Outdoor dining is not only in keeping with our tropical climate it gives businesses an opportunity to expand their dining area.
A permit is needed for any outdoor dining on Council land, including footpaths, with strict conditions in place to ensure public safety, the amenity of the City and fair business practices.
Commercial Al fresco dining on your own property is guided by Council's food business regulations (link).
Footpaths in the Cairns CBD are divided into Pedestrian Zone, Trading Zone and Kerb Zone. Footpath dining can take place in the Trading Zone - generally on the kerbside of the footpath with a suitable set back from the kerb.
Footpath dining is not allowed on footpaths that are less than 2m wide.
The footpath dining fact sheet gives more information on where you can conduct footpath dining.
All footpath dining areas need to be clearly marked with delineation markers provided by Council. These markers make is easy to see that all furniture and other fittings are within the allowed area.
Allowed in the Trading Zone
Advertising: business or relevant product names can be used on barriers, retractable blinds and umbrellas. Other advertising, including on tables and chairs, is not allowed. Advertising may not be a menu.
Barriers:must be used to keep furniture in the Trading Zone. Removable barriers may not be more than 90cm high.
Menu displays: must be within the trading zone or attached to the front wall of the business premises. A-frames can not be used as menu boards.
Planter boxes: can be used to improve the look of an outdoor dining area. A footpath approval is needed.
Tables and chairs: must be contained within the Trading Zone. Council must approve the types and design of tables and chairs.
Umbrellas: can be used under verandas, canopies and awnings.