Taste test in food van trial

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Pioneer Park, Cowaramup, was approved for a trial of food vans last week.
Camera IconPioneer Park, Cowaramup, was approved for a trial of food vans last week.

Cowaramup’s Pioneer Park will see a three-month trial of food vans after the council adopted its revised policy last week.

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River recently revised its food van policy with input from councillors that will see future operators required to reduce waste, use 100 per cent compostable packaging, plates and cutlery, and avoid single-use plastics including straws and takeaway containers.

The Pioneer Park trial was extended from one month to three at the request of councillors concerned a short period would not provide enough information to determine if the changes were working.

The public advertising heard concerns the Cowaramup trial would compete against the Cowaramup District Club.

In September, Cr Pauline McLeod said feedback from businesses showed many Margaret River operators felt food vans such as the Night Market affected peak trade.

Last week’s report noted “Other issues raised include that mobile food businesses are not local. However, many of the mobile food businesses are locally owned. Furthermore, the criteria in the expression of interest includes the use of locally-sourced or produced goods.”

The report said although businesses paid rates, the Shire’s $1500 fee for food vans “are already towards the higher end of the scale, (so) an additional land-use fee is not recommended”.

Cr Naomi Godden said the three-month trial would determine if the Cowaramup vans were a problem.

“It may well be a great contribution to the community,” she said.

Cowaramup-based member Julia Meldrum said waste reduction measures in the new policy were “vital going into the future”.

“There’s a different demographic (food vans) attract.”

The Cowaramup BMX track was identified as a possible future food van site.

Other locations include Margaret River’s Rotary Park and Surfers Point.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails