Council's Mobile Traders Policy was developed to manage the requests for the operation of mobile traders on Council owned or managed land. Council adopted its Mobile Traders Policy at its 26 October Council Meeting following public consultation in June 2021.
The Mobile Traders Policy was developed to manage the requests for the operation of mobile traders on Council owned or managed land.
Over a number of years, Council has received multiple requests from mobile traders to operate within the Shire. These requests have ranged from food vans that would compete directly with current businesses to mobile traders offering different food styles. Prior to COVID-19, unless exceptional circumstances existed, Council would not permit mobile traders in most cases to operate on Council land.
The Policy provides a framework for how Council will consider requests for mobile trading, while balancing the needs of bricks and mortar businesses. It provides clear and concise requirements for applying, issuing or refusing a permit for mobile traders to operate on Council owned or managed land, and does not apply to those trading on private property with consent from the landowner, or for a vendor that is part of an event.
The policy only applies to traders seeking to use Council owned or managed land, and does not apply to those trading on private property with consent from the landowner, or for a vendor that is part of an event, carnival, market or fete.
Fees and charges for Mobile Trading permits are not set by the policy and will be determined by Council each year as part of the Council Budget process. Currently, mobile traders pay a yearly fee of $560 to operate on Council owned or managed land.
At its 25 May Meeting, Council endorsed the Draft Mobile Traders Policy to go out for public exhibition for four weeks, and to write to all current permit holders and food businesses within Golden Plains Shire about the draft policy.
Community members and business operators were able to provide feedback on the Draft Policy through a community survey from 1 to 29 June 2021. Council received 42 individual submission, with 81% identifying as local residents, 9.5% as mobile traders and a further 9.5% as business owners. The feedback found:
- 71.4% wanted to provide residents in isolated areas with different food and services;
- 83.3% did not want to increase competition for existing bricks and mortar stores; and
- 69.0% believed Council should direct mobile traders to a specific location and not allow them to trade freely.
Only 4.8% of respondents did not want to allow mobile traders to operate in Golden Plains Shire.
Community members also shared their thoughts on the fee structure for mobile traders, and Council will use this feedback when setting fees and charges each year.
In response to the feedback, the Policy was updated to include specific areas where mobile traders can operate on Council-owned land, provided that the trader is not in direct competition with any bricks and mortar business open at the same time within 1 kilometre in Bannockburn or Smythesdale or 5 kilometres in any other area of Golden Plains Shire. Permits will not be granted to traders selling similar products at the same time and day of other physical businesses in these areas. Other changes made to the Draft Policy included inserting statements on the benefits mobile trading can bring and providing access to isolated residents.
Tuesday 1 June, 2021
Tuesday 29 June, 2021
Survey and feedback considered
26 October 2021
Council adopted final Mobile Traders Policy