Since the March meeting of the City of Yarra, there has been some progress on the issue of food trucks being permitted to trade in Yarra. Council announced that three permits had been approved at a meeting held on 9 April, where it also voted to publish a revised draft policy for food trucks for public consultation.

Don’t hold your breath about seeing more food trucks in Fitzroy however. As I understand it, the locations approved for these permits are on Bridge Rd and Swan St in Richmond. The trucks currently trading in Fitzroy are doing so from private land, which as I understand it is outside council’s jurisdiction.

There is some good news in the revised draft. Trucks may be allowed to trade in residential areas subject to trials to assess issues of noise and anti-social behaviour. And council pledges to suggest suitable locations rather than making applicants repeatedly apply for spaces only to be told they are not suitable.

Unbelievably, despite my submission to Council in March that requiring applicants to be resident in the City of Yarra was an irrelevant absurdity (Council Executive Manager – Governance Ivan Gilbert agreed with me), the new application form still declares ‘Proof of residency within the City of Yarra must be provided upon application to be eligible for a residential permit’ and ‘Proof of residency within Yarra attached ( current utility bill, drivers licence)’ is required.

This is fucking pathetic. How hard is it to follow up on the submissions made in the meeting, which are documented by council staff? Are they retarded?

Below is the text of the email submission I have sent them about this issue:

I write to offer my input regarding the proposed new regulations for food trucks in the City of Yarra.

I am disappointed to note that the two issues I made submissions on at the March council meeting at the Fitzroy Town Hall have not been addressed in the council’s revised documentation about this issue.

First, the issue of vehicles trading on private land to the public has not been clarified in the revised guidelines at http://www.yarracity.vic.gov.au/DownloadDocument.ashx?DocumentID=8775. It is my understanding, which I believe was confirmed at the March meeting, that traders do not need a permit from council to trade on private property, and several are currently trading based on this understanding. The revised documentation says that traders need a permit from council but I doubt that this is true. The legal status of this should be clarified to aid applicants, rather than to obscure what may (from council’s point of view) be an undesirable loophole.

Even the wording is ridiculous. It states: ‘5.1 Applications for MFV sites on road reserves and private land used for public purposes can be considered.In any event the applicant must comply with these guidelines before a permit will be granted.’

How can a trader possibly demonstrate compliance with the rules in order to get a permit? Only by trading without one. This is a logical contradiction.

Second, Council Executive Manager – Governance Ivan Gilbert agreed with me at the March meeting that requiring applicants to be resident in the City of Yarra was an absurd irrelevance, and he pledged to remove that requirement from your documentation. Why then does your revised application form at http://www.yarracity.vic.gov.au/DownloadDocument.ashx?DocumentID=7241 still contain this requirement?

It states:  ‘Proof of residency within the City of Yarra must be provided upon application to be eligible for a residential permit’ and ‘Proof of residency within Yarra attached ( current utility bill, drivers licence)’ is required.

You may wonder why ratepayers are so annoyed at the pitiful behaviour of council, its staff and councillors, when people who bother to turn up and contribute are ignored through sheer incompetence. My submissions were presumably documented. Why have they not been acted on?

an update on the City of Yarra’s food truck policy

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