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1. About the program

1.1 As NSW comes out of lockdown, the NSW Government aims to make it easier for small or medium food and beverage businesses to use outdoor dining to support their operations. The NSW Government has made changes to liquor regulation and planning requirements to allow councils across NSW to streamline their approval processes enabling businesses to create or expand alfresco dining areas such as footpaths and public spaces. In line with the media release on 14 October 2021, certain eligible Small or Medium Food and Beverage Businesses will be able to claim eligible expenses incurred from 14 October 2021 to 30 September 2022.

1.2 Councils or Place Management NSW, for areas such as The Rocks or Darling Harbour, can process outdoor dining applications from lawful food and drink premises as exempt development, without needing a development application for the outdoor dining area. Instead, Councils can issue outdoor dining approval to use the footpath or public open space under the Roads Act 1993 (NSW), Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) and their own outdoor dining policies.

There are also temporary exempt measures in place for food and beverages premises to use other public or private land, and registered clubs to repurpose their land for outdoor dining until 30 June 2022. After this point, a venue would need to submit a development application to use the land.

1.3 Liquor & Gaming NSW (L&GNSW) waived the application fee for this change until 30 June 2022. Applications may be lodged via the ePlanning digital service on the NSW Planning Portal or Councils may use their own application systems if preferred. Once the council approves the application, L&GNSW generally approves liquor licence boundary changes (if applicable) within three days (reduced from 30 days). L&GNSW has waived the application fee for this change until 30 June 2022.

1.4 A one-off rebate of up to $5,000 is available to the first 5,000 approved eligible Small or Medium Food and Beverage Businesses to create, expand or improve their alfresco areas to enable increased capacity. This rebate will be delivered by Service NSW and Revenue NSW on behalf of the NSW Government.

1.5 For this rebate, applicants agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions and also agree that their application may be subject to an audit by the NSW Government or its representatives.

1.6 The rebate will be available from August 2022 until 11:59pm, 30 September 2022. Businesses can claim the rebate until 11:59pm, 30 September 2022 for eligible expenses incurred from 14 October 2021 (eligible expenses outlined in clause 6.3).

Note: All references to 'business' or 'businesses' in these guidelines include not-for-profit organisations.

2. Available funding

2.1 The first 5,000 customers who meet the eligibility criteria at clause 3 and are notified of their successful application (Successful Customers) will be provided a one-off rebate up to the value of $5,000.

2.2 The rebate will be provided as a one-off payment. This means evidence of all expenses and costs intended to be claimed must be collated and lodged together as part of a single claim.

3. Eligible businesses

3.1 Businesses may be eligible for a one-off rebate of up to $5,000 on eligible expenses where they are a business that:

a. is creating, expanding or improving permanent or temporary alfresco dining areas such as on footpaths and public spaces, from 14 October 2021 to 30 September 2022; and

b. has incurred/will incur eligible costs and expenses in relation to the creation, expansion or improvement activities in clause 3.1.a above;

c. is defined by at least one of the following Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) codes:

  • i. Code 4511 Cafes and Restaurants;
  • ii. Code 4520 Pubs, Taverns and Bars;
  • iii. Code 4530 Clubs (Hospitality);
  • iv. Code 4400 Accommodation, however limited only to businesses engaging primarily in hotel operation and motel operation. For the avoidance of doubt, code 4400 does not include, for the purposes of these guidelines, businesses operating camping grounds, caravan parks, holiday houses and flats, resorts, serviced apartments, ski lodges, student residence and youth hostels;
  • v. Code 1212 Beer Manufacturing;
  • vi. Code 1213 Spirit Manufacturing;
  • vii. Code 1214 Wine and other Alcoholic Beverage Manufacturing;
  • viii. Code 0131 Grape Growing;

d. has a current and active Australian Business Number (ABN), held on or before 1 June 2021. This does not include ABNs that were registered after 1 June 2021 and the start date has been altered retrospectively in the Australian Business Register to precede 1 June 2021;

e. has its operating premises physically located in NSW and the eligible cost/expense is in relation to such premises. For the avoidance of doubt, businesses that operate from multiple premises may only claim costs/expenses associated with the alfresco area at a NSW premise;

f. has an Aggregated Annual Turnover less than $10 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2021;

g. has approval to use the outdoor area from council, Place Management NSW or other authority (as applicable), at the time of claiming the rebate; and

h. in the case of businesses leasing land, has the consent of the landlord to use the outdoor area, at the time of claiming the rebate.

