • To retain barriers, businesses will need to pay $283 (based on existing Footpath Trading Permit fees), and provide evidence of public liability insurance & ability to maintain the infrastructure

  • Barriers will be removed if businesses opt-out or do not pay the required fees

  • Businesses who would like to install low risk, fixed infrastructure such as glass screens, umbrella sockets, and lighting will be able to do so subject to fees and public liability insurance via a Fixed Infrastructure process

  • The Fixed Infrastructure process will allow traders to apply for a permit to construct fixed barrier/screens on the footpath  

  • Businesses with fixed infrastructure authorised previously via Council processes will not incur fees associated with the new process


What's happening in the future (from 1 September 2024)

  • All Council-installed extended barriers will be removed  

  • Businesses will be able to trade under the existing Footpath Trading Policy or apply for fixed infrastructure, under the endorsed Fixed Infrastructure Guidelines 

  • Business that wish to have a fixed screen or barrier at this time will need to have applied for a permit to construct a new fixed screen, or have constructed one  



New framework: Fixed Infrastructure

Fixed Infrastructure Fees and Charges

Fee Type

Glass Screens


Umbrella Sockets

Fixed Infrastructure Permit Application Fee


$250 (one-off)

Fixed Infrastructure Annual Renewal Fee





$50 per socket (annual)

Make Good Bond (refundable at termination of the permit)





  • Fees will be non-refundable, and charges are based on the fees for 2023-24 financial year and the existing extended footpath trading fee.