Food trucks could soon be able to serve up their wares at beachside locations across Wollongong under a new trial proposed by council.
At Monday's Wollongong City Council meeting, councillors will consider accepting a one-year trial of food trucks using council land, anticipated to start this summer.
The trial includes 16 locations across Wollongong and among those are waterside spots like beach car parks at Coledale, Stanwell Park and the boat ramp car park at Windang.
Other locations include Millingaa Park at Farmborough Heights, Kanahooka Park and Thomas Dalton Park.
They would only be allowed to be at a location for a maximum of five hours a day, but can operate at multiple locations in the same day.
All operators will need council approval before pulling up at one of these sites and caps will be placed on how many trucks can operate at one location.
The trial grew out of a 2018 Greens motion to identify public land that could be used by food trucks.
"Food trucks are specifically prohibited in council car parks, along the foreshore and in sporting fields," said Greens councillor Mithra Cox.
"Some of these locations could and should support food trucks without competing with local businesses.
"While Wollongong nightlife has been steadily improving, we still have a long way to go to have a truly vibrant night-time economy. Many places along the foreshore are popular in the day but deserted in the evening due to lack of food options."
Cr Cox added that extra food truck locations could be an asset during the COVID pandemic.
"With the impacts of the pandemic set to be with us for some time, food trucks are the perfect way for locals businesses to continue to trade, and for people to socialise in a safer outdoor environment," she said.
Steve Repaci has been running his mobile woodfire pizza trucks for 15 years - he also had an Albion Park Rail pizza shop until he sold it nine years ago.
Business was going great - he was booked out until February next year with weddings and house parties - but the latest COVID outbreak saw many of his bookings dry up.
At present food trucks are largely limited to parking on private property with the consent of the owner, but Mr Repaci said it would be great if council changed their policy and allowed the trucks to use their spaces.
"A couple of us contacted council [last year] and were told we had to put DAs in and it was just going to take too much time," he said.
"So they're going to do something like this, it's going to be fantastic if they'll support local food trucks."
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