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Victoria's New Dining and Entertainment Rebate Will Give You $125 Off Going Out Across the State

Spend $40 or more at cinemas, galleries and museums — and on dining outside of the City of Melbourne — and you can claim 25 percent back.
By Sarah Ward
March 28, 2022
By Sarah Ward
March 28, 2022

More than a few times across the pandemic now, the Victorian Government has given the state's residents everyone's favourite thing: free money. It hasn't just handed out cash, of course, but provided vouchers and rebates to get Victorians out and about — and spending again. And, if you're keen for a meal at a restaurant somewhere other than the City of Melbourne, or to see a movie, head to a show or hit up a gallery, you're in luck in the next big round of incentives.

Announced back in February and launching on Tuesday, March 29, the Victorian Dining and Entertainment Program covers exactly what it sounds like in its title. The one caveat: because the Midweek Melbourne Money scheme also exists, the food part of this new program doesn't apply in the City of Melbourne. Otherwise, get ready to enjoy up to $125 back in your bank account.

On the dining side of things, $30 million has been earmarked for rebates on food and wine experiences in regional areas, and in suburbs beyond Melbourne's borders, all under the same rules as Melbourne Money. Accordingly, you need to spend at least $40, and then you can claim 25 percent back — on purchases at cafes and restaurants; bars and pubs (but only if you buy food); registered clubs; breweries, distilleries and wineries (again, food has to be purchased); and fast food and takeaway outlets.

Also covered: food at restaurants and cafes within hotels; hospitality venues at sporting, arts and theatre precincts; food courts; at cinemas; and at mobile food trucks, vans, canteens and trailers.

You do have to eat between Monday and Thursday, though — so, not on weekends — and, food deliveries via external companies such as Uber Eats and Door Dash aren't covered.

Also, when you go to redeem your cash back from 10am on Tuesday, March 29, it's a first in, first served arrangement.

1800 Lasagne, Parker Blain

With the entertainment part of the new program, which has also been funded to the tune of $30 million, it's all about seeing movies, theatre shows, live music gigs and exhibitions (and going to conferences and other events). It also spans anywhere in Melbourne and Victoria, and on any day of the week.

So, you can make your way to cinemas, exhibitions, conferences, museums, galleries and zoos — and live performances such as theatre, music, comedy, literary events and fashion shows, plus theme parks, water parks and amusement parks.

Sports and sporting events (which includes entry to sporting facilities, season passes, sport classes, personal fitness and any sport events) aren't covered, however.

Whatever you attend, you need to again spend at least $40 — and then you can claim back 25 percent of your total cost. And redemption-wise, this one kicks off at 3pm on Tuesday, March 29, again, in a first in, first served arrangement

Yes, you now have plenty of excuses to fill your social calendar — for a bite, a flick, a show or all of the above. Just remember that that $125 total rebate amount applies to both schemes combined, so that's the most that you can claim back across both all up.

The Victorian Dining and Entertainment Program kicks off on Tuesday, March 29. For more information, head to the Victorian Government website.

Top image: Lido Cinema.

Published on March 28, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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