Footpath dining

If you operate a food business and would like to use the footpath as an outdoor dining area for your patrons, you must apply to Council for a footpath dining permit.

Permits ensure all businesses trading on the footpath comply with strict conditions that preserve the amenity, safety and accessibility of the city.

Council will assess your permit application to ensure the proposed use is in accordance with our Best Practice Use of Footpaths Policy ( PDF, 4.24 MB ) which governs the use of footpaths for outdoor dining

If your permit is approved, we will issue you a footpath dining permit. Footpath dining permits need to be renewed annually and are not transferable. If the business changes hands, the new operator requires their own permit.

There is a $234 fee for new permit applications and a $190 fee for permit renewal.

Businesses using the footpath for outdoor dining need to pay rent based on the area of land they are using. Rental fees are determined by Council and payable annually or quarterly.

Please refer to this map ( JPG, 2.14 MB ) to determine which area your footpath dining activity will be charged at.

Annual rental fees

Area A$199.50 per m2
Area B$106.10 per m2
Area C$61.60 per m2
Area D$37.10 per m2
Area E$22.30 per m2
Area F$13.80 per m2
Area G$9.60 per m2

Apply for a footpath dining permit

To apply for a new footpath dining permit you must:

If your application is approved, you will receive a footpath dining permit and an invoice for rental fees. Your permit is not valid until the rental fee is paid.

Renew a footpath dining permit

Permit renewal application forms are issued to you by Council on 1 July each year.

To assist Council with speedy processing of your application, please sign and return the permit renewal application form and include:

  • A copy of your Public Liability Insurance to the value of $20 million noting Cairns Regional Council as an interested party
  • Payment of the $190 permit renewal fee
  • Payment of rental fees (as per the invoice attached to your permit renewal application form)

Council cannot consider your renewal application if the information above is not provided by 31 July. Failure to renew your footpath dining permit means you will be trading without a permit and could be fined or have your outdoor dining furniture seized by Council.

For further information, download our fact sheets, read our frequently asked questions, or contact Council on 1300 69 22 47.

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Last updated: 17 July 2019