Guidelines for transient traders brews up debate in Mandurah council

"Space activation" has been discussed throughout Mandurah council debates and highlighted in the city's key planning documents across the past few years, but that "innovative thinking" has been sharply criticised recently.

An established business has pleaded with councillors to pull back on their encouragement of mobile traders in public places and tighten guidelines, stating they are "struggling to compete".

Local Muzz Buzz franchisee Brad Hope presented a deputation at council's March 13 meeting, outlining how loosening regulations on mobile traders had a detrimental effect on his business.

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His comments came after the City of Mandurah launched a review of their trading permits guidelines.

Mr Hope claimed mobile traders operating in Silver Sands Reserve, located along Mandurah Terrace, was negatively impacted on his business revenue by "competing very aggressively".

He said it was not fair his business, which paid rates and hired more than 30 locals, had to compete with transient traders.

"They contribute very little to council revenue. Sure, they have activated the public space but on their own terms," Mr Hope told councillors.

Mr Hope pleaded with council to change the distance the traders had to be from established businesses, the times they were allowed in approved areas and urged more policing of regulations to be undertaken.

According to a report presented to councillors at the meeting, Mr Hope's submission was the only complaint received made in relation to the guidelines.

While the mobile traders are only allowed in approved areas on a temporary basis, two businesses pinpoint their base in the Kieran Bianca Reserve on Google Maps. Photo: Goole Maps.

While the mobile traders are only allowed in approved areas on a temporary basis, two businesses pinpoint their base in the Kieran Bianca Reserve on Google Maps. Photo: Goole Maps.

Debate on the matter consumed councillors for more than an hour at the meeting.

Throughout discussions, the City of Mandurah's planning and land services manager Ben Dreckow was on hand to breakdown their current regulations and explain future direction if requested.

Mr Dreckow explained that council had the flexibility to change the guidelines if needed, including reducing or expanding hours, fees and locations.

He also explained that while the mobile traders didn't pay rates as a business, they were required to pay a fee to the City of Mandurah for operating within their boundaries.

I think activation of those spaces is incredibly important.

Mandurah deputy mayor Caroline Knight

Deputy mayor Caroline Knight said both businesses should be able to operate throughout the city.

"I think activation of those spaces is incredibly important," Cr Knight said.

East Ward councillor Lynn Rodgers urged councilors to tread carefully on the matter and stated the previous councils had work hard to get to the point they were at today.

North Ward councillor Ron Wortley labelled the trading permit guidelines as a "delicate situation" and urged his fellow elected representatives to postpone their decision on the matter.

Councillors unanimously voted to delay the issue until their April round of meetings to allow time for more information to gathered and reviewed.

Elected representatives also commented that they wanted to hold off on the topic until full council was present, as several councillors including Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams were absent.

To read more about the review of the trading permit guidelines, visit the City of Mandurah's website and view their latest meeting minutes

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Follow Caitlyn Rintoul on Twitter via @caitlynrintoul.