EDITORIAL: Bun fight in the making
ALBURY’s iconic hot dog van has been forced to close because its owner cannot afford to hire a security guard.
Under changes to Albury Council policy that come into effect this month, all food outlets with outdoor dining that trade after midnight are required to have CCTV and must provide a security guard after 1.30am.
But Juddy Dogs owner Brian Judd said hiring security for his small food van was not viable.
The van sits on the corner of Kiewa and Dean streets, outside the Albury Post Office, on Friday and Saturday nights, within sight of at least six security guards posted at Paddys hotel, Zed Bar and the Dean Street taxi rank.
“Why should I (hire security)?” he said.
“Nobody should have to.
“I have no choice (but to close), I just have no choice.”
Following the policy changes, Mr Judd had applied to Albury Council for an exemption but said he was last week led to believe he would not be successful in his application.
He said he had been told approval for an exemption depended on police giving the application a green light.
“I believe without support from police my attempt is futile, so there’s no point in continuing with an application,” he said.
“It’s pointless banging your head up against the wall.”
In August, Albury Council’s Planning and Development Committee had recommended the council defer the matter pending a formal response from Albury police.
But yesterday, a council spokesman said “following further discussions with the proprietor and other stakeholders the application has been withdrawn”.
Acting Superintendent David Cottee said the council had sought comment from Albury police about whether an exemption should be made but “ultimately it’s a council decision”.
In April, Albury Council planning and development committee chairman Cr Graham Docksey said the changes were made to make the CBD a “safe and inviting place”.
“Essentially the proposals will address problems before they start without discouraging late-night trade,” he said.
However, Mr Judd said he had seen only three instances of bad behaviour in 12 years of trade.
“Two of them were people stealing a hotdog and both of them got caught,” he said.
“The other one was when a businessman in town got hit there but the offender was also caught straight up and, as luck has it, police were there.
“So everything that has happened at our van has been solved instantly.
“We’re supplying food to the punters and that’s not a bad thing. It’s got to be a help, not a hindrance,” he said.
Juddy Dogs served its last hot dog two Saturdays ago on September 21.
Supt Cottee said Mr Judd had the right to a review outside of the council.