Bat­tle brew­ing over Food Truck Park

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY RACHEAL WILLETT

An ap­pli­ca­tion for a Food Truck Park on a block of land ad­ja­cent to the Yar­ra­wonga Fore­shore has left a bad taste in the mouth of lo­cal traders.

In con­trast to last sum­mer’s Food Truck Festival, which ran for four days, the per­mit seeks the set-up of a semi-per­ma­nent Food Truck Park which would op­er­ate for more than a month - from De­cem­ber 20 to Jan­uary 28 - on a pri­vate par­cel of land lo­cated between Witt and Hunt streets.

The per­mit would also al­low the park to op­er­ate on pub­lic hol­i­days and busy week­ends through­out the year.

Lo­cal busi­ness own­ers and neigh­bours to the pro­posed Food Truck Park, Joe and Kay Crothers, were up­set with the plan af­ter be­ing no­ti­fied of the ap­pli­ca­tion via mail from Moira Shire Coun­cil.

“The let­ter in the mail was the first we heard of it,” Joe said.

“We didn’t agree with them bring­ing the food trucks here last year but this is dif­fer­ent. This is for a long pe­riod of time and it’s com­pletely un­fair.”

The per­mit, sought by the Hey Mis­ter Group, pro­poses the Food Truck Park would ac­com­mo­date four trucks, a max­i­mum of 690 pa­trons and be able to op­er­ate from 11am to 11pm Mon­day to Sun­day and mid­day to 11pm on An­zac Day and Good Fri­day. The park would be closed Christ­mas Day.

The per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion Venue Man­age­ment Plan says “a ro­ta­tion of high end food trucks will be present on site each day”.

“Food trucks will be se­lected to give pa­trons a va­ri­ety of op­tions, how­ever cuisines will be avoided that clash with lo­cal food op­tions, eg. no trucks serv­ing pizza, pasta, fish and chips, etc.” There will also be a li­censed bar on site.

The plan sug­gests “a frame­work un­der which the con­duct of the premises is man­aged to avoid un­rea­son­able amenity im­pacts on the sur­round­ing area“.

How­ever, as im­me­di­ate neigh­bours Mr and Mrs Crothers aren’t con­vinced.

“The plan shows the food trucks would be lined up di­rectly along the fence ad­join­ing our prop­erty where the old house is,” Kay said.

“They’ll have gas bot­tles and be cook­ing and that does worry us – any­thing could hap­pen.”

Noise, smell and park­ing are also a con­cern, ac­cord­ing to Joe.

“There’s not enough park­ing along here at the best of times – this will be so much worse,” Joe said.

“When they had the food truck festival here for four days they parked on that block be­cause there was nowhere else – now that’s where they want to have it.

“The plan shows they are go­ing to try to pro­vide park­ing but I don’t think it will be enough and we will have cars lined up and down the streets.”

The Crothers run a busi­ness which sup­plies quite a few lo­cal food out­lets and Joe said he was con­cerned about the im­pact on their trade.

“I talk to a lot of those peo­ple and I heard about how it hit them hard last time,” he said.

“That was for four days and this is a month and then they can come back and set up when­ever they want on other busy week­ends. “They don’t have to lease a build­ing, pay rates or em­ploy staff year round. They get to come in and take the cream off the top and then bug­ger off.”

Joe said all lo­cal busi­nesses re­lied on good trade dur­ing peak pe­ri­ods to get them through the qui­eter win­ter months.

“The peo­ple here run busi­nesses year round, with the ups and downs, they em­ploy lo­cal peo­ple and they do it tough when it gets quiet,” he said.

“Some­thing like this is ripping the guts out of those lo­cal busi­nesses by let­ting peo­ple come in and set up when­ever they want.”

Joe said he and Kay would def­i­nitely be putting in an ob­jec­tion to the plan­ning per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the October 16 dead­line.

Joe Crothers is un­happy with plans for a Food Truck Park to set up next door to his Yar­ra­wonga home.

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