LATE-night trader Juddy Dogs is set to win an exemption from an Albury Council street activities policy, following a bizarre chain of events.
The council’s planning and development committee last night threw out a staff recommendation to reject the exemption based on a back-flip from senior Albury Police.
The committee voted 5-2 against the recommendation, moved by former mayor Alice Glachan and seconded by Graham Docksey.
The committee chairman Daryl Betteridge declared a conflict of interest as a late-night Albury trader.
Voting against the recommendation were acting committee chairman David Thurley, mayor Kevin Mack, deputy mayor Henk van de Ven, Ross Jackson and Patricia Gould.
The council will decide the issue in a fortnight, but an exemption appears assured on last night’s vote.
Non-committee member Darren Cameron also supports an exemption.
The hot dog van operators, Brian and Jodie Judd, were in the gallery to watch the latest round in a saga that began two months ago.
They applied for an exemption to hiring a guard for their business which operates on the post office corner in central Albury at weekends.
They made the request, based on support from two Albury police officers.
But the matter was deferred pending a response from police and Superintendent Beth Stirton told the council there should be no exemption.
The Judds then withdrew their application and said the van would be closed.
They applied again for an exemption after receiving strong community support.
Cr Glachan said the policy was about safety at all times, but Cr Jackson said Juddy Dogs wasn’t a trouble spot and was entitled to an exemption.
“Where they trade doesn’t encourage a large congregation of people for prolonged periods and security is not required,” he said.
Cr Docksey said police support was just one factor behind his opposition.
“The police command makes the decision and I fear the exemption will have a cascading effect,” he said.
Cr Mack said Juddy Dogs didn’t fit the purpose of the policy, saying “it is a trailer with a facility to serve hot dogs and I can’t see there being an uprising of hot dog vans in Dean Street because we are offering an exemption”.
Cr van de Ven said exemptions should be dealt with on an individual basis.
“There has been a lot of conflicting information given to the proponents by police,” he said.
“The troops on the ground, as Cr Docksey would well know, would be in a better position to know what happens than generals in the back office.”