Do you want dogs in outdoor cafes?
  • Tuesday 17 June 2014
dogs in cafes

Sunshine Coast Council is seeking comunity feedback on a proposal to allow dogs in outdoor cafes.

The local law changes would reflect the Queensland Government’s Food Act 2006 and allow dogs in designated outdoor dining areas where permitted by the business owner.

But time is running out. Residents have until 5pm on Sunday, June 22, 2014 to have their say.

The inconsistencies between the State Government’s regulations and council’s local laws arose when the National Food Standards removed restrictions on the presence of dogs in outdoor dining areas in October 2012. Council’s local law had previously mirrored the state Act.

If this proposed amendment to the local law is gazetted, owners of designated food premises will be able to decide whether they wish to have dogs in their outdoor areas.

Community Services Director Coralie Nichols said the National Food Safety Standards must be adhered to and if council endorsed this local law, it was important council conducted a comprehensive education campaign so both the business owners and dog owners understood their responsibilities. 

“We are proposing a combined communication and inspection program because, for example, a business that can be temporarily enclosed with plastic walls is precluded from having dogs at their restaurant or cafĂ© under the food safety standards,” Ms Nichols said.

“Council understands that many dog owners love the companionship of their pets while enjoying a coffee or meal at our restaurants and cafes, however our local laws also have to reflect the requirements of Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

“It is also important that pet owners understand their responsibilities so the community education program will also target them.”

Ms Nichols said the permit renewal or application process would also provide an opportunity to advise landlords and business owners whether they had the right to have dogs at their establishments.

“We can also advise them if any future infrastructure changes may affect that right,” she said.

“But in the end, business owners with compliant alfresco dining premises will have the final say on whether or not to allow dogs.”

State Government interest checks will also be required prior to council approving the proposed local law.

Further information and feedback forms are available on council’s website and at council’s Nambour, Caloundra and Maroochydore customer service centres.