Coffee lovers left high and dry by council decision

Caffeine lovers at four Gladstone businesses have been left high and dry, with council’s decision yesterday to reject an application from the Café Casa mobile coffee van to operate outside their premises.

Workers at the Gladstone Ports Corporation in Yarroon Street, Nhulundhu Health Service in Goondoon Street, Community Health in Flinders Street and Vikki’s Ship Supplies in Toolooa Street will most likely have to walk a short distance to privately-owned alternative parking areas away from the public road; under a recently enacted council policy, roadside vendors or food trucks are not permitted to sell their products from the carriageway unless they have a permit.

Peter Dixon of Café Casa says he is the first vendor to apply for the permit having been made aware of the change to the bylaws recently.

“Up until recently there was no trading at all allowed by the side of the road,” he said. “There are quite a number of other vendors I think who are not aware of any requirement for them to get a permit.”

Mr Dixon says he believes he is not in competition with existing coffee shops: “It’s not like I have canvassed for business,” he said.  “People call me and ask for the van to stand there. I haven’t really taken any clients off anyone,” he said. “It’s not in a no-standing zone, I can’t see the harm,” he said.

The policy regarding roadside vendors was recently changed to accommodate the revitalisation of the Gladstone City Heart through fortnightly Farmers’ Markets. After rejecting Mr Dixon’s application, council undertook to follow up on the policy to check for unintended consequences for vendors. “We tinkered with it.” Cr. Sobhanian said.