Using Footpaths

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Using Footpaths

From 1 July 2018, Coffs Harbour City Council will no longer charge local businesses fees to use footpaths for trade.

Following the success of a six month trial on Coffs City Centre (CBD), the Trading Places initiative will now extend across the entire local government area.

What has changed?

The main changes under the new model include:

  • The waiving of fees for footpath use:
    • A-frame signage
    • Outdoor dining
    • Merchandise displays
    • Other activations
  • Streamlining and simplifying the registration process to one online portal
  • Traders becoming more responsible for their footpath spaces
  • Buskers can register and book online to perform in designated spaces in the CBD (City Square), Sawtell and Woolgoolga
  • Local Community Groups and Not-for-Profit organisations can register and book online to hold temporary street stalls in designated spaces for fundraising or raising awareness about a local project or cause.

What stays the same?

  • Traders continue to be responsible for their insurance, public safety and access at all times
  • The same compliance requirements remain in place

What do businesses have to do?

  • All businesses wanting to use the footpath for trade must register online to participate (even if you have already registered with Council via paper form)
  • Existing public safety and liability provisions required by legislation for public footpaths will have to be maintained (i.e. to use the footpath, businesses must hold a current Certificate for Public Liability Insurance to $20 million extending to footpath use with Coffs Harbour Council noted as an interested party). Legislation for food and liquor licensing requires compliance at all times.
  • Businesses who have already paid fees for A-frame signage, outdoor dining, merchandise etc. will be refunded for the period after 1 July 2018. To claim a refund, businesses must register online first.
  • By registering online, businesses agree to comply with our ground rules

Anyone wanting to use the footpath for trade or activation must register online, agree and comply with three simple ground rules:


Ultimately the footpath is a community space for everyone including young children, seniors, people with prams and those who require assistance aids and clear passage. These people need to get about their daily activities safely and efficiently. Think about trip hazards, height impediments and any possible projectiles (windy conditions). If you see something you think is unsafe do something about it.


​Partner with your neighbouring businesses to create exciting places that attract customers and encourage them to linger longer. Cross-promote with other stores to spread the shopping love... waiting for a coffee to arrive gives shoppers a window of opportunity otherwise missed. Ensure your footpath use does not compromise a neighbours business.


This is a new business model, there will be good and bad feedback from customers. Use constructive criticism to improve your business offering. Make changes and try new things. Respond to safety and access concerns promptly. You will need to have a current Public Liability Insurance policy to cover the use of the footpath (minimum $20million) and list Council as an Interested Party.

Council will be holding a series of information sessions for businesses shortly - dates, times and venues to be advised.

Further information, including details on how to register can be found at Trading Places.