Jul 18

Key turns on food truck rules in Newcastle

GRABBING a bite on the run could soon become a little easier with Newcastle council set to release a new mobile food truck policy.

At last week’s council meeting Labor councillors were successful in their formal move to expedite a draft policy that would allow food trucks to operate in the CBD.

Earlier this year the council came under fire from existing and potential local vendors, because it had scrapped the previous regulations used by vendors to trade but failed to instate new ones, leaving businesses in limbo.

Labor councillor Nuatali Nelmes said the council’s lack of policy reminded her of the recent demand for more small bars licences in the CBD. She said the council should be more proactive in supporting local start-ups and “fostering innovation”.

She said the new policy should also protect existing small businesses.

Cr David Compton called Labor’s motion “redundant” because the council was already working on a mobile food trucks policy.

The council is looking to base its policy on the City of Sydney’s, which rolled out nine food trucks in a one-year trial in 2011.

However, Newcastle council staff expect to hear concerns from sporting clubs and community groups that generate funds from food and will compete for the same market.

The Newcastle food truck trial is expected to run until July 2015.

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