Wagga's cafes and restaurants are being encouraged to apply for outdoor dining permits as the city prepares for its first summer with coronavirus restrictions in place.
Wagga City Council economic development officer Dominic Kennedy told The Daily Advertiser the local business community was working on a plan for the central district, which would focus on making use of outdoor space including footpath dining.
Details of the plan are expected to be revealed in October.
"The focus for that is the CBD and accommodating businesses to take advantage of increased activity in the main street," Mr Kennedy said. "We'll be trying to actively help anyone who would like to apply, [to help] anyone who doesn't currently have authorisation to operate on the footpath to send in an application.
"We're open to anyone who has other ideas on how to utilise open space, if they want to give us a call in economic development we'd be happy to support them."
Mr Kennedy said the council would assist any businesses wanting to apply for footpath dining, which costs $105 for a five-year lease.
"We have a policy online which states that you just have to have a clear way for disability access, so the vision impaired had a say in how we manage the main street," he said. "Otherwise anyone can apply to have either dining on the footpath or a display of goods on the footpath.
"We're also supportive of the NSW government's Shared Spaces Program and encourage anyone with ideas to contact us to see if we can make them a reality."
The 'Streets as Shared Spaces program' will provide funding for public space projects from a $15 million pool to eligible councils through a competitive grant process.
Mr Kennedy's comments came as the NSW government unveiled its five-step "COVID Safe Summer Plan" which includes a push for outdoor activities.
Speaking to the media on September 21, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the Berejiklian government would "work really closely with our local councils" to make use of public spaces.
"We know that we're all going to be here together this summer, nobody's going to be going overseas," he said.
"[We will be] working with local businesses to make better use of our high streets to ensure that businesses have the flexibility to spill out onto streets wherever it's safe to do so to give us more chances to socialise together in those settings in a safe way."
Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said an "alfresco taskforce" had been established to review how businesses can take advantage of outdoor dining.
"We've seen today how beautiful the outdoors are in NSW and we want to make sure that people enjoy the outdoors in a COVID-safe way," he said. Mr Dominello said inspectors would be "stepping up their efforts" over the summer to ensure compliance with regulations.
Four new cases of coronavirus were recorded in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, September 20.