Trading ban in play: Law preventing roadside trade gets the nod

Dubbo’s roadside trading policy started with a bang but may end with a quiet vote of assent.

A committee of Dubbo City Council this week endorsed it with no debate.

The recommended draft, which sets out enforcement of a state law that prevents the sale of any article from a public road without approval, will sail on to next week’s council meeting for a final decision.

Committee members had just five submissions from the public to consider as they voted.

The draft, which last year ignited debate in the community after the council shut down a fruit stall in Cobra Street, received support from two people.

Colin Jones of Wongarbon said in his submission that the council should not give traders a 48-hour warning period, “there being no reasonable excuse for the present situation to continue”.

Wayne Howlett of Dubbo offered a vote of confidence in councillors and staff and urged them not to be influenced by what he called “a vocal minority”.

“Make the call and run with it,” he said.

Paul Vaughn accused the council of pandering to the city’s vehicle dealers.

He said the council seemed money hungry and looked for any way to fill its coffers - a claim council staff refuted in the report.

John Lindsay who identified himself as a business owner said people resorted to selling their goods from the roadside because business people did not give them a fair go.

Dubbo’s Michael Quinn said roadside trading was important to the market.

“A roadside food stall can offer local fruit or other products and be an attraction to tourists and locals alike,” he said.

Food stalls should be regulated in some easy way and a small fee put on it, Mr Quinn said.

“Roadside car sales are never going to go away and you can waste hours trying to chase them down,” he said.

Council environmental control manager Debbie Archer did not consider that any of the issues raised in submissions required changes to be made to the draft policy.

It was not expected to generate significant infringement income because the council would adopt a “conciliatory approach” to enforcement, she said in her report.

Cr Ben Shields, who had previously given reluctant support to the policy, was not at the works and services committee meeting on Monday.

Nor was Cr Tina Reynolds, who had been strident in her support for it.

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