Mooved to milk different pastures

Nicolette Barbas and Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter

Food trucks are again in the spotlight following a decision by the Harvey Shire Council.

The Crazy Cow coffee van was refused a permit to trade at the Binningup Beach carpark after a small business owner spoke against a motion which would have allowed the truck to trade in the town.

This follows on from a decision by the Waroona Shire Council, where approval for a curry van permit for the town in August was later revoked due to community backlash.

Binningup Beach Caravan Park owner Jason Rule told the council the food truck would affect businesses in Binningup.

“There is an on-site caravan park cafe and general store, both selling coffee,” Mr Rule said.

“By allowing a food truck to operate in the carpark we are taking potential business away from the store, cafe and residents who are already struggling.”

In response, the council voted down the original motion with councillor Paul Beech putting forward an alternative motion which approved the Eco-museum and Christina Street sites, but refused the Binningup site.

While Binningup Beach Cafe owner Amanda Watson was pleased with the council’s decision, she claimed neither herself nor Mr Rule were notified of the potential for a food truck to operate in the area.

“We were disappointed that we did not find out about this being a possibility until we opened up the Harvey-Waroona Reporter on Tuesday morning and saw the article,” Ms Watson said.

Harvey shire president Paul Gillett said the council adopted the draft Trading in Public Places for Food Vendors policy in June 2018.

“An expression of interest was invited from suitably qualified and experienced mobile food and beverage related goods and services operators interested in trading in public places,” Cr Gillett said.

“This was advertised in the Harvey Reporter and the Bunbury Herald on August 27 2019.”

Waroona Shire president Mike Walmsley said the issue of mobile food vendors was “a difficult one”.

“There is a place for these food vans, but for small businesses every meal they sell counts,” he said.

“Viability in these small communities is important and we must respect they have ownership as opposed to being mobile and being able to capitalise on busier times.”

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