Footpath Trading and Structures

Mackay Regional Council has adopted a the Footpath Trading and Structures Policy and Policy Guideline. The intent of the policy guideline is to provide certainty, clear expectations, consistency and a 'one stop shop' for traders and landowners on the requirements of establishing footpath trading and structures, including closer alignment to disability standards, across the Mackay region.

The vision

Council's vision is to create and maintain vibrant, diverse, dynamic, economically viable and pedestrian friendly centres that enhances and celebrates the unique sense of character, identity and experience of street orientated centres and businesses within the Mackay region.

The supporting principles of the vision include:

> Dynamic and vibrant centres

  • Create and maintain a streetscape that is functional, practical, comfortable and convenient.
  • Create and maintain a streetscape that is vibrant, engaging, interesting and exciting
  • Create and maintain a streetscape that incorporates, and is responsive to, views and vistas of built and natural features.

> Pedestrian friendly centres

  • Create and maintain a streetscape that is accessible, comfortable, enjoyable, healthy and safe for people of all ages and levels of ability
  • Create opportunities for people to enjoy and experience Mackay’s relaxed and pleasant tropical climate and lifestyle.

> Diverse and economically viable centres

  • Create and maintain a streetscape that supports and compliments the variety of commercial land use activities within centres
  • Create a vibrant, diverse and active streetscape setting that facilitates, supports and encourages economic growth and development.

> Centres with a point of difference

  • Create and maintain a streetscape that enhances and accommodates the region’s unique tropical lifestyle where streets provide outdoor living and recreation spaces.
  • Create and maintain a streetscape that is distinctive by capitalising on the region’s unique natural environment, generous street widths, and heritage.
  • Create and maintain a streetscape that offers a unique, enjoyable and memorable pedestrian experience where people want to visit and stay longer.

Who needs an approval

The policy will apply to street orientated centres and approved commercial activities (meaning commercial buildings/tenancies that are built up to the front property boundary) within the Mackay Regional Council area.

Activities generally supported in the Trading Zone requiring prior approval from council are:

  • Footpath dining (& permitted furnishings);
  • Display of goods (& permitted furnishings);
  • Busking;
  • Other non-impacting footpath activities such as artists;
  • Temporary activities such as
    • Street events including street sampling, commercial promotions, outdoor radio broadcasts, festivals and markets; and
    • Charity events e.g. sausage sizzles, fundraising and the like.

The following activities are not permitted at any time on a footpath:

  • Street selling e.g. stands , stalls and touting;
  • Masseurs or masseuses;
  • Pedicures or manicures; and
  • Food vans.

Council will assess applications on a case-by-case basis and reserves the right to approve, restrict or refuse any application under the relevant Local Law. Delineation markers will be installed by Council (if not already installed) in order to clearly identify the approved Trading Zone.

Footpath trading areas must be easily accessible from the footpath and must present an open and inviting image to entice participation. Pedestrians must not be forced onto the roadway or Kerb Zone by footpath dining activities or other temporary items/structures on the footpath.

How to apply

Pre-lodgement meeting

It is strongly recommended to organise a pre-lodgement meeting with a council Environmental Health Officer (EHO) prior to submitting an application for use of a footpath.

A pre-lodgement meeting will provide the following information:

  • advice on the possible concerns, issues or considerations that should be addressed in the application for assessment:
  • determine if the proposal will or will not be able to advance to application lodgement
  • clarify any questions you may have;
  • advise of further referrals required; and
  • fees associated with the application;

A pre-lodgement meeting can be organised by contacting council’s Health and Regulatory Services on 1300 MACKAY (622 529) or email

Where a footpath structure is proposed on a State controlled road, a pre-lodgement meeting should be arranged with Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Footpath trading application:

Section 3.4 Footpath Trading Proposals and Approvals of the Policy guideline provides all of the requirements for preparing, lodging and paying for a Footpath Trading Application.

An Application for Footpath Trading Approval form with the supporting documentation, must be lodged with the relevant fee to council.

Footpath structures application:

Section 4.4 Applications and Approvals Process of the Policy guideline provides all of the requirements for preparing, lodging and paying for a Footpath Structure Application.

If a structure is proposed to occupy an area within the road reserve, the landowner will be required to enter into and sign a Deed of Agreement with council prior to the approval of the footpath structure.  The Deed of Agreement puts sole responsibility on the landowner for the structure’s management, maintenance, public liability and removal.

A Footpath Structure Application with the supporting documentation must be lodged with the relevant fee to council either:

  • in person at any of council’s Customer Service Centers;
  • by email; or
  • post to:
    Mackay Regional Council
    PO Box 41
    Mackay QLD 4740

Further information and enquiries

Further information and enquiries in relation to the Footpath Trading and Structures Policy Guideline can be directed towards council's Health and Regulatory Services team by contacting 1300 622 529 or by sending an email to