After 27 years, the Tamworth Regional Council is reviewing the CBD’s Footpath Dining policy.
The policy was implemented in 1996 following decades of bad behaviour at events like the Tamworth Country Music Festival and prevents people dining on the footpath outside licensed venues.
Council is now asking the community to have their say on what changes they would like to see happen to the policy to help create a more cosmopolitan and progressive atmosphere in the CBD.
“We’re really interested in feedback from the whole community, including the police and venue owners, on what they think about the options we have suggested,” said Gina Vereker, Director Liveable Communities.
The community has the choice of the three following options:
1. No changes to the current policy.
2. Remove two points from the current policy;
a) Alcohol must only be served where a meal is provided by the restaurant to the patrons seated in the outdoor dining area;
b) Consumption of alcohol at outdoor dining venues is permitted during the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival.
3. Allow alcoholic drinks without a meal (while seated) except during the Country Music Festival period and during that period the requirement for a meal would remain.
Put simply, the community has the choice to keep the policy the same, allow the consumption of alcohol on the footpath without a meal all year round with no exceptions, or allow the consumption of alcohol on the footpath all year round except during the Tamworth Country Music Festival period.
Ms Vereker says Council is confident a change to the policy will be positive.
“Licensed venues have said [the policy] is a bit out of step with what happens in other centres and particularly in metropolitan areas in Sydney. So, why shouldn’t we in Tamworth be cosmopolitan?” she said.
“It also opens up more opportunities for everyone because not everybody wants to have a meal with their wine or beer.”
In the case that the policy changes prove a problem, Council has said they can certainly change them back.
To have your say on the Footpath Dining policy, visit https://haveyoursay.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/footpath-dining
Want to see changes to Tamworth CBD's Footpath Dining policy? Have your say.