Free trade area

The Town of Victoria Park is committed to supporting business, with ‘free trade areas’ outside shop fronts within the Town.

Previously an installation fee starting from $100 was required for businesses to apply for and set up a free trade area, but as part of the Restart Vic Park COVID-19 Response Strategy, fees for a free trade area were abolished in 2020. Applications for a free trade area permit are now free.

The free trade area is considered as the area in front of businesses, and is the remaining portion of footpath area that directly adjoins businesses after a two metre pedestrian access or thoroughfare has been provided clear of obstructions. Previously this area was only suitable to be used for alfresco dining purposes, but now traders are also able to use it to display their goods. In certain locations it may be feasible to locate the free trade area further away from the shopfront, however an assessment by staff will be required to ensure safety for patrons and other members of the public.


If you own a food business or shop in the Town and would like to display goods or have alfresco dining in the free trade area, you will need to obtain a free trade area permit.

Permit requirements

Before you start your application, there are a few requirements you need to be aware of, including:

  • You will need public liability insurance with a minimum of $10 million coverage that specifically includes using the footpath for this type of activity (you need to upload your Certificate of Currency as part of your application).
  • The location of your free trade zone should only be in front of your business, either along the building edge or kerbside zone if space permits.
  • A minimum two metres of continuous clear pathway for pedestrians is required – see diagram.
  • If your business is located on a street corner or adjacent to a bus stop you must first contact the Town for guidance and further assessment.
  • All items you place on the footpath for your outdoor eating area or goods display area (e.g. tables, chairs, pot plants etc.) must be removed from the footpath at close of business each day.
  • Fixtures provided by the business do not obstruct the visibility or clear sight lines of any person at an intersection of thoroughfares.
  • Your free trade area does not impede pedestrian access.


If you meet the above requirements then you can continue with the online permit application. If you have any concerns or would like clarification on whether your business is eligible for a free trade permit please contact the Town on 9311 8111 for more information.

Free trade area permit application form