Thai van spices up penultimate council meeting of 2018
FINDING a balance between mobile and 'bricks and mortar' businesses proved to be a topic hotter than green curry at yesterday's Gladstone Regional Council general meeting.
Royal Thai Kitchen mobile food van was approved to operate at two Canoe Point sites, with 12 conditions, but approval to operate at the Clinton sporting fields on Dawson Hwy was refused.
Councillors were asked to consider a full or partial approval or refusal of the application.
They took the partial option based on "the potential competition with pre-existing business, safety risks and the potential to generate dust".
Gladstone Region deputy mayor Chris Trevor addressed potential concerns that could arise with pre-existing bricks and mortar businesses.
"I admire what they're doing... eventually I'll be dragged in to the 21st century kicking and screaming, but the issue that I have is the rate base," Cr Trevor said.
"I know the world is transitioning into virtual offices and people conducting business out of coffee shops... but who's going to pay our rates in 20 years time?
"The people occupying the premises of bricks and mortar, paying their fair share of commercial rates, that supports our local economy and our council.... who's going to do that in 20 years time when all we've got is mobile vans all over the joint, virtual offices operating out of coffee shops and nobody paying commercial rates?
"It's an issue which we've really got to look at from a future point-of-view and address it.
"Sooner or later the bricks and mortar people are just going to close down because they're competing against someone who has minimal overheads."
"I might be an old dinosaur when it comes to bricks and mortar because I've worked in a bricks and mortar office all my life and very proud of that fact.
"But I could go run my legal practice from a mobile van next week."
Cr Cindi Bush said a review should be conducted on the policy.
"When this policy was brought to the table it was to initially address (street) markets and it opened up a can of worms," she said.
"It's a hard one too because you like to see people do well in business, but also you've got to look after bricks and mortar retailers.
"I think we can do better than what's in our policy at the moment."