Venturing out this public holiday? Check out these money-saving schemes

State governments and city councils are offering  vouchers and other incentives to entice visitors back to the CBD.

State governments and city councils are offering vouchers and other incentives to entice visitors back to the CBD. Photo: Getty

Australians dining out this Queen’s Birthday public holiday can stretch their money a little further by tapping into a range of deals.

State governments and city councils around the country are offering to subsidise meals and cultural activities to help arts and hospitality businesses get back on their feet.

The support available ranges from hospitality rebates to entertainment vouchers and in some cases runs well beyond the Queen’s Birthday holiday on Monday.

Here’s what’s on offer.

New South Wales

All New South Wales residents aged 18 and over can apply for four $25 vouchers to spend on eligible hospitality and entertainment activities under the state government’s ‘Dine & Discover’ stimulus package.

Two can be used for dining out, and the other two must be used “for entertainment and recreation, including cultural institutions, live music, and arts venues”.

The scheme was announced in November as part of the state government’s 2020-21 budget, but so far only 44 per cent of the vouchers have been redeemed.

As a result of the low uptake, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has extended the deadline for the vouchers until July 31, 2021.

Find out more here.


Melburnians emerging from a two-week lockdown can claim a 20 per cent rebate on their total food and drink bill as part of a $8.4 million dining initiative.

Co-funded by the City of Melbourne and Victorian government, the ‘Melbourne Money’ program will deliver a 20 per cent rebate to diners who spend between $50 and $500 in restaurants, cafes, and bars within the entire City of Melbourne municipality – an area that includes Southbank, Docklands, Chinatown, Flemington, Carlton North and South Yarra. (Full map here.)

The offer is on a first-in-first-served basis, with the scheme ending once all funds are exhausted.

To claim their rebate, diners must pay for their meal in full and pick up an itemised receipt that includes the name of the business and its ABN number.

They must then scan or take a photo of this receipt and upload it with their bank details via the secure Melbourne Money website.

Orders through home delivery companies such as UberEats and Deliveroo are notably not included.

And the City of Melbourne says successful claimants will receive the rebate within five business days of their claim being approved.

The City of Melbourne is hoping an $8.4 million scheme will help struggling businesses find their feet. Photo: Getty


Unfortunately there’s no public holiday for Brisbane residents on Monday: Like Western Australia, Queensland celebrates the Queen’s birthday on a different date.

But there’s good news for residents planning a trip to the CBD either this Friday or next.

A campaign called ‘Fridays in the City‘ is running until June 25 and includes free lunchtime fitness classes, discounted car parking, trials and co-working spaces, and cafe and restaurant vouchers.

The aim of the scheme is to reverse the decline in foot traffic on Friday nights brought on by the pandemic and the transition to working from home.


Canberrans will enjoy a public holiday on Monday, but unfortunately a discount voucher scheme from the ACT government has been put on hold for a further seven days.

The revamped ChooseCBR scheme promised discounts of up to 50 per cent at registered small businesses across the ACT.

But on Friday, two days after its second launch, the government paused the program by another week after taking the website offline to address some “technical issues”.

Residents will be able to register for the scheme once it is back and up and running at this link here.

And further updates can be expected on the government’s Twitter page.


If you missed the chance to go away this weekend, then it might be worth nabbing yourself a half-priced airfare later this year – especially given research shows we have record amounts of unused annual leave.

The government allocated an initial $1.2 billion in funding towards subsidising more than 800,000 half-priced fares in March, and there are still plenty of deals on offer.

And not just to typical holiday destinations, either.

The expansion of Regional Express into capital city routes has started a pricing war with rivals Virgin and Jetstar on flights between major cities.

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