The following views on the operation of itinerant traders are mine as an individual councillor only. A Council policy on itinerant traders is yet to be determined and is currently in the planning stage.
During recent media debate around a hot dog van owner selling food without a permit to do so on Wyndham Street during Friday and Saturday nights, Council was seen to be treating the business owner unfairly when he had to cease trading while a solution was found. A few days earlier, mainly as the result of police advice, Council had refused an application from two business people for the operation of a hot dog van near nightclubs. Council was not aware of the existence of the current hot dog van operation until told later. He has been permitted to remain trading while Council decides on the best way forward.
I will be considering the following questions during the development of a new Council itinerant traders policy. Should one business be allowed to be the sole operator when others are excluded? What is the view of the police in relation to late-night food vans around nightclub venues? Are there any safety and littering issues to be dealt with? If there are any areas on the streets selected by Council for itinerant trading where should they be, how many should there be, and should they be advertised so that other businesses have the opportunity to compete for the business opportunity? Should these itinerant traders pay a rental fee, given that they compete with existing late night and twenty- four -hour food businesses which incur very high costs to stay open and provide that service? As a councillor, it is my responsibility to act on what is fair and equitable to all stakeholders, not just one.
Councillor, Greater Shepparton City Council