3.2 Applications will be limited to 1 application per ABN, allowing expenses to be utilised at multiple business locations if eligibility criteria are met.

3.3 Businesses are required to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria in clause 3.1 both at the time of online registration and when making a claim. Service NSW may consider claims from businesses that no longer meet eligibility criteria. For more information, please contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

3.4 An application for the payment under the program must be made by a business who is seeking payment. An Authorised Representative may apply via their MyServiceNSW Account.

4. Online registration

4.1 An online registration form was made available for businesses to register and confirm their eligibility for the $5,000 rebate in December 2021.

4.2 Businesses will need to self-declare during the online registration process that they meet the eligibility criteria listed under clause 3. This will not include providing receipts evidencing the costs incurred given the rebate may be used to cover expenses following online registration.

4.3 A business can withdraw their registration at any point.

4.4 Successful Customers will be notified of their successful application and the rebate redemption process that will follow.

4.5 Successful Customers will have the rebate available to them from August 2022.

5. How the rebate may be used

5.1 Funding may be used to help reimburse businesses for costs and expenses associated with creating, expanding or improving alfresco dining areas. A list of eligible expenses and costs can be found below at clause 6.3.

5.2 The rebate will be provided as a one-off payment. This means evidence of all expenses and costs intended to be claimed must be collated and lodged together as part of a single claim.

5.3 Businesses apply for the rebate through Service NSW’s website, demonstrating proof of eligibility in line with the criteria set out below.

5.4 Businesses will claim the rebate through their MyServiceNSW Account, upon submitting proof of payment of eligible expenses.

5.5 Claims must be made by a legitimate applicant authorised to act on behalf of the eligible business.

5.6 Claims must be made by 30 September 2022.

6. Evidence in support of eligibility

6.1 To apply, businesses must submit:

a. evidence their business had an Aggregated Annual Turnover of less than $10 million for the financial year ended 30 June 2021. This may be in the form of one of the following documents for the financial year ended 30 June 2021:

  • i. an Australian Income Tax Return
  • ii. a Business Activity Statement (BAS) for at least one quarter (or 3-monthly BAS);
  • iii. an audited profit and loss statement;
  • iv. at least three months of bank statements showing business income; or
  • v. a letter from an accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent that confirms their business income;

b. evidence their business operates in New South Wales, for every location claimed (as applicable):

  • i. their most recent council rates notices; or 
  • ii. current lease agreement,

where neither a council rates notice nor a current lease agreement is available, Service NSW/Revenue NSW may consider alternative documents, for example, utility bills or insurance papers. Successful Customers that cannot meet this requirement, due to relocation or otherwise, may still be eligible. Please contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 to discuss;

  • iii. documentation from the council, Place Management NSW or other authority (as applicable) approving use of the relevant land for outdoor dining in accordance with all necessary legal and regulatory approvals. This may include council approval, permits or site plans; and

c. for businesses leasing land, written consent from the landlord, in addition to the approvals specified in clause 6.1.b. above.

6.2 To make a claim, Successful Customers:

a. must submit evidence of their eligible expenses incurred and paid in accordance with clause 6.3, at the time of making a claim for the rebate, including receipts or other evidence of payment;

b. may be required to submit further evidence, including evidence of the alfresco works, such as photos clearly showing the creation, expansion or improvement of the alfresco area. This may include “before” and “after” photos clearly showing the creation, expansion or improvement works.

6.3 Eligible expenses include the items listed below, where incurred and paid between 14 October 2021 and 30 September 2022 (inclusive). For the avoidance of doubt, works may be completed outside of this date range.

