Bridgetown Welcomes Mobile Food Vendors

Published on Friday, 28 June 2024 at 9:33:11 AM

I was very pleased to see at our May Ordinary Council Meeting a successful change to our current policy on Mobile and Itinerant Traders in relation to mobile food vendors. We have now approved the Town Square Carpark (adjacent to the new Visitor’s Centre near the railway reserve) and the River Park car park for mobile food vendors to trade.

This initiative has been a long time in the making since I brought to Council strong community feedback that food trucks would be a welcome addition to trading in the town centre of Bridgetown. (Restrictions have not ever been imposed in the Greenbushes townsite).

The original policy disallowing mobile food vendors in the Bridgetown town centre was put in place some years ago. It came about due to considerable concern amongst the permanent food businesses in town. They felt that food vendors - who don’t have all the associated costs of a bricks and mortar business - would have an unfair advantage over the permanent food outlets.  At that time, trade wasn’t always bountiful and enough sustainable market share was hard won. I can fully appreciate that was an issue back then.

Times have moved on, our population has grown and the tourist numbers are substantially more and growing. Community expectations have also shifted and the demand for alternative food options for locals and visitors has increased.

Council agreed it was time to re-visit the mobile food vendor restrictions and commenced a food truck trial in the Town Square carpark last summer. The trial didn’t go quite as well as planned – lack of resources to organise the trial, lack of vendors able to meet the trial parameters etc. However, that being said, you the community sent a clear message that you would fully support food vendors operating on occasion in Bridgetown. The trucks that did come reported great turnover.

This was sufficient for Council to set out guidelines which we feel both protects our main precinct food businesses AND meets community demand. The River Park has no permanent food businesses and we believe mobile food vendors there will meet a real demand in that location. The Town Square is also a practical second option which has plenty of on-site parking, existing lighting and few residential properties to be impacted.

Food vendors can be located elsewhere for events only, in locations such as the main street and Memorial Park.

So, if you know of any food vendors, please let them know that restrictions have been lifted and they can now contact the Shire to book a date. I’m looking forward to this new expansion of our food culture being available in Bridgetown.

Cr Jenny Mountford


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