Shire puts food trucks into gear

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - NEWS - Sarah Brookes Com­mu­ni­tynews

THE WA Mo­bile Food Ven­dors As­so­ci­a­tion is wel­com­ing the Shire of Mun­dar­ing’s de­ci­sion to al­low food trucks to op­er­ate at se­lected lo­ca­tions in the shire.

Coun­cil­lors voted 6-3 at the or­di­nary meet­ing on April 4 to al­low mo­bile ven­dors to trade from the Chidlow Oval, Sawyers Val­ley Oval, Sculp­ture Park in Mun­dar­ing and Brown Park in Swan View but voted to omit Mor­gan John Mor­gan Re­serve in Glen For­rest over con­cerns it would neg­a­tively im­pact on nearby busi­nesses.

Shire Pres­i­dent David Lavell said there was sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est from peo­ple wish­ing to es­tab­lish food stalls, par­tic­u­larly the Sculp­ture Park.

Cr Lavell said the draft pol­icy would pro­vide a guide for as­sess­ing and de­ter­min­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for mo­bile ven­dors want­ing to op­er­ate on Shire land.

“The Shire has re­ceived a num­ber of re­quests from mo­bile ven­dors who wish to trade on Shire owned and man­aged land such as parks, ovals and recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

“This draft pol­icy will guide the type and lo­ca­tion of ven­dors that could be con­sid­ered so we are fair and con­sis­tent.

“It will also bet­ter utilise our pub­lic open spa­ces and make them more vi­brant and wel­com­ing.

“There are con­cerns mo­bile ven­dors pose a po­ten­tial risk to brick and mor­tar busi­nesses and that is why as part of the con­di­tions a mo­bile ven­dor is not to be lo­cated within 100m from an ex­ist­ing food premises of­fer­ing sim­i­lar ser­vices.”

While coun­cil­lors Pa­trick Ber­tola and Stephen Fox ar­gued the small num­ber of lo­ca­tions was too lim­it­ing, the ma­jor­ity dis­agreed.

Cr James Martin said the Shire needed to em­brace food trucks and the lo­ca­tions ap­proved would serve the com­mu­nity well, whilst pro­tect­ing vi­tal café busi­nesses.

“Cafes are an im­por­tant busi­ness and com­mu­nity hub,” he said.

“The shops around Mor­gan John Mor­gan are a great hub and I cer­tainly wouldn’t want to see these hubs clos­ing down by the ac­tions of the Shire.

“How­ever we can’t be the last shire sup­port­ing the horse and car­riage. We need to be pro­gres­sive.”

In its sub­mis­sion on the pol­icy, the Dar­ling­ton Ratepay­ers’ and Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion op­posed mo­bile ven­dors op­er­at­ing in the sub­urb, due to its threat to lo­cal fundrais­ing ef­forts and busi­nesses.

The Shire said un­der the pol­icy, mo­bile ven­dors must ob­tain writ­ten ap­proval from the pres­i­dent of the rel­e­vant sport­ing club or group if they wished to use the space at the same time as the club.

WA Mo­bile Food Ven­dors As­so­ci­a­tion vice-pres­i­dent San­dra Bah­bah said mo­bile ven­dors and sport­ing clubs could have a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co-ex­is­tence.

Pic­ture: Sarah Brookes

WA Mo­bile Food Ven­dors As­so­ci­a­tion vice-pres­i­dent San­dra Bah­bah serves a cus­tomer from her Mid­dle Eastern food van.

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