City invites comment on new draft Itinerant Trading Policy

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

The City of Greater Bendigo is inviting community feedback on a new draft Itinerant Trading Policy to help guide the City’s decisions and support the ongoing management of itinerant trading across the municipality.

The draft policy establishes guiding principles, formalises roles and responsibilities and provides for a transparent, consistent and fair approach to itinerant trading throughout Greater Bendigo.

City of Greater Bendigo Safe and healthy Environments Acting Manager Sam Johnston said itinerant trading is the use of public land for commercial purposes.

“Commercial activity on public land is a privilege, not a right and it’s important for the approval process to be guided by clear policy for the benefit of the whole community,” Mr Johnston said.

“While the City’s Community Local Law sets out what activities require a permit in public spaces including itinerant trading, the policy has been developed to formalise the application of the Local Law, where historically applications were managed on a case by case basis.

“The new draft policy strikes a balance between commercialisation of public spaces and the need to preserve those spaces for nonexclusive use.

“The City generally supports itinerant trading where it is safe to do so and recognises the many benefits it contributes to the liveability of Greater Bendigo, the activation of public spaces and the vibrancy of the City.

“The draft policy will help the City to balance these benefits with the need to ensure public spaces are safe and well managed on behalf of the community, for the benefit of everyone.”

The key features of the draft policy include:

  • A two-year transition to a public tender process for sites deemed to be highly desirable and sustainable such as Lake Weeroona.
  • A place making approach where applications will be considered for their activation and contribution to the public space.
  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities.
  • Expectations of traders where utilities such as power and water are required.
  • Approval processes for applications where the City is the public land manager, not the land owner.
  • Formalised appeal processes where applicants can have decisions reviewed.
  • Alignment with the City’s other strategies and policies such as healthy eating guidelines.
  • Increases of the minimum public liability and professional indemnity insurance from the current $10 million to $20 million for traders.

“The City is aware that the draft policy could have a significant impact on itinerant traders that hold a current licence and have contacted them direct to inform them about the draft policy and to encourage them to make comment.

“We are also keen to hear from members of the community to ensure that the policy also reflects their views about itinerant trading on public land.”

The draft policy is available to view online at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/Services/Local-laws Submissions must be received by the City by Friday August 7 and should be emailed to [email protected]