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Outdoor dining trial offers options for cafes and food trucks

Lake Macquarie City’s food and dining scene is set for a vibrant boost with a new trial that makes it easier for cafés and food trucks to utilise Council-owned land to serve customers safely.


The 10-month pilot program called VibrantSCENE, will consider two options for food businesses by permitting outdoor dining on community land and street parking along with allowing food van operators to create an outdoor hamlet within approved locations.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser said this program will allow hospitality businesses to safely serve customers during these challenging times and current social distancing restrictions.

“We’re working hard with our local businesses to help them as much as possible by coming up with some innovative ideas to make it easier for them to expand their service options,” said Cr Fraser.

As part of the trial businesses are encouraged to make temporary placemaking improvements to the dedicated sites by adding fairy lights, outdoor gas heaters and furniture or music to their setups.

“I am really pleased that we are offering flexible options for our community and businesses, depending on the site. I’d encourage our local operators to make the most of this opportunity and embrace it by also coming up with ideas to bring some vibrancy to these spaces across our City,” added Cr Kay Fraser.

Danielle Mayes and Natalie Brown, Owners of Tangerine Events said we’re excited to participate in this program and growing the Lake Mac Food Truck Crawl.

We are constantly receiving interest from other vendors and this pilot program will allow for more food van operators to participate.

Council will at all times be following the Australian and NSW Government COVID-19 guidelines in establishing these areas and businesses must have appropriate COVID Safe measures in place.

Council will continue to work with the operators to ensure the safety of businesses and customers. During the trial program, Council will be asking for feedback from businesses and the community to help inform long-term policy decisions and future programming.

The VibrantSCENE program is free of charge. Local operators are encouraged to apply by completing an expression of interest form online at

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