Trouble brewing over food vans

Coffee Rescue operator Justin Murphy fears there is not enough business for another roadside food van at Mosman Beach.
Coffee Rescue operator Justin Murphy fears there is not enough business for another roadside food van at Mosman Beach.

‘Fair enough, the bus and council are not breaking any laws, but I feel there’s not enough custom for another operator,’ Coffee Rescue operator Justin Murphy said.

A weekend ice cream van operates at the southern end of the carparks, while Mr Murphy sells coffees to Montessori Beehive School parents and commuters until about 9am each weekday when, he said, ‘trade just drops off’.

At last week’s meeting, councillors agreed to a renewable, year-long permit for a 20-seat bus operated by Diamond Lounge Limocoach’s John Calcraft to trade from sunrise to sunset all week.

It will provide breakfasts, salads, pizzas, tea and coffee, fresh fruit and vegetables on a grass verge near the beach’s cliff, directly opposite the school.

The bus will be about 150m south of a proposed cliff top cafe, with toilets and cyclist facilities, at the northernmost end of the carpark.

Proponent Dennis Marshall is seeking State Government approvals but said his plans would be unaffected by the bus.

‘I guess if he doesn’t succeed, he can move on to somewhere else,’ he said.

The council developed a Traders Location Plan earlier this year, with five recommended van sites in the carpark.

Asked about the potential impact of the bus on other businesses, Mayor Ron Norris said the council could only consider the planning and safety aspects of food van applications.

‘Whether or not a proposal is ‘commercially viable’ is outside council’s control and decisions can’t be based on any future food outlets in the area,’ he said.