Creation, expansion or improvement of Alfresco

1. Temporary ground surfaces:
  • levelling of sites to make safe
  • decking
  • other temporary coverings (Astro Turf, Matting)
2. Traffic mitigation/barriers (where not provided by Council):
  • including fencing to manage capacity in line with COVID-19 restrictions and regulations made under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW)
  • Note: fencing carrying third party advertising is not eligible
3. Generators (if required)
4. Installation of outdoor power points
5. Lighting, including decorative lighting such as festoons
6. Additional furniture for fit-out of the outdoor area, including tables, chairs, waiter stations
7. Non-fixed elements such as play spaces, interactive art, way-finding and signage
8. Weather protection for shade and rain, including umbrellas
9. Parklets or similar mobile seating areas
10. Heaters, fans and misters
11. Mobile bar
12. Additional point of sale
13. Pest treatment.

7. Available payment

7.1 Applicants can apply for a payment of up to $5,000 to cover eligible expenses, where they create or expand permanent or temporary alfresco dining areas such as footpaths and public spaces from 14 October 2021 to 30 September 2022.

7.2 Payments will be made to the first 5,000 Successful Customers in accordance with clause 6.3 on the condition they meet the eligibility criteria and evidentiary requirements.

7.3 Payments will be credited to the Successful Customer’s nominated bank account, and where possible, within 10 business days of an eligible expense claim being approved.

7.4 Applicants must comply with these guidelines. To receive a payment, applicants will be required to state that they agree.

8. Application requirements

8.1 Businesses are required to register and apply online through Service NSW. Applications will not be accepted at service centres.

8.2 All questions in the application need to be completed to ensure timely assessment and payment.

8.3 Only Authorised Representatives may apply.

8.4 Applications will be limited to 1 application per ABN, allowing expenses to be utilised at multiple business locations if the eligibility criteria is met at each business location. Supporting evidence will need to be provided during the rebate claim.

8.5 Applicants consent to Service NSW/Revenue NSW undertaking data validation with and collecting and disclosing information including personal information to relevant Commonwealth and State government agencies and departments, including but not limited to Services Australia, Department of Customer Service and local councils, for the purpose of verifying the particulars of the applicant’s application.

9. Compliance

9.1 If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading, the payment will be repayable on demand. It is an offence to provide false or misleading information to a public authority, pursuant to the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

9.2 Applicants may be subject to audit by the NSW Government or its representatives for a period of 7 years after the closing of the rebate. Under the audit, applicants may be required to produce further evidence, including but not limited to, evidence demonstrating that they meet requirements of these guidelines.

10. Other information

10.1 Service NSW reserves the right to withdraw or amend the payment or these guidelines and application terms at any time as they deem appropriate without notice.

10.2 Further information can be found on the Service NSW website.

11. Definitions

ABN has the meaning given in clause 3.1.d.

Aggregated Annual Turnover means aggregated turnover as defined in s. 328.115 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) ('ITAA 97'). Aggregated turnover includes the annual turnovers of entities (including foreign entities) that are connected with or affiliates of the business entity. The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) has further information on calculating aggregated turnover.

For charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) ('registered charities'), when calculating aggregated annual turnover, gifts and government grants should be included. For not-for-profit organisations that are not registered charities, gifts should be excluded, and government grants included when calculating aggregated annual turnover. For more information, please visit the ATO website.

ANZSIC has the meaning given in clause 3.1.c.

Authorised Representative means a person authorised by a business to register the business for the rebate and/or claim payment under the rebate.

DCS means the Crown in the right of the State of NSW acting through the Department of Customer Service.

L&GNSW means Liquor and Gaming New South Wales.

Revenue NSW means the Crown in the right of the State of New South Wales acting through Revenue NSW.

Service NSW means the Crown in the right of the State of NSW acting through Service NSW.

Small or Medium Food and Beverage Business means a business that meets the criteria in clause 3.1.

Successful Customer has the meaning given in clause 2.1.

12. Supporting links