Baysy orders red tape to go

BAYSWATER council is reducing the red tape to encourage the city’s restaurants to take up street-side dining.

In theory local governments should roll out the red carpet for anyone wanting chairs and tables on the footpath, as it saves them from having to splash out on furniture or artworks to “activate” their streets.

But for years Bayswater’s forced restaurateurs to get full planning approval and an alfresco dining licence, along the way slugging them a $25.60 fee for each chair and $147 for the development application fee.

Those charges have been dropped and planning approval has been replaced with a simple licence mayor Barry McKenna says will ”streamline the process so it now takes less time and is less of a hassle”.

• Crs Chris Cornish and Catherine Ehrhardt discuss Bayswater’s easing of alfresco laws over a cuppa with Lyric Lane owner Michiel de Ruyter. Photo by Steve Grant

• Crs Chris Cornish and Catherine Ehrhardt discuss Bayswater’s easing of alfresco laws over a cuppa with Lyric Lane owner Michiel de Ruyter. Photo by Steve Grant

The move is one of the initiatives of the Red Tape Reduction Working Group, chaired by Cr Chris Cornish along with Catherine Ehrhardt, John Rifici and Brent Fleeton.

“I personally am a believer in a small, lean government which minimises interference in people’s lives,” says Cr Cornish.

“I believe that existing rules and processes need to be questioned, that people shouldn’t simply accept things just because that’s the way it’s been done, and I am fortunate to be in a position where I can hear residents’ concerns and advocate on their behalf for change when required.”

The working group’s got a few more irons in the fire, like putting together templates for people to submit traffic management or risk management plans if they want to put on events.

Currently it’s a jargon-heavy process that virtually insurmountable for an indy youngster wanting to hold a pop-up market one Sunday.

“All forms of government can become unwieldy as historic rules and processes are followed,” Cr Cornish says. “The red tape reduction working group can assess whether interactions with the city are as simple and efficient as possible.”

by DAVID BELL

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