Ice Cream Vans May Return to Beaches and Parks reports St John Villa Vacation
Council is looking into relaxing the rules that levy fines on vans
The Community and Culture Services committee's council is investigating the changes to the bylaws governing ice cream vans, which as recently prevented them from serving anywhere near the areas where shops with “similar products” are sold.
Mudgeeraba councillor Glenn Tozer says he has several trucks based I the division and noted that the bylaw was not in keeping with the councils usual actions.
"We want to free up the regulations on trucks while still keeping some protection for retail operators," he said.
"Vendors must be able to access local parks, beaches and other locations with nearby shops to conduct their business because the definition of similar product is incredibly vague and generally does not mean things such as soft-serves.
Tozer continued by noting: "Getting an ice cream from a truck has been a big part of Australian life for more than 50 years and the idea of not being able to sell within 500m of a shop prevents operators from going where they are likely to find customers."
The council is now seeking some clarification as what the definition of “similar products” is, and whether it can include some laxing of the ruleset through this hinging definition.
The bylaw itself was introduced in the 1990s, and came after a rise in the number of mobile food-traders prompted complaints from various businesses. Currently, trucks caught trading near shops have been given a $300 fine by the council.
Mark Forema, who operates Mr. Supersoft Ice Cream Vans for nearly a quarter-century says that relaxed laws would certainly give business a boost.
"We all sell soft-serve ice cream while shops mostly have ice blocks, which are totally different," he said. "Our trade is severely restricted because we cannot go near shops serving similar products, which rules out almost all beaches and many parks. Almost 95% of our business is done on the street, so we would be in favour of the council changing the laws to give us greater trade."
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