YARRAWONGA business owners are rejoicing after Moira Shire unanimously blocked the return of food trucks to the town for tourist peak times including the upcoming summer holidays.
The council rejected a staff recommendation to permit the food truck operators to operate on vacant private land only a block from Belmore Street and within close proximity to homes.
Yarrawonga-based councillor Peter Mansfield succeeded in proposing an alternative motion in preventing the rival food providers starting mid-December to the end of January and returning for Easter and Anzac Day.
Cr Mansfield’s said the venture would have a detrimental impact on the amenity of the area and raised concerns about noise, odour, carparking and traffic management.
His revised motion was seconded by Cr Marie Martin, who said the site was not suitable.
‘”You’ve got to evaluate very carefully is the overall outcome for everybody,” she said.
“What I’ve heard and seen is it wasn’t a good outcome (last year) for the people who are in the food business.”
Cr Kevin Bourke said it was an application to create a “pop up pub in a park” and voiced concerns about responsible service of alcohol.
“It is hard enough to look after in a dwelling with four walls rather than a vacant block of land,” he said.
The Food Truck operators can appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, but it’s a doubtful it could be mounted before the Christmas holidays.
Yarrawonga business owner Michelle Clark praised the council for supporting her and other operators who packed the Moira Shire meeting at Cobram.
“We are not afraid of competition because we compete against eachother every day,” she said.
“It's not the problem, but what we want is a level playing field.
“If they want to come to town and be part of our community then they need to invest in infrastructure. They need to build a park and do it properly.
“We would then welcome them with open arms.”
Cr Ed Cox said he supported local business at all times.
“We don’t want them just for tomorrow. We want them for next year and the year after,” he said.