Shire of Plantagenet food van policy in the works to boost local business

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Shire of Plantagenet administration building.
Camera IconShire of Plantagenet administration building. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Food vans and temporary stallholders could soon be setting up shop at six locations around Mt Barker — including Tower Hill — under a proposed policy from the Shire of Plantagenet.

Plantagenet councillors last month unanimously endorsed a draft trading in public places policy which is out for public comment until November 2.

The new policy aims to provide a guide for businesses operating on Shire land including street traders, mobile traders and temporary stallholders.

An officer’s report put to councillors ahead of the vote noted mobile and temporary street traders could contribute “to the vitality of the town”, “activate a particular location or precinct” and “provide a safe, efficient and accessible food service” at peak times.

The policy aims to provide a guide for Shire staff when assessing applications for public vendors while also creating new opportunities for small businesses.

It also aims to “limit the impact (real and perceived) to existing local businesses” within the townsite because of mobile traders.

Six fixed locations have been nominated in the policy, including the Albany Highway rest stop adjacent to the Mt Barker caravan park (for stallholders only), Plantagenet Town Hall carpark, visitor centre carpark, a Wilson Park reserve, Tower Hill, Sounness Park and the Muir Highway rest area in Rocky Gully.

The policy lays out some conditions, including that vendors can only operate in daylight hours, and that itinerant traders cannot trade within 100m of a permanent food business selling the same food.

Shire chief executive Cameron Woods said the draft policy was a “sign of maturity and growth” for the Shire.

“It’s an opportunity to respond to increased demand from locals and tourists particularly during peak periods,” he said.

Read the draft policy here.